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Neuroscientists are investigating whether growing up poor shapes children’s brains in ways that might also shape their lives. It wasn’t the birth of her daughter that got cognitive neuroscientist Martha Farah interested in early brain development, but rather the babysitters she hired soon afterward. Most of these women were also mothers, single, and struggling to make ends meet with a combination of government benefits and cash from domestic work. Farah found herself getting closely involved in their lives: sharing meals, tutoring their children, lending money to their relatives. And she couldn’t help but notice that as time went on, her child ended up on a different track from theirs. View larger version: The major foci in the brain that appear to show disparities in poor children are the hippocampus and…


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