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Poster F46

Associations between socioeconomic status and EEG alpha power in monolingual and bilingual infants

Poster Session F - Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Heala Maudoodi1 (, Charles Nelson2,3, Lara Pierce1; 1York University, 2Boston Children's Hospital, 3Harvard Medical School

Research suggests that the bilingual experience might facilitate the development of some executive function (EF) skills, whereas experiencing low socioeconomic status (SES) has been associated with challenges to EF. Little research, however, has explored how SES contributes to variation in neural processes underlying EF during infancy, nor how SES and bilingualism interact to predict neural processes underlying EF. This study recorded 5 minutes of baseline electroencephalography (EEG) from bilingual and monolingual exposed infants from low- to mid-SES backgrounds (n = 116) when they were 2, 6, 9, and 12 months of age to explore variation in an early neural predictor of EF - baseline frontal alpha power. Results demonstrated that SES variables predicted alpha power at both 9 and 12 months. Maternal education was positively associated with absolute frontal alpha power at 9 months (B = 0.048, p = 0.028) and rates of neighbourhood poverty were negatively associated with relative frontal alpha power at both 9 (B = -0.073, p = 0.015) and 12 months (B = -0.087, p = 0.014). Minimal differences in alpha power were observed between bilingual and monolingual-exposed infants. However, language group did moderate associations between SES and alpha power at 9 months (p = .0026), such that negative associations between SES and frontal alpha were observed for the monolingual, but not bilingual group. Results suggest that SES contributes to variation in neural processes underlying EF from infancy, and that bilingualism might act as a protective factor for early development of EF.

Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Development &aging


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April 13–16  |  2024