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Association between Income and the Hippocampus


  • Hanson, Jamie L.
  • Chandra, Amitabh
  • Wolfe, Barbara Elizabeth
  • Pollak, Seth D.


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanson, Jamie L. & Chandra, Amitabh & Wolfe, Barbara Elizabeth & Pollak, Seth D., 2011. "Association between Income and the Hippocampus," Scholarly Articles 5341872, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:5341872

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dean T. Jamison & Joel G. Breman & Anthony R. Measham & George Alleyne & Mariam Claeson & David B. Evans & Prabhat Jha & Ann Mills & Philip Musgrove, 2006. "Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries, Second Edition," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7242, June.
    2. Ruggie, John Gerard, 1982. "International regimes, transactions, and change: embedded liberalism in the postwar economic order," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(02), pages 379-415, March.
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2004.050831_0 is not listed on IDEAS
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    1. Is equal opportunity feasible?
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2012-06-05 16:47:58

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