December 09, 2008

We have known for a very long time that brain development is closely tied both to environmental stimulus and environmental control. Babies as young as six months have been observed to show far more interest in a mobile whose movements they could control than in mobiles which did whatever it is that mobiles do without any input from them.

Now we have irrefutable proof that the effects of poverty on prefrontal brain development, the part of the brain most relevant for creativity and problem solving (and also the part severed from the rest in the infamous frontal lobotomy) can be as savage as those of an adult stroke.

Yet given all we already knew before: why should this come as any kind of surprise?

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