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Shock to the Brain May Boost Math Skills

Differential equation
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Parents, do not try this at home.

A small electrical signal to the brain could boost brain power, especially when it comes to learning and remembering math skills, according to a new study by a team of researchers from the University of Oxford, published in the journal Current Biology.

The scientists had a group of Oxford students work on two math concepts, focusing on calculating in their head as well as committing those concepts to memory.

Some of the students then received transcranial random noise stimulation (TRNS) via a small, noninvasive electrodes stuck to their foreheads.

"The researchers discovered that with just five days of TRNS-accompanied cognitive training, the students experienced long-lasting advances in cognitive and brain functions. The improvements in completing mental calculations lasted for six months after the training," reports Science Recorder.

While more research needs to be done, the scientists concede, they say this could be a potentially beneficial treatment for some learning disabilities (or possibly despairing English majors), because the researchers believe that the TRNS treatment improves efficiency within the brain.

But again, do not try this at home.

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