Poverty and Brain Development During Childhood : An Approach From Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience
Poverty remains an urgent crisis worldwide. In the United States, 28.6 million children live in low-income families and 12.7 million children live in poor families. In nations belonging to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 47 million children live below national poverty lines. These figures pertain to industrialized countries; rates of child poverty in some developing nations exceed 60%.
Poverty and Brain Development During Childhood examines how a range of early social and material deprivations affect structural and functional brain organization and cognitive and socioemotional development postnatally and throughout childhood.
Do conceptual and operational definitions of poverty capture the true nature and complexity of the multidimensional problem and properly guide research?
How does poverty affect physical and mental health?
What do contemporary neuroimaging and behavioral studies reveal?
Studying these and other equally compelling questions, the authors apply a suite of neuroscientific and cognitive frameworks to examine the cognitive performance of children living in poverty in different countries. Looking to the future and to the development of effective policy, the authors analyze the potential contributions of the neuroscientific disciplines to the design of early interventions aimed at optimizing the cognitive performance of socioeconomically disadvantaged children.