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PLoS One. 2011 May 4;6(5):e18712. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018712.

Association between income and the hippocampus.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America.

Abstract

Facets of the post-natal environment including the type and complexity of environmental stimuli, the quality of parenting behaviors, and the amount and type of stress experienced by a child affects brain and behavioral functioning. Poverty is a type of pervasive experience that is likely to influence biobehavioral processes because children developing in such environments often encounter high levels of stress and reduced environmental stimulation. This study explores the association between socioeconomic status and the hippocampus, a brain region involved in learning and memory that is known to be affected by stress. We employ a voxel-based morphometry analytic framework with region of interest drawing for structural brain images acquired from participants across the socioeconomic spectrum (n = 317). Children from lower income backgrounds had lower hippocampal gray matter density, a measure of volume. This finding is discussed in terms of disparities in education and health that are observed across the socioeconomic spectrum.

PMID:
21573231
PMCID:
PMC3087752
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0018712
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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