Want to be better at maths? Get electrocuted!

Many adults struggle with maths. Now scientists have found that applying a gentle electrical current to the brain can boost maths performance for up to six months.

Apart from showing us that Frankenstein’s monster was potentially a maths whizz with communication issues, the new research, conducted by Roi Cohen Kadosh of the University of Oxford, gave further proof that applying currents to specific parts of the brain can help boost our abilities.

Kadosh’s experiment used electrical stimulation on volunteers while they trained various math skills by working on practical tasks. He found that the volunteers learned to do the math tasks two to five times quicker than volunteers who were subjected to a fake – or placebo – electrical stimulation.

Math is only one of dozens of skills in which this could be used,” Reiner says, adding that it’s “not unreasonable” to imagine that this and similar stimulation techniques could replace the use of pills for cognitive enhancement.

It does, however, not mean that taping two knitting needles to your head before sticking them in the mains is a good idea.


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