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Sunday
May192013

Brain Stimulation Increases Ability to do Math

iStockphoto(OXFORD, England) -- Bad at math? A new study by researchers at Oxford University suggests that applying high-frequency electrical noise to the brain can make you better at math for up to six months following treatment.

According to BBC News, 51 Oxford students participated in the small study appearing in Current Biology. Over a five-day period the students had to complete two arithmetic problems each day. Half were given transcranial random noise stimulation, or TRNS.

Six months later, the group that had received the TRNS preformed much better when asked to solve math problems than the control group.

Dr Roi Cohen Kadosh, study author from the department of experimental psychology at the University of Oxford, explained that the results “suggested that TRNS increases the efficiency with which stimulated brain areas use their supplies of oxygen and nutrients."

Dr Michael Proulx, senior lecturer in psychology at Bath University, told BBC News that using TRNS this was could have "real, applied impact," and could help those with learning disabilities or who are suffering from a stroke or other neurodegenerative illness.

Experts stress, however, that more testing is required before the practice becomes widespread, so don’t expect to hear math teachers telling students to put away their TRNS machines before tests anytime soon.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio