Poverty can hurt brain development

Feb 18, 2008

Poverty appears to have dramatic effects on the brain development and function of young children, U.S. researchers said.

A panel at the American Association for the Advancement of Science said children who grow up in environments with "family stress, negative social and environmental characteristics, and little cognitive stimulation" may not fully develop the parts of the brain critical for learning, memory and language, the AAAS said Friday in a release.

Harvard researcher Jack Shonkoff said chemicals released by the body in situations like poverty and violence alter the hippocampus and affect cognition in the brain.

The researchers suggested that encouraging parents to read to their children can help counter the negative effects of poverty early in life.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers try to make sure herpes does not find a home

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Videogame power harnessed for positive goals

Mar 17, 2013

Even as videogames come under scrutiny for potential harmful impacts, researchers and developers are touting digital games for positive effects on health, learning and other social goals.

Many left behind as Silicon Valley rebounds

Mar 10, 2013

(AP)—On a morning the stock market was sailing to a record high and a chilly storm was blowing into Silicon Valley, Wendy Carle stuck her head out of the tent she calls home to find city workers duct taping an eviction ...

Man's relationship with nature gone wrong, expert says

Feb 10, 2013

Jane Goodall greets the audience by imitating a chimpanzee, then launches into an hour-long talk on her relationship with apes and how, from being a primatologist, she became an activist to protect them.

Hi-tech offers Israel's religious Jews a job path

Jan 20, 2013

In a chic auditorium typically reserved for late-night concerts, Israel's next generation of high-tech entrepreneurs are gathered. Though their vocation is modern, their appearance and lifestyle are distinctly ...

Chronic stress seems linked to achievement gap

Jan 31, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Children in low-income families lag behind their higher-income counterparts on virtually all measures of achievement, and this gap tends to increase over time. There are many reasons why, but a Cornell environmental ...

Recommended for you

Gamers helping in Ebola research

14 hours ago

Months before the recent Ebola outbreak erupted in Western Africa, killing more than a thousand people, scientists at the University of Washington's Institute for Protein Design were looking for a way to stop the deadly virus.

Carcinogenic role of a protein in liver decoded

16 hours ago

The human protein EGFR controls cell growth. It has mutated in case of many cancer cells or exists in excessive numbers. For this reason it serves as a point of attack for target-oriented therapies. A study ...

A new way to diagnose malaria, using magnetic fields

Aug 31, 2014

Over the past several decades, malaria diagnosis has changed very little. After taking a blood sample from a patient, a technician smears the blood across a glass slide, stains it with a special dye, and ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Oderfla
not rated yet Feb 18, 2008
Tell the world.