Depression is twice as common at the lowest income levels than at the highest. People who are poor during childhood and become more affluent as adults continue to be at elevated risk.

As presented in a symposium at CNS 2020 Virtual this past May, it appears that early life socioeconomic status (SES) influences brain development in ways that have lifelong effects on our emotional responses and regulation. “This impacts rates of psychopathology, especially affective disorders, and also levels of well-being within the healthy population. It does so by mechanisms that begin prenatally and operate in postnatal life under the influence of factors such as stress and parenting practices. The neural differences associated with SES are even associated with parents’ feelings and behaviors toward the next generation, their own children,” says the symposium overview abstract,

Chaired by Martha Farah (University of Pennsylvania), the symposium features four leaders in the affective neuroscience of SES, whose work spans brain activity in prenatal life, early childhood, later childhood to adulthood, and parent-child processes. Watch all the videos in our new playlist. And stay tuned for more exciting symposia at CNS 20201 Virtual in March.

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