Tiny Electric Shocks to Brain Improve Number Skills
Research could help those with dyslexia-like disorder
By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2010 5:43 PM CDT
An electrical shock to a certain part of the brain improves math ability, a new study suggests.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – Don't try this at home (or school): A tiny, imperceptible electrical current applied to a certain part of the brain seems to improve numerical skills, the BBC reports. Researchers exploring the brain's parietal lobe found that running such a current across the lobe increased people's ability to complete a puzzle that involved substituting numbers for symbols. (Running the current in the opposite direction actually made people worse at the puzzles.)

While improving general math ability is far off, the study suggests more immediate help could be available for sufferers of dyscalculia, a condition similar to dyslexia, but with numbers. "We are not advising people to go around giving themselves electric shocks,” says the lead researcher, "but we are extremely excited by the potential of our findings and are now looking into the underlying brain changes."

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
YetAnotherCollegeKid
Nov 8, 2010 9:36 PM CST
So the brain, which runs off electrical impulses, can be upgraded by increasing the wattage? It's not quite obvious, but it does make all kinds of sense. Building on this research, it could be that major sections of the brain could be accelerated by increasing the electricity allocated to them. Maybe in a hundred years, we will be implanting bioelectric devices in people in order to improve overall function. This could have far-reaching implications.
MarkFL
Nov 6, 2010 5:23 AM CDT
I teach first grade. Tiny electric shocks is my lesson plan for Monday.
Kookey90
Nov 6, 2010 2:05 AM CDT
Duh, I find all of this this shocking. absolutely shocking, Duh.