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… 
Sex differences in the effects on the brain of early cognitive stimulation
  • S. Sternberg
  • Biology, Psychology
    Cognitive neuropsychology
  • 2021
The cognitive ratio is found to be strongly and negatively correlated with variations in the effect of the early experience on brain volume among the males, and explains a large proportion of the difference between males and females, as well as the greater of the male brains to that experience.
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.
Title: Association between Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Executive System Activation in Youth Abbreviated Title: Neighborhood SES and Executive System Function
Low socioeconomic status has been shown to have detrimental effects on cognitive performance, including working memory (WM). As executive systems that support WM undergo functional neurodevelopment
Why Deaths of Despair Are Increasing in the US and Not Other Industrial Nations-Insights From Neuroscience and Anthropology.
The US National Academy of Sciences reports rising mortality for US adults, most steeply for White adults with a secondary education or less. The rise is largely attributable to deaths of despair
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.


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.
The neuroscience of socioeconomic inequality
Behavioral Problems After Early Life Stress: Contributions of the Hippocampus and Amygdala
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.
Inhibition and the right inferior frontal cortex
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.
Response of the brain to enrichment.
  • M. Diamond
  • Biology, Psychology
    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.
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.
Early Life Programming and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Socioeconomic status and the brain: prospects for neuroscience-informed policy
  • M. Farah
  • 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.