How does our brain process math?

In the parietal lobe, the intraparietal sulcus was already identified as an area affected by the processing of digital tasks. Researchers from the University of Oxford in Great Britain studied the levels of two neurotransmitters, GABA and glutamate, in this region in a study published in the journal. Plus Biology. These two substances that are used to transmit information between neurons play an important role in brain plasticity. They actually have an excitatory or inhibitory effect that modulates the strength of the connections between neurons.

Change strategy with age

After taking 255 subjects from preparatory to university on arithmetic tests and measuring their neurotransmitter levels, neuroscientists obtained surprising results. While good outcomes in children correlated with higher GABA levels and lower glutamate levels, the opposite occurred in adults. GABA and glutamate have attracted the attention of scientists because it is already known that these molecules are involved in learning.

Similar results in other cognitive tasks?

The study’s authors now imagine that similar results could be found in other cognitive tasks. This would mean that the brain, with age, develops different strategies to solve similar tasks. For now, however, this finding is still difficult to understand, and more work is needed to replicate it.

Research. For more information, search the website of Research Article Math Processing Neurotransmitters in the Brain Published by, by Edwin Guerineau.

by Edwin Guerineau

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