Neuroanatomical Correlates of the Income-Achievement Gap
Author(s)Mackey, Allyson; Finn, Amy Sue; Leonard, Julia Anne; Gabrieli, John D. E.; Jacoby-Senghor, Drew S.; West, Martin R.; Gabrieli, Christopher F. O.; ... Show more Show less
MetadataShow full item record
In the United States, the difference in academic achievement between higher- and lower-income students (i.e., the income-achievement gap) is substantial and growing. In the research reported here, we investigated neuroanatomical correlates of this gap in adolescents (N = 58) in whom academic achievement was measured by statewide standardized testing. Cortical gray-matter volume was significantly greater in students from higher-income backgrounds (n = 35) than in students from lower-income backgrounds (n = 23), but cortical white-matter volume and total cortical surface area did not differ significantly between groups. Cortical thickness in all lobes of the brain was greater in students from higher-income than lower-income backgrounds. Greater cortical thickness, particularly in temporal and occipital lobes, was associated with better test performance. These results represent the first evidence that cortical thickness in higher- and lower-income students differs across broad swaths of the brain and that cortical thickness is related to scores on academic-achievement tests.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT
Sage Publications/Association for Psychological Science
Mackey, A. P., A. S. Finn, J. A. Leonard, D. S. Jacoby-Senghor, M. R. West, C. F. O. Gabrieli, and J. D. E. Gabrieli. “Neuroanatomical Correlates of the Income-Achievement Gap.” Psychological Science (April 20, 2015).
Author's final manuscript