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Can a difficult childhood enhance cognition?

from The Atlantic

Hard childhoods seem to not only rob children of material joys, but also of brain power. Children who grow up poor tend to score worse on tests of memory, processing speed, language, and attention. And they are 40 percent more likely to have a learning disability than their better-off peers. Busier and less-educated parents utter millions fewer words to their babies, creating a gap in verbal ability by the time the children are 3. Factors like hunger, unsafe housing, and parental instability all contribute to "toxic stress" that impairs brain development. more


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