Baby’s First Years: Household Income and the Developing Brain

September 17, 2020 (Noon-1:15 p.m. ET)


Child Development and Behavior Branch (CDBB), Division of Extramural Research (DER), NICHD


Webex webinar external link

  • Meeting number: 126 904 7149
  • Meeting password: kxEpEJiD242 (password is case-sensitive)


Scientists have long hypothesized that poverty early in life harms children’s health and development but have lacked the causal evidence to prove it. The Baby’s First Years (BFY) project, launched in 2018, is the first randomized controlled trial in the United States designed to estimate the impact of poverty reduction on children’s cognitive, emotional, and brain development in the first 3 years of life.

This part of the Advances in Child Development and Behavior Speaker Series will welcome from the BFY research team Kimberly Noble, M.D., Ph.D. external link; Katherine Magnuson, Ph.D. external link; and Greg Duncan, Ph.D. external link, for a discussion of the project, which is supported by NICHD and a consortium of private foundations. The study is tracking the following across three waves of data collection from children ages 1 and 3:

  • Language
  • Executive function
  • Socioemotional processing
  • Stress physiology
  • Brain development

The study is also measuring elements of the economic well-being and family context hypothesized to support child development. BFY researchers hope to follow the target children and their siblings beyond age 3 to understand the extent to which early child poverty reduction affects subsequent cognitive, emotional, and brain development at the start of formal schooling.

Dr. Noble, a neuroscientist and board-certified pediatrician, is director of the Neurocognition, Early Experience, and Development lab at Columbia University. Dr. Magnuson is the director of the Institute for Research on Poverty and a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Duncan is a distinguished professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine.


For assistance with sign language interpreters and/or other reasonable accommodations to participate in this event:
Laureen Lee, CDBB, DER, NICHD
Phone: 301–496–5578

Please note: Views expressed during NICHD-sponsored events do not necessarily reflect the opinions or the official positions of NICHD, NIH, or HHS.
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