Wealth’s Influence On The Brain


What if I told you that kids that grow up in wealthy families make better decisions, are better behaved, and are more likely to have different personalities than kids that grow up low-income households? What if I told you that kids from lower socioeconomic levels show brain physiology patterns similar to an adult who has had damage to their frontal lobe? New alarming research from the University of California, Berkeley shows that the brains of high-income children function differently compared to the brains of low-income children.

The study looked at normal 9- and 10-year-olds, half with average household incomes of $27,192 and half from families with high incomes of $96,157. Each child was subjected to engage in a simple task: watching a series of triangles projected on a screen. The subjects were asked to click a button when a slightly skewed triangle flashed on the screen.

In many cases, children from lower socioeconomic environments showed a lower response to the unexpected stimuli. This is similar response to adults that have had part of their frontal lobe destroyed by a stroke.

Although the results aren’t prevalent in all cases, the study still serves as a wake-up call. Children that grow up in privileged households don’t just have money advantages; they also have brain advantages. These differences become apparent in problem solving and school performance, and are likely due to a lack of stimuli. The ways to reverse these patters are through training, such as talking to the children more and reading.

What if I told you that children from higher-income families are more likely to talk back, cry, and complain then children from low-income families?