ERIC Number: EJ864492
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Socioeconomic Disparities Affect Prefrontal Function in Children
Kishiyama, Mark M.; Boyce, W. Thomas; Jimenez, Amy M.; Perry, Lee M.; Knight, Robert T.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, v21 n6 p1106-1115 Jun 2009
Social inequalities have profound effects on the physical and mental health of children. Children from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds perform below children from higher SES backgrounds on tests of intelligence and academic achievement, and recent findings indicate that low SES (LSES) children are impaired on behavioral measures of prefrontal function. However, the influence of socioeconomic disparity on direct measures of neural activity is unknown. Here, we provide electrophysiological evidence indicating that prefrontal function is altered in LSES children. We found that prefrontal-dependent electrophysiological measures of attention were reduced in LSES compared to high SES (HSES) children in a pattern similar to that observed in patients with lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) damage. These findings provide neurophysiological evidence that social inequalities are associated with alterations in PFC function in LSES children. There are a number of factors associated with LSES rearing conditions that may have contributed to these results such as greater levels of stress and lack of access to cognitively stimulating materials and experiences. Targeting specific prefrontal processes affected by socioeconomic disparity could be helpful in developing intervention programs for LSES children.
Descriptors: Socioeconomic Status, Socioeconomic Influences, Physical Health, Mental Health, Low Income Groups, Cognitive Ability, Brain, Brain Hemisphere Functions, Diagnostic Tests, Neurological Impairments, Environmental Influences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A