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Poster F42

Relations between multiple dimensions of poverty and infant and toddler resting state brain networks using fNIRS

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

Kaja Jasińska1 (, Hannah Whitehead1, Fabrice Tanoh2, Brooke Wortsman1, Hassan Abdulrasul1, Stephanie Bugden3, Rose Kouassi Akissi Hestère4, Sharon Wolf5, Amy Ogan6, Samuel Kembou7; 1University of Toronto, 2Université Pelefero Gon Coulibaly, 3University of Winnipeg, 4Université Felix Houphouet Boigny, 5University of Pennsylvania, 6Carnegie Mellon University, 7Lausanne University

In rural Côte d’Ivoire, poverty rates are nearly 60% (World Bank, 2019). Previous research shows the developing brain is most sensitive to environmental effects between birth and 5 years. Poverty, and its co-occurring risks (e.g. food insecurity, parental stress and poor mental health) adversely affect childhood outcomes during this period of peak brain plasticity (termed sensitive periods; Johnson et al., 2016). We test the effects of multiple dimensions of poverty on infants’ and toddlers’ brain networks in rural Côte d’Ivoire. Infants and toddlers (n=36; ages 6-26 months; M=13.1, SD=5.15) completed a 4-minute resting-state scan (Inscapes; Vanderwal et al., 2015) while undergoing functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) neuroimaging. Using graph theoretical analyses, we investigate how brain network metrics (i.e., degree centrality, clustering coefficients, global efficiency, and small-worldness) are related to multidimensional poverty (i.e., MPI; Alkire and Santos, 2014), parental stress and mental health, and early developmental skills (i.e., CREDI; McCoy et al., 2018). Results show that brain network measures are positively related to early developmental milestones, but exposure to poverty and food insecurity is negatively associated with multiple network metrics. Results are discussed in the context of economic interventions to reduce poverty.

Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Development &aging


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April 13–16  |  2024