The achievement gap may be narrowing, when kids in poverty get a boost from cognitive training.
Deficits appear in language development as well as math. By the time poor children turn 5, they will have heard 30 million fewer words than their peers who are at greater Although economic advantage. The deficits also appear in the children’s brain development.
“Previous research has shown that growing up in poverty can shape the wiring and even physical dimensions of a young child’s brain, with negative effects on language, learning, and attention,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Gamino, director of the Center for BrainHealth’s Adolescent Reasoning Initiative, in a press release. Dr Gamino and her team have found that targeted interventions with cognitive training improves performance in middle school children. “What this work shows is that there is hope for students in poverty to catch up with their peers not living in poverty.”
Although much brain development occurs before age five, the researchers found that “extensive frontal lobe development and pruning occurs during adolescence,” and thus they have targeted middle school as the point to target for intervention.