Brain drain

Scientists at Harvard University have found a new correlation between childhood poverty and compromised natural brain development. The study, reported to be the first to link general conditions of poverty with a specific neurological impairment, examined brain measurements from 400 children of varying socioeconomic backgrounds and found a link between household income and functioning of the hippocampus, a critical area of the brain that controls memory and emotion. The lead researcher has proposed that “differences in the hippocampus, perhaps due to stress tied to growing up in poverty, might partially explain differences in long-term memory, learning, control of neuroendocrine functions, and modulation of emotional behavior.” Learn more about the new study, with important implications for community and childhood health policy, at Growing Up Poor.

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