Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Education
Teachers College, Columbia University

525 W. 120th St., Box 199
New York, NY 10027

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Research Summary

My research program aims to understand how socioeconomic inequality relates to in children’s cognitive and brain development. Our work examines both brain and cognitive development across infancy, childhood and adolescence. We are particularly interested in understanding how early in childhood such disparities develop, the modifiable environmental differences that account for these disparities, and the ways we might harness this research to inform the design of interventions. We are currently launching the first clinical trial of poverty reduction in low-income families with infants.

Select Publications
  1. Piccolo, L.R., and Noble, K.G. (in press). Perceived stress is associated with smaller hippocampal volume in adolescence. Psychophysiology.
  2. Piccolo, L.R., and Noble, K.G. (in press). How can poverty shape children’s brains? Insights from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. Handbook of Infant Mental Health.
  3. Merz, E.C., Tottenham, N., Noble, K.G. (2017). Socioeconomic Status, Amygdala Volume, and Internalizing Symptoms in Children and Adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 1-12.
  4. Brito, N.H., Piccolo, L.R., and Noble, K.G. (2017). Associations between Cortical Thickness and Neurocognitive Skills During Childhood Vary by Family Socioeconomic Factors. Brain and Cognition, 116(2017), 54-62.
  5. Noble, K.G. (2017, March). What Inequality Does to the Brain. Scientific American. 316(3),44-49.
  6. Ursache, A. Merz, E.C., Melvin, S., Meyer, J., & Noble, K.G. (2017). Socioeconomic Status, Hair Cortisol and Internalizing Symptoms in Parents and Children.  Psychoneuroendocrinology, 78, 142-150. [PDF]
  7. Melvin, S. A., Brito, N. H., Mack, L. J., Engelhardt, L. E., Fifer, W. P., Elliott, A. J., & Noble, K. G. (2017). Home environment, but not socioeconomic status, is linked to differences in early phonetic perception ability. Infancy, 22(1), 42-55. [PDF]
  8. Piccolo, L. †, Merz, E.C. †, Brito, N.H. †, He, X., Sowell, E.R., and Noble, K.G. (2016) Age-related changes in cortical thickness vary by socioeconomic status. PLOS One. 11 (9): e0162511. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.016251
  9. Brito, N.H.†, Fifer, W.P., Myers, M.M., Elliott, A.J., Noble, K.G. (2016) Associations among Family Socioeconomic Status, EEG Power at Birth, and Cognitive Skills During Infancy Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience19:144-151.

September 2017 – June 2022
Household Income and Child Development in the First Three Years of Life
Role: PI (Multiple PI’s: Duncan, Magnuson, Noble)

September 2017 – August 2019
Russell Sage Foundation
Socioeconomic Inequalities and Children’s Brain Development
Role: PI

July 2017 – June 2020
Ford Foundation
Income and Child Development in the First Three Years of Life
Role: PI

May 2015 – April 2018
Poverty reduction and child development in the first years of life
W.K. Kellogg Foundation P3031579
Role: PI

Summer 2017
Teachers College, Columbia University
Dean’s Competitive Grant for Pre-Tenured Faculty

January 2014 – May 2017
Poverty and Brain Development in Young Children
Annie E. Casey Foundation GA-2014-X2655
Role: PI

April 2016 – March 2019
Sherwood Foundation
Poverty Reduction and Child Development in Omaha Neighborhoods
Role: PI

July 2015 – June 2017
Socioeconomic Disparities in Cognitive and Brain Development in the First Year of Life
Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience Faculty Seed Grant
Role: PI

February 2015 – September 2016
Getting Ready for School: Improving parent engagement with an integrated school readiness program
Heising-Simons Foundation 2015-001
Role: Co-PI (PI: Helena Duch)

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