Neuroethics Publications

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



Human brain development occurs within a socioeconomic context and childhood socioeconomic status (SES) influences neural development — particularly of the systems that subserve language and executive function. Research in humans and in animal models has implicated prenatal factors, parent–child interactions and cognitive stimulation in the home environment in the effects of SES on neural development. These findings provide a unique opportunity for understanding how environmental factors can lead to individual differences in brain development, and for improving the programmes and policies that are designed to alleviate SES-related disparities in mental health and academic achievement.


Postprint version.

Suggested Citation: Hackman, D.A, Farah, M.J. and Meaney, M.J. (2010). Socioeconomic status and the brain: mechanistic insights from human and animal research. Nature Reviews. Vol. 11., 651-659.

© Nature Publishing Group: doi:10.1038/nrn2897



Date Posted: 14 June 2011

This document has been peer reviewed.