Child Development and Socioeconomic Status
Achievement Gap Interventions
*Kindergartners from low SES households performed worse than counterparts
In addition to using data from behavioral findings, cognitive neuroscientists have linked specific brain regions to cognitive functions. Although each process is not completely distinctive, it is commonly accepted that the occipitotemporal region is associated with visual attention and perception, the parietal region with spatial attention and perception, the medial temporal region with memory, the left perisylvian region with language, and the prefrontal region with the executive system. These systems can be assessed behaviorally by tasks that tax the function of interest, while placing a minimal burden on the other systems.
Medial Temporal (Memory)
Left Perisylvian (Language)
Prefrontal (Executive Function)
Lastly, it should be noted that the effects of SES on behavior are unlikely to be isolated to particular localized brain regions. Standard fMRI analysis looks at signals from a very small area of the brain one voxel (volumetric pixel) at a time (Raizada and Kashiyama, 2009). It is highly probable that multiple parts of the brain act together in concert, especially in relation to a phenomenon with multiple facets such as SES.
Close the Achievement Gap with Brain-Based Instruction
Noble KG, Norman MF, and Farah MJ. (2005). Neurocognitive correlates of socioeconomic status in kindergarten children. Developmental Science 8:1,74– 87
Noble KG, Wolmetz ME, Ochs LG, FarahMJ, and McCandliss BM. (2006). Brain–behavior relationships in reading acquisition are modulated by socioeconomic factors. Developmental Science 9:6,642– 654
Raizada R D, and Kishiyama MM. (2010). Effects of socioeconomic status on brain development, and how cognitive neuroscience may contribute to levelling the playing field. Frontiers of Hum. Neurosci. 4 , 3
Whitehurst, G.J. (1997) Language processes in context: language learning in children reared in poverty. In Research on Communication and Language Disorders: Contribution to Theories of Language Development (Adamson, L.B. and Romski, M.A., eds), 233 – 266