Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Education
Teachers College, Columbia University

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

Faculty profile:
Lab website:

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.

Select Publications
  1. Noble, K.G. (2017, March). What Inequality Does to the Brain. Scientific American. 316(3),44-49.
  2. 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
  3. 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 Neuroscience 19:144-151.
  4. Noble, K.G., Houston, S., Brito, N.H., Bartsch, H., Kan, E., Kuperman, J.M., Akshoomoff, N., Amaral, D.G., Bloss, C.S., Libiger, O., Schork, N.J., Murray, S.S., Casey, B.J., Chang, L., Ernst, T.M., Frazier, J.A., Gruen, J.R., Kennedy, D.N., Van Zijl, P., Mostofsky, S., Kaufmann, W.E., Keating, B.G., Kenet, T., Dale, A.M., Jernigan, T.L., & Sowell, E.R. for the Pediatric Imaging, Neurocognition, and Genetics Study. (2015) Family Income, Parental Education and Brain Development in Children and Adolescents. Nature Neuroscience. 18 (5): 773-778.
  5. Noble, K.G., Engelhardt, L.E., Brito, N.H. †, Mack, L., Nail, E., Barr, R.F., Fifer, W.P., Elliott, A. (2015) Socioeconomic Disparities in Neurocognitive Development in the First Two Years of Life. Developmental Psychobiology. 57: 535-551.
  6. Brito, N.H. † and Noble, K.G.* (2014). Socioeconomic Status and Structural Brain Development. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 8:276.
  7. Noble, K.G. Houston, S., Kan, E., Bookheimer S.Y., Sowell, E.R. (2012) Neural Correlates of Socioeconomic Status in the Developing Human Brain. Developmental Science. 15(4): 516-527.
  8. Noble, K.G. Fifer, W.P., Nomura, Y., Rauh, V.A., Andrews, H. (2012). Academic achievement varies with gestational age among children born at term. Pediatrics. 130 (2): 1-8.
  9. Noble, K.G., Grieve, S.M., Korgaonkar, M.S., and Brickman, A.M. (2012) Hippocampal volume varies with educational attainment across the life-span. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.6: 1-10
  10. Noble, K.G., McCandliss, B.D., Farah, M.J. (2007) Socioeconomic gradients predict individual differences in neurocognitive abilities. Developmental Science. 10(4): 464-480.
  11. Noble, K.G., Wolmetz, M.E., Ochs, L.G., Farah, M.J., McCandliss, B.D. (2006) Brain-behavior relationships in reading acquisition are modulated by socioeconomic status factors. Developmental Science. 9(6): 642-654.
  12. Noble, K.G., Norman, M. F., Farah, M.J. Neurocognitive correlates of socioeconomic status in kindergarten children. Developmental Science. (2005) 8: 74-87.

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

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

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

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

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)

December 2013 – December 2015
Experimental Poverty Reduction: a Randomized Controlled Trial
Klaus Jacobs Foundation
Role: Subcontract PI (PI: Greg Duncan)

October 2014 – September 2015
Human Capital Interventions across Childhood and Adolescence
Project 1: Child Policy Fit in Experimental Early Childhood Interventions
NICHD P01 5P01HD065704
Role: Co-I (PI:Greg Duncan)

July 2012 – June 2015
Childhood Social Disadvantage, Brain Development, and Verbal Skills
Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Columbia University
Role: PI

July 2012 – June 2015
Getting Ready for School: An Integrated Curriculum to Help Teachers and Parents Support Preschool Children’s Early Literacy, Math and Self-Regulation Skills
Institute for Education Sciences R305A120783
Role: Co-PI (PI: Helena Duch)

July 2014 – June 2015
Socioeconomic Status, Bilingualism, and Language Environment
Columbia Population Research Center Seed Grant
Role: PI

September 2013 – August 2014
Nurture Science Program
Einhorn Family Charitable Trust
Role: Co-Investigator (PI: Martha Welch)

July 2010 – June 2014
Socioeconomic Status and the Developing Brain
Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Columbia University
Role: PI

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