Cognitive enhancement of numerical and arithmetic capabilities: a mini-review of available transcranial electric stimulation studies
journal contributionposted on 2020-10-19, 08:50 authored by PA Schroeder, T Dresler, Julia BahnmuellerJulia Bahnmueller, C Artemenko, R Cohen Kadosh, H-C Nuerk
Arithmetic capabilities are complex cognitive skills essential for handling requirements of the modern world. At the same time, educational institutions are challenged with math-related problems, e.g., developmental dyscalculia, math anxiety, and also with less severe difficulties of arithmetic understanding. Thus, noninvasive techniques for cognitive enhancement have attracted researchers’ and practitioners’ interest in the fields of education, psychology, and neuroscience. Particularly, studies employing transcranial electric stimulation (tES) in arithmetic learning, problem solving, and performance in numerical tasks and operations have shaped an optimistic perspective of cognitive enhancement in these domains, building on the fronto-parietal correlates of healthy and deficient arithmetic performance and learning. However, the heterogeneity of stimulation approaches in numerical cognition research – with different electrode montages, stimulation protocols, tasks, outcomes, and combinations thereof – may also showcase a variety of parameters relevant more generally to the cognitive domain. Here we present a short overview of the different tES approaches to enhance arithmetic capabilities within the general framework of cognitive enhancement. We conclude that performance and training gains can be obtained from different strategical tES configurations, but more standardization, better translation between neurodevelopmental perspectives and tES principles, and controlled studies in critical populations are needed.
LEAD Graduate School & Research Network [GSC1028]
- Mathematics Education Centre