Poverty and Brain Development

Poverty is a public health concern because individuals exposed to disadvantage backgrounds are at a greater risk of morbidity and mortality. To unfold the neurobiological mechanisms underlying health inequalities, researchers have examined how poverty exposure negatively influences brain development. Poverty is most often defined based on income, but income is typically correlated with other socioeconomic status (SES) indicators including education levels and occupation type. Although some studies have compared the relative impacts between SES indicators, most use one or more of these SES indicators to reveal the associations between poverty and brain development. Thus, in this entry, we included findings of neuroimaging studies using any of these SES indicators.

In the brain, three specific neural regions—the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex—have received the most amount ...

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