Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Neuroscience Perspectives on Disparities in School Readiness and Cognitive Achievement

Kimberly G. Noble, Nim Tottenham and B. J. Casey
The Future of Children
Vol. 15, No. 1, School Readiness: Closing Racial and Ethnic Gaps (Spring, 2005), pp. 71-89
Published by: Princeton University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1602663
Page Count: 19
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Neuroscience Perspectives on Disparities in School Readiness and Cognitive Achievement
Preview not available

Abstract

This article allows readers to look at racial and ethnic disparities in school readiness from a neuroscience perspective. Although researchers have traditionally measured gaps in school readiness using broad achievement tests, they can now assess readiness in terms of more specific brain-based cognitive functions. Three neurocognitive systems--cognitive control, learning and memory, and reading--are essential for success in school. Thanks to recent advances in brain imaging, it is now possible to examine these three systems, each located in specific areas of the brain, by observing them in action as children engage in particular tasks. Socioeconomic status--already linked with how well children do on skills tests generally--is particularly closely linked with how well they perform on tasks involving these crucial neurocognitive systems. Moreover, children's life experiences can influence their neurocognitive development and lead to functional and anatomical changes in their brains. Nothing that chronic stress or abuse in childhood can impair development of the brain region involved in learning and memory, the authors show how the extreme stress of being placed in an orphanage leads to abnormal brain development and decreased cognitive functioning. More optimistically, the authors explain that children's brains remain plastic and capable of growth and development. Targeted educational interventions thus have the promise of improving both brain function and behavior. Several such interventions, for example, both raise children's scores in tests of reading and increase activity in the brain regions most closely linked with reading. The brain regions most crucial for school readiness may prove quite responsive to effective therapeutic interventions--even making it possible to tailor particular interventions for individual children. The authors look ahead to the day when effective educational interventions can begin to close racial and socioeconomic gaps in readiness and achievement.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
71
    71
  • Thumbnail: Page 
72
    72
  • Thumbnail: Page 
73
    73
  • Thumbnail: Page 
74
    74
  • Thumbnail: Page 
75
    75
  • Thumbnail: Page 
76
    76
  • Thumbnail: Page 
77
    77
  • Thumbnail: Page 
78
    78
  • Thumbnail: Page 
79
    79
  • Thumbnail: Page 
80
    80
  • Thumbnail: Page 
81
    81
  • Thumbnail: Page 
82
    82
  • Thumbnail: Page 
83
    83
  • Thumbnail: Page 
84
    84
  • Thumbnail: Page 
85
    85
  • Thumbnail: Page 
86
    86
  • Thumbnail: Page 
87
    87
  • Thumbnail: Page 
88
    88
  • Thumbnail: Page 
89
    89