After providing all the funding for The Brain from Top to Bottom for over 10 years, the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction informed us that because of budget cuts, they were going to be forced to stop sponsoring us as of March 31st, 2013.

We have approached a number of organizations, all of which have recognized the value of our work. But we have not managed to find the funding we need. We must therefore ask our readers for donations so that we can continue updating and adding new content to The Brain from Top to Bottom web site and blog.

Please, rest assured that we are doing our utmost to continue our mission of providing the general public with the best possible information about the brain and neuroscience in the original spirit of the Internet: the desire to share information free of charge and with no adverstising.

Whether your support is moral, financial, or both, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Bruno Dubuc, Patrick Robert, Denis Paquet, and Al Daigen

Monday, 27 August 2012
How Poverty Harms the Brain

childrenThe brain is highly sensitive to the environment in which it develops, especially during childhood. Since the experiments conducted in the 1960s with rats raised in environments rich in sensory and social stimulation, there is no longer any doubt that an enriched environment promotes brain development, whereas an impoverished environment slows it down.

Regarding humans, there have been countless studies showing that low socio-economic status, usually associated with a poor environment, alters functions such as attention, working memory, language, and self-control. Beyond these, there are the overall harmful effects of social inequality on health. In Montreal, Quebec, for example, life expectancies are 10 years lower in poor neighbourhoods than in rich ones.

At the 2010 Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego, Helen Neville of the University of Oregon described her studies on the brains of 3- to 5-year-old children who grow up in poor environments. Of course, she has observed the cognitive delays that are typical in children who are neglected. But she has also shown that by training parents and by working with children to develop their attention and self-control, it is possible to reduce their behavioural problems and improve their cognitive and social skills.

Dr. Neville also runs a web site called Changing Brains that presents a dozen videos about simple conditions to encourage to help children’s brains develop to their full potential.

i_lien Neuroscience exposes pernicious effects of poverty
i_lien Changing Brains

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