Randomized Manipulation of Early Cognitive Experience Impacts Adult Brain Structure

  title={Randomized Manipulation of Early Cognitive Experience Impacts Adult Brain Structure},
  author={Martha J. Farah and Saul Sternberg and Thomas A. Nichols and Jeffrey T. Duda and Terry Lohrenz and Yi Luo and Libbie Sonnier and Sharon L. Ramey and P. Read Montague and Craig T. Ramey},
  journal={Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience},
Abstract Does early exposure to cognitive and linguistic stimulation impact brain structure? Or do genetic predispositions account for the co-occurrence of certain neuroanatomical phenotypes and a tendency to engage children in cognitively stimulating activities? Low socioeconomic status infants were randomized to either 5 years of cognitively and linguistically stimulating center-based care or a comparison condition. The intervention resulted in large and statistically significant changes in… Expand
Human brain anatomy reflects separable genetic and environmental components of socioeconomic status
A well-powered voxel-based analysis of grey matter volume across levels of SES finds many small SES effects widely distributed across the brain, including cortical, subcortical and cerebellar regions, which affects multiple brain regions through measurable genetic and environmental effects. Expand
Association between Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Executive System Activation in Youth
Higher neighborhood SES was associated with greater activation of the executive system to WM load, including the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, posterior parietal cortex, and precuneus, and associations remained significant when controlling for related factors like parental education and exposure to traumatic events. Expand
Sex differences in the effects on the brain of early cognitive stimulation.
A study by Farah and colleagues (2021) of the effects on the adult brain of a cognitively intense early childhood experience revealed large effects, but primarily in the brains of male subjects,Expand


Variation in neural development as a result of exposure to institutionalization early in childhood
The increase inwhite matter among children randomized to an improved rearing environment relative to children who remained in institutional care suggests the potential for developmental “catch up” in white matter growth, even following extreme environmental deprivation. Expand
The neuroscience of socioeconomic inequality
Disparities in neural structure that have been reported in both cortical and subcortical gray matter, as well as in white matter are reviewed, particularly in circuits that support language, memory, executive functioning, and emotion processing. Expand
Behavioral Problems After Early Life Stress: Contributions of the Hippocampus and Amygdala
This study suggests ELS may shape the development of brain areas involved with emotion processing and regulation in similar ways, and differences in the amygdala and hippocampus may be a shared diathesis for later negative outcomes related to ELS. Expand
Early childhood deprivation is associated with alterations in adult brain structure despite subsequent environmental enrichment
MRI data collected from young adults who were exposed to severe deprivation in early childhood in the Romanian orphanages of the Ceaușescu era and then, subsequently adopted by UK families provide evidence that early childhood deprivation is related to alterations in adult brain structure, despite environmental enrichment in intervening years. Expand
Inhibition and the right inferior frontal cortex
Advances in human lesion-mapping support the functional localization of such inhibition to right IFC alone, and future research should investigate the generality of this proposed inhibitory function to other task domains, and its interaction within a wider network. Expand
The brain basis of language processing: from structure to function.
Networks involving the temporal cortex and the inferior frontal cortex with a clear left lateralization were shown to support syntactic processes, whereas less lateralized temporo-frontal networks subserve semantic processes. Expand
Response of the brain to enrichment.
  • M. Diamond
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciencias
  • 2001
Although the brain possesses a relatively constant macro structural organization, the ever-changing cerebral cortex, with its complex microarchitecture of unknown potential, is powerfully shaped by experiences before birth, during youth and, in fact, throughout life. Expand
The development of cognitive and academic abilities: growth curves from an early childhood educational experiment.
Preschool cognitive gains accounted for a substantial portion of treatment differences in the development of reading and math skills, and intensive early childhood education can have long-lasting effects on cognitive and academic development. Expand
Early Life Programming and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Consideration of the early life programming and transcriptional regulation in adult exposures supports a critical need to understand epigenetic mechanisms as a critical determinant in disease predisposition. Expand
Socioeconomic status and the brain: prospects for neuroscience-informed policy
  • M. Farah
  • Medicine, Psychology
  • Nature Reviews Neuroscience
  • 2018
It is argued that the neuroscience approach to SES-related policy has been both prematurely celebrated and peremptorily dismissed and that some of its possible social impacts have been viewed with excessive alarm. Expand