Neighborhood Deprivation Shapes Motivational-Neurocircuit Recruitment in Children

Brian Wertheim 2017

Teagan S. Mullins
Ethan M. CampbellJeremy Hogeveen

First Published June 30, 2020 Research Article 

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Implementing motivated behaviors on the basis of prior reward is central to adaptive human functioning, but aberrant reward-motivated behavior is a core feature of neuropsychiatric illness. Children from disadvantaged neighborhoods have decreased access to rewards, which may shape motivational neurocircuits and risk for psychopathology. Here, we leveraged the unprecedented neuroimaging data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study to test the hypothesis that neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage shapes the functional recruitment of motivational neurocircuits in children. Specifically, via the ABCD study’s monetary-incentive-delay task (N = 6,396 children; age: 9–10 years), we found that children from zip codes with a high Area Deprivation Index demonstrate blunted recruitment of striatum (dorsal and ventral nuclei) and pallidum during reward anticipation. In fact, blunted dorsal striatal recruitment during reward anticipation mediated the association between Area Deprivation Index and increased attention problems. These data reveal a candidate mechanism driving elevated risk for psychopathology in children from socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

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About S. R. Zelenz 119 Articles
S.R. Zelenz has worked in education for 20 years. Working with students from all walks of life, cultures, races, and social diversity, Zelenz’s research in Educational Leadership led to finding a better way to approach learning for students with trauma histories. Many were juvenile offenders, gang members, diagnosed with varying behavioral disorders, or had family histories of violence, murder, or narcissistic parenting. This research could not be effectively accomplished without further understanding: how epigenetic trauma inheritance may be impacting these students; how brain development from trauma may be impacting their behavioral and emotional development; as well as deep understanding of psychology and its varying classifications for behavioral and personality disorders. The goal is to find solutions for changing the conversation and making a real difference for these students. She has also worked with nonprofits of varying focus areas for the last 25 years. Her undergraduate degree in Arts Administration and Music prepared her for managing nonprofits of any size as well as procuring funding so that they can achieve their goals. Pairing her nonprofit background with her education background, she has been able to make a difference for over 200 nonprofits worldwide, written curriculum for schools across the globe, and assisted many arts organizations through performance and management.