- A new study called The Baby’s First Years found that providing supplemental payments to low-income families led to higher cognitive skills in the children who got the extra cash.
- While recording the resting brain activity of 435 of the infants, researchers observed a higher power in three out of four brain waves in the “high-cash” group.
- Patterns of neural activity observed in the group that got a $333 a month gift were associated with higher language, cognitive and social-emotional scores later in life.
Joseph Choi from The Hill writes:
“A new study published on Monday found that providing cash payments to low-income families may have an impact on infant brain development and function, leading to higher cognitive skills.
The study, called The Baby’s First Years study, enrolled a thousand pairs of mother and infants into a multi-year program in the metropolitan areas of New York, New Orleans, Omaha and the Twin Cities. Participants were enrolled beginning in May of 2019.
The mothers were divided into two different groups with 40 percent receiving a “high-cash” gift of $333 a month while the remaining 60 percent received a “low-cash” gift of for the first several years of their children’s lives. ADVERTISEMENT
All infants involved in the study were considered to be generally healthy and the mothers reported an average annual household income of a little more than $20,000. The majority of the mothers and infants involved were Black or Hispanic.
Recording the resting brain activity of 435 of the infants, regardless of the size of the cash gift their mother received, researchers observed a higher power in three out of four brain waves in the “high-cash” group…”
See full story here.