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

(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."

An electrical shock to a certain part of the brain improves math ability, a new study suggests.   (Wikimedia Commons)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow

We've shown before that we can induce dyscalculia, and now it seems we might be able to make someone better at maths, so we really want to see if we can help people with dyscalculia.
- Dr Cohen Kadosh, Oxford University

« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
3%
1%
30%
1%
58%
7%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   MSN Living   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   Biography   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!