Thanet Star

Brain tests show child wealth gap

A new and alarming study from the US suggests that children from low-income families have significantly different brain patterns. Thanet has more than it's fair share of poverty at over twice the national average in some areas.

This difference could place children at a significant disadvantage in competing for jobs later in life. The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience study was described as a "wake-up call" about the impact of deprivation. says the BBC. It seems that the brains of children from low-income families process information differently to those of their wealthier counterparts, the study suggests.

Children from low socioeconomic backgrounds exhibit less prefrontal cortex activity than their peers of higher socioeconomic status, according to recent UC Berkeley research that provides insight into how children in impoverished conditions can reach their academic potential.

Christine Chen, Study: Background Affects Brain Activity,

Hopefully we can put behind us the dangerous myth that all benefits claimants are just lazy scroungers and start to recognise that through inaction we are setting into motion something that will effect us, our children and their children. Studies have already shown that the effects of poverty can still be seen socially and medically over one hundred years later.

Professor Robert Knight, says: This is a wake-up call - it's not just that these kids are poor and more likely to have health problems, but they might actually not be getting full brain development from the stressful and relatively impoverished environment associated with low socio-economic status.

If we do not act - who will?

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