Poster F56, Tuesday, March 28, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Disrupted Language Networks Following Childhood Poverty
Suzanne Perkins1, Shaun Ho2, James Swain2; 1University of Michigan, 2Stony Brook University
Poverty is associated with deficits in brain regions necessary for typical language development, including deficits in the Wernicke’s, hippocampus structural differences, and cognitive control region dysfunction. Other work has indicated less left-right asymmetry associated with childhood poverty. The goal of the present study is to examine phonological processing in adults from childhood poverty backgrounds to build a neurofunctional model of the brain basis of language delays associated with childhood poverty. Adults from the fourth wave of a longitudinal cohort with half below the U.S. poverty level (n = 24) and half above the poverty level (n = 27) were presented an event related speech/print phonological processing task during fMRI and behavior measures of language processing outside of the scanner. The childhood poverty group performed worse on behavioral measures of language processing (visual, f(47) = 2.33; spoken, f(47) = 2.46, p < .05). Controlling for behavioral language performance the control group exhibited increased Broca’s/IFG function and coupling within the region, which supports our hypothesis that adults from mid SES backgrounds would show strength in language processing regions. The childhood poverty group showed greater coupling between ventral Broca's and the middle temporal gyrus below the Wernicke’s, suggesting a reliance on the ventral language pathway, associated with sound-meaning correspondence and may suggest less automaticity with common words. Childhood poverty group exhibited connectivity between both the ventral Broca’s and Wernicke’s and the right IFG, a pattern similar to that seen in dyslexics.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Development & aging