When the family environment is poor, the child's brain becomes "poor brain"

ByJukka Kervinen

Poverty is "Children's brain developmentAlthough it has been clarified by research that research has shown that Kimberly Noble, a neuroscientist at Columbia University, visualized "the relationship between poverty and brain" as a science journal for the general public The oldest in the worldScientific AmericanWe are publishing it in.

This Is Your Brain on Poverty - Scientific American Blog Network

It is clear that poverty has a strong influence on the brain, but this does not mean that money directly affects the structure or function of the brain directly, but the influence of the combination of the environment and genetic influences accompanying poverty It seems that there is a high possibility that it appears in the brain structure. this isIs it in correlation or causality?Mr. Noble is trying to unravel "connection between poverty and the brain" using various tools currently available, although it is also a matter whether it is practically impossible to solve the problem.

What is essential to "linking poverty and the brain" is to define "how poverty affects brain functions?" To that end, Mr. Noble gathered about 150 children with different socioeconomic backgrounds (SES) as subjects and conducted a standard psychological test to evaluate the cognitive abilities associated with certain parts of the brain.

The graph below shows the results of the psychological tests, where the horizontal axis shows the subjects' SES (the higher the wealthy family), and the vertical axis shows the test scores.

From the top left, the graph shows "Language Skills (Language Skills)" "Perception of Spatial Relationships" "Memory of Facts and Events" "Cognitive Control" "Short- Term Memory (short-term memory) ", and although there is a difference in degree, you can see that there is a positive correlation between" all cognitive abilities "and" poor cognitive abilities are low ".

The graph above clearly shows "How poverty affects brain function?", But I do not know until "How does poverty physically affect the brain?" Mr. Nobel scanned the brains of about 1,100 children and adolescents and tried to find a difference based on SES.

The figure below shows that "children grown in poor environment are decreasing a part of the cortex of the brain". The area where "decrease in cortical area" is seen is the cingulate gyrus, the anterior wedge, the inferior frontal gyrus, the superior frontal gyrus, and the inferior temporal gyrus, painted in red in the figure.

In the graph below, the horizontal axis shows annual household income and the vertical axis shows cortical area of ​​the brain. Particularly noteworthy is that children at home with annual incomes below 50,000 dollars (about 5.7 million yen) tend to decline exponentially with the lower incomes.

Children raised in the lowest income poverty environment suffer severe loss in brain development.

in Science, Posted by logu_ii