- A mild electrical current improves a person's ability to learn math skills.
- The effect lasts up to six months.
- The technique could help students learn other skills besides math as well.
It's barely enough to light a light bulb, but passing a very mild current of electricity through the brain can turn on a metaphorical light bulb in a person's brain.
Scientists from the University of Oxford have shown that they can improve a person's math abilities for up to six months. The research could help treat the nearly 20 percent of the population with moderate to severe dyscalculia (math disability), and could probably aid students in other subjects as well.
"I am certainly not advising people to go around giving themselves electric shocks," said Roi Cohen Kadosh, a scientist at the University of Oxford and a co-author of a new paper. "But we are extremely excited by the potential of our findings."
The UK scientists used a method known as transcranial direct current stimulation, or TDCS. This non-invasive technique involves passing electricity through the skull to increase or decrease the activity of neurons, usually for less than 15 minutes.