This post is the first part of two articles by Martha Farah about neuroscience, ethics, and poverty in relationship to childhood development.
One of the strongest relations in epidemiology is between a person’s socioeconomic status (SES) and their risk of mood and anxiety disorders. In the field of psychometrics, a similarly robust relation is found between SES and cognitive ability as measured by the IQ and other standardized tests. SES predicts a variety of life outcomes, and many of them – like emotional well-being and intelligence – are related to brain function. For this reason, neuroscientists have turned their attention to SES, and to the most materially deprived end of the SES spectrum, poverty.
Family income and cortical surface area.
(Image courtesy of Martha Farah.)
Article originally published in: http://www.theneuroethicsblog.com/2019/07/the-neuroethics-of-poverty_2.html
- Farah, M. J. (2018). Socioeconomic status and the brain: prospects for neuroscience-informed policy. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, July, 428-438.
- Noble, K.G., Houston, S.M., Brito, N.H., Bartsch, H., Kan, E., Kuperman, J.M., … Sowell, E.R. (2015). Family income, parental education and brain structure in children and adolescents. Nature Neuroscience, 18(5), 773–8.