When a UC Berkeley news release at the beginning of the week made my blood run a bit cold, I had a lot going on, so I figured I'd let the folks paying off their BMWs with opinion papers run with it. I posted to twitter and moved on. I haven't seen anything though. I've been busy. Or maybe I'm over reacting. The news piece, EEGs show brain differences between poor and rich kids. seems to say that the upper classes are smarter than the lower classes because of class status.

Okay, lest I be accused of putting spin on the scientific statements, the news release says, "…normal 9- and 10-year-olds differing only in socioeconomic status have detectable differences in the response of their prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that is critical for problem solving and creativity." That to me clearly says class causes differences in specific brain function. Later in the article the reporters back off a bit, saying, "The researchers suspect that stressful environments and cognitive impoverishment are to blame" and "environmental conditions have such a strong impact on brain development" but I think the initial statements are irresponsible at best.

Isn't this the same sort of misguided reporting that had us learning people born in the 1950's distrust authority and people born in the 1920's are hard working and patriotic? Isn't it the same as the logic behind a statement like, "homosexuality causes aids?"

I hope the economic down turn doesn't have these researchers losing funding and having to summer in the states.

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