In this presentation, Seth Pollak will introduce a growing and consistent body of evidence indicating that effects of poverty on brain development are likely central to poverty-related gaps in academic achievement and the well-documented lifelong effects of poverty on physical and mental health. Although examinations of direct relations between income and brain structure and function are relatively recent, the findings related to early learning appear promising. These studies motivate new and exciting directions for prevention and intervention that are rapidly emerging at the intersection of developmental science, pediatrics, child psychology and psychiatry, and public policy.
Seth Pollak is the Letters and Science Distinguished Professor of psychology and professor of pediatrics, anthropology, neuroscience, and public affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned dual Ph.D.s from the University of Rochester in brain & cognitive sciences and in child clinical psychology before completing an internship in pediatric neuropsychology at the University of Toronto.
Pollak's research focuses on the influences of social risk factors on children's brain and behavioral development, with particular focus on children's emotions, early learning, and health.