The Boston Globe:
Research has long shown that students from low-income families tend to lag behind their wealthier peers on standardized test performance and other measures of academic success. Now, a study led by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard finds a correlate to this “income-achievement” gap within kids’ brain structures.
The researchers imaged the brains of 58 lower- and higher-income public school students in seventh and eighth grade and reviewed their scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exams. They found that the higher-income students had thicker cortex in many areas of the brain, and that some of these differences — including in areas associated with knowledge storage and visual perception — correlated with the students’ MCAS performance. In fact, the researchers believe differences in cortex thickness could explain nearly half of the income-achievement gap found in the study.
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