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Oxford neuroscientists shock the parietal lobe, improve math scores


We always knew that the willy-nilly application of electricity (or, for that matter, radiation) endowed the person on the receiving end with super powers, but neuroscientists at Oxford have taken our misguided notion one step further. The researchers were looking into dyscalculia, a rare impairment related to dyslexia that creates an innate difficulty in understanding mathematics, when they came up with an idea that, to us, seems totally obvious: a very low level (one thousandth of an amp) electrical stimulus across the parietal lobe. So far, the study has been limited to fifteen right-handed students but the results have been pretty interesting. When the current flowed from the right to the left, subjects' ability to solve various mathematical puzzles were improved -- for up to six months after the treatment. However, if the electricity was sent the other way, the effect was reversed and the volunteers' scores were on par with a six year old. "Much more research is needed before we can even start thinking of this kind of electrical stimulation as a treatment," said Oxford's Dr. Cohen Kadosh. "However, we are extremely excited by the potential of our findings and are now looking into the underlying brain changes."

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