Rich Man, Poor Man: Socioeconomic Adversity and Brain Development
Here’s a disturbing statistic that made headlines this past January: The richest 85 people in the world now hold as much wealth as the poorest half. Keeping in mind the goal of closing the ever-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots, our author examines new research that ties family income level and other factors to brain development. While socioeconomic adversity may not solely determine a child’s success later in life, its significant role in helping children develop language, memory, and life skills can no longer be ignored.
The Role of Stress in Brain DevelopmentThe Gestational Environment’s Long-Term Effects on the Brain
During gestation, the fetal brain develops dramatically as structures and connections form, providing the foundation for all future development. Exposure to maternal stress can sometimes have deleterious effects on the fetus, depending on the cause, timing, duration, and intensity of stress. Fortunately, postnatal interventions, such as a secure parent-infant bond and an enriched environment, can buffer the potential negative consequences.
Effects of Stress on the Developing Brain
Early-life stress can lead to long-lasting behavioral, mental, and physical consequences. Fortunately, preventive measures can improve health outcomes, and while interventions for those who have already experienced debilitating early-life stress require considerable effort, they remain possible, thanks to the brain’s plasticity. Complementary article to "From Lab Bench to Court Bench."
Stress and ImmunityFrom Starving Cavemen to Stressed-Out Scientists
Scientists in Australia have recently discovered the first clear molecular process that helps to explain how stress suppresses our immune defenses and makes us more vulnerable to getting sick. Has a biological system that worked well for early humans faced with starvation turned against those of us living with the many new stresses of modern society?
Stress: From the Aroused Brain to the Reacting Heart
Rates of heart disease have remained high despite low-fat diets, cardiovascular workouts, and smoking cessation. Psychological stress has long been a suspect, but only now are scientists beginning to understand how stressful experiences reach and damage the cardiovascular system.