Scientists have shown they can improve people’s ability to perform mental arithmetic for up to six months by giving them a short course of harmless electrical stimulation on their scalps.
Volunteers who received rapid pulses of electrical current – equivalent to that from an AA battery – for just 20 minutes a day for five days saw their ability to solve calculations improve by 28 per cent.
The enhancement, which made them faster at carrying out sums and other mathematical tasks, lasted for up to six months after receiving the electrical treatment.
The researchers, who are based at the University of Oxford, believe stimulating the brain in this way could be used to help people who struggle with performing mental arithmetic.
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