Kimberly Noble, a neuroscientist and pediatrician, talks about income and brain development, specifically analyzing the changes in children's cognitive and emotional development. She notes that a child's cortical cervix area -- a characteristic often associated with a higher intelligence -- tends to increase in proportion to the child's family income. The cortical cervix supports the following cognitive skills: language, staying focused, and self-control, and these factors affect children as young as two years old. Noble clarifies, however, that growing up in poverty does not necessarily mean these children will have small cortical cervix than their rich counterparts, but merely increases its likelihood.
Noble explains this correlation through neuroplasticity -- the phenomenon that states our experiences shape the way our brain functions. She clarifies that low family income does not doom a child to poor brain development or a life of low achievement, stating: "the brain is not destiny." Noble concludes by explaining to listeners that targetting the early experiences of children in poverty -- including lack of nutrition, restricted access to healthcare, or increased instances of stress -- we could help increase the brain development of children from lower-income families, and, ultimately, increase their quality of life.
Kimberly Noble Talks About Income and Brain Development