Timing-specific associations between income-to-needs ratio and hippocampal and amygdala volumes in middle childhood
By Bruce Ramphal, David Pagliaccio, Jordan D. Dworkin, Julie Herbstman, Kimberly G. Noble & Amy E. Margolis in Applied neuroimaging
September 23, 2021
It is well known that financial disadvantage is associated with alterations in brain development in regions critical to socioemotional well-being such as the hippocampus and the amygdala. Yet little is known about whether family income at different points in development is differentially associated with these structures. Furthermore, little is known about which environmental factors statistically mediate associations between income and subcortical structure. Using a longitudinal birth cohort and linear mixed-effects models, we identified associations between income-to-needs ratio (INR) at 6 timepoints throughout childhood and hippocampal and amygdala volumes at age 7–9 years (n = 41; 236 INR measurements; 41 brain measurements). Mediation analysis identified environmental sequelae of income that statistically accounted for INR–brain associations. Lower INR prior to age 4 was associated with smaller hippocampal volumes, whereas lower INR prior to age 2 was associated with smaller right amygdala volume. These associations were mediated by unmet basic needs (e.g., food, housing). These findings delineate the temporal specificity of associations between income and hippocampal and amygdala structures.
- Posted on:
- September 23, 2021
- 1 minute read, 167 words
- Applied neuroimaging