We conduct research on the psychological and biological factors that shape learning and cognitive achievement, numerical cognition, synaesthesia, and time perception. Our research has basic and translational implications and has won us numerous awards and recognition

Our pioneering research has revealed that we can enhance cognition using mild non-invasive brain stimulation
Our pioneering research has revealed that we can enhance cognition using mild non-invasive brain stimulation

Our work focuses on understanding the cognitive architectures and neural mechanisms that subserve human abilities to perceive, represent, learn, and manipulate mathematical information. Specifically, we investigate the cognitive and biological factors that determine mathematical achievements across the life span (i.e., from early childhood to old age), as well as in participants with exceptional, average, or low mathematical abilities, and those with mathematical learning disabilities and anxiety.

It is not a science fiction, it is already real and it will be a critical part of our future.

 - Stephen Hawking, discussing our research

In our work, we combine cognitive theories and methods with neuroscientific tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, near infrared spectroscopy, and electroencephalography. Such an integrative investigation of the relationship between cognition and brain is an endeavour with broad implications for basic science and can greatly inform the development of evidence-based methods for improving human cognition and brain functions.

Consequently, another focus of our work involves exploring more applied approaches, such as using non-invasive brain stimulation techniques to modulate neuronal excitability in well-defined cortical regions during cognitive training. We have shown that this approach allows us to experimentally modulate neuroplasticity and improve learning and subsequent cognitive performance. Aside from its theoretical implications, our research has: 1) a clear translational impact, as evidenced by the national and international patents in this field and our work with industrial partners on exploring possible venues for commercial implementation; and 2) societal and ethical implications which we are exploring with neuroethicists. This unique multidisciplinary research has been recognized by a number of awards for originality, creativity, and theoretical contribution in the fields of psychology and neuroscience.

Selected publications

Current Funding

  • Wellcome Trust
  • Leverhulme Trust
  • The British Academy
  • ESRC
  • European Commission
  • Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)

Participating & questions

If you are interested in participating in our studies and/or you have an questions about our research please contact us at brain4maths@gmail.com, stating in the subject section either 'Experiment' or 'Q&A'.

Research Vacancies

Prospective graduate students and postdocs who are interested in applying to join the lab may contact Dr Roi Cohen Kadosh, by email, at roi.cohenkadosh@psy.ox.ac.uk.

Media Coverage

Here is a small sample of madia coverage of our work

BBC Six O'Clock News

BBC News

National Geographic

Nature (a podcast by Ewen Callaway describing our work)

New Scientist

Time Magazine


Scientific American

Wall Street Journal


Public Engagement and Involvement

We are committed to communicating and discussing our scientific activities and ideas, and participate in many public engagement activities. Please contact us to discuss the possibility us taking part in activities that you are planning.

Related research themes