Introduction to the Special Focus: The Affective Neuroscience of Poverty

Robin Nusslock, Martha J. Farah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Growing up in poverty is associated with a heightened risk for mental and physical health problems across the life span, and there is a growing recognition of the role that social determinants of health play in driving these outcomes and inequities. How do the social conditions of poverty get under the skin to influence biology, and through what mechanisms do the stressors of poverty generate risk for a broad range of health problems? The growing field examining the neuroscience of socioeconomic status (SES) proposes that the brain is an entry point or pathway through which poverty and adversity become embedded in biology to generate these disparities. To date, however, the majority of research on the neuroscience of SES has focused on cognitive or executive control processes. How-ever, the relationship between SES and brain systems involved in affective or emotional processes may be especially important for understanding social determinants of health. Accordingly, this Special Focus on The Affective Neuroscience of Poverty invited contributions from authors examining the relationship between SES and brain systems involved in generating and reg-ulating emotions. In this editorial introduction, we (a) provide an overview of the neuroscience of SES; (b) introduce each of the articles in this Special Focus; and (c) discuss the scientific, treatment, and policy implications of studying the affective neu-roscience of poverty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1806-1809
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of cognitive neuroscience
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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