Dr. Roi Cohen KadoshThe NewScientist article Electrical brain stimulation improves math skills said
Are you bad at sums? Get muddled at the market? If so, you could benefit from a machine that improves your mathematical abilities. It’s not such a strange suggestion. Stimulating a particular area of the brain, it turns out, can improve numeracy for at least six months.
In 2007, Roi Cohen Kadosh at the University of Oxford and colleagues pinned down the area of the brain responsible for mathematical ability to the right parietal lobe, just above the right ear.
His team “short-circuited” this area using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) a stream of magnetic pulses which temporarily disables a targeted area of the brain. The result, they found, was that people’s ability to perform numerical tasks fell. In fact, their performance resembled people with dyscalculia, who have difficulty comprehending mathematics.
Now they have done the reverse, and improved the brain’s arithmetical abilities. To do this the team applied transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a way of enhancing brain activity using an electric current, to the right parietal cortex while simultaneously using the opposite current to subdue activity in the left parietal cortex.
Kadosh, Ph.D. is Wellcome Research Career Development Fellow,
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of
Roi’s interest focuses on understanding cognitive architectures and neural mechanisms that subserve human abilities to perceive, represent, learn, and manipulate information about numbers in particular, and magnitude in general.
His approach uses normal and special populations (developmental dyscalculia, individuals with synaesthesia), and combines good cognitive models with neuroscientific methods such as fMRI, non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transient direct current stimulation (tDCS)), and electroencephalography, to examine cognitive theories and to elucidate the different roles of the parietal lobes and their interactions with other brain areas (e.g., the prefrontal cortex). Currently, he is systematically examining the issue of neuronal specialization for number representation, and extending these findings to the field of typical and atypical development, cortical plasticity, and learning in human and non-human primates.
Other fields of interest are response selection, cognitive control and prefrontal cortex functions, and the neurocognitive mechanisms of synaesthesia and possible connections with cross-modal interaction and awareness.
Roi coauthored Are numbers special? An overview of chronometric, neuroimaging, developmental, and comparative studies of magnitude representation, Virtual Dyscalculia Induced by Parietal-Lobe TMS Impairs Automatic Magnitude Processing, The Brain Locus of Interaction between Number and Size: A Combined Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Event-related Potential Study, When Brightness Counts: The Neuronal Correlate of NumericalLuminance Interference, Mental representation: What can pitch tell us about the distance effect?, and Small is bright and big is dark in synaesthesia.
Roi earned his BA in Behavioral Sciences at Ben-Gurion University, Israel in 2002. He earned his European Diploma in Cognitive and Brain Sciences in 2004. He earned his Ph.D. in Neuropsychology (direct track, summa cum laude) at Ben-Gurion University, Israel in 2006.