Tuesday, March 27, 2007

'number blindness'

Have you ever wondered why you are rubbish at maths? Well, it could all be down to the right parietal lobe in your brain. The lobe, which is situated near the back of the brain, is vital in recognising numbers, scientists believe. This discovery could be a critical step towards finding a treatment for 'number blindness'. Like dyslexia, the condition affects up to one in 20 people in Britain, but it is less well recognised. The discovery came in tests where electromagnetic pulses were fired at the right parietal lobe of people who were normally good at maths. They were shown pictures of numbers but, when they were zapped with the pulses, they had the same kind of number recognition problems as people with the disorder. Firing thpulses at the left parietal lobe had no impact on their ability to deal with the questions, the researchers found. Dr Roy Cohen Kadosh, who led the study at University College London, said: 'We found that stimulation to this brain region during a maths test radically impacted on the subjects' reaction time. 'This provides strong evidence that dyscalculia [number blindness] is caused by malformations in the right parietal lobe.

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