Associations among family socioeconomic status, EEG power at birth, and cognitive skills during infancy

Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2016 Jun:19:144-51. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2016.03.004. Epub 2016 Mar 14.


Past research has demonstrated links between cortical activity, measured via EEG power, and cognitive processes during infancy. In a separate line of research, family socioeconomic status (SES) has been strongly associated with children's early cognitive development, with socioeconomic disparities emerging during the second year of life for both language and declarative memory skills. The present study examined associations among resting EEG power at birth, SES, and language and memory skills at 15-months in a sample of full-term infants. Results indicate no associations between SES and EEG power at birth. However, EEG power at birth was related to both language and memory outcomes at 15-months. Specifically, frontal power (24-48Hz) was positively correlated with later Visual Paired Comparison (VPC) memory scores. Power (24-35Hz) in the parietal region was positively correlated with later PLS-Auditory Comprehension language scores. These findings suggest that SES disparities in brain activity may not be apparent at birth, but measures of resting neonatal EEG power are correlated with later memory and language skills independently of SES.

Keywords: EEG; Infancy; Language; Memory; Socioeconomic status.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Language
  • Language Development*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Rest
  • Social Class*