Brain size linked to wealth

TOPEKA (KSNT) – While more affluent people may have bigger wallets, they may actually have bigger brains as well. A new study shows that children raised in poverty may have smaller brains than those who live in wealth.

The study looks at more than a thousand brains of children from a variety of socioeconomic levels, and concludes that your financial status growing up can vary brain size by as much as six percent.

“Being affluent has more benefit than just having more money or cool clothes or being able to have the right car or go to the right college. There’s a real tangible base missing for low income people,” says Community Action Executive Director, Tawny Stottlemire.

And in this case, that base is a child’s brain, the better off the child’s family, the larger the child’s brain surface areas. Brain surface areas are linked to intelligence.

“When you have a developing brain, just like you had a developing plant, or developing nations, trauma impacts growth,” says Stottlemire.

Study analysis says it’s more than just a bank account number. It’s the conditions surrounding a child’s socioeconomic status: things like healthcare, nutrition, schools, stress, and even air quality.

They’re conditions that, if lacking, can stunt brain growth in language and reading.

Researchers say it’s unclear whether the brain differences are permanent as you grow older.

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