Math Can Genuinely Make People's Heads Hurt, University of Chicago Study

Published: Nov 06, 2012

Fear of maths can activate regions of the brain linked with the experience of physical pain, a study has found. The higher a person’s anxiety of a maths task, the more it increases activity in regions of their brain associated with visceral threat detection, and often the experience of pain itself, according to researchers Ian Lyons and Sian Beilock, from the University of Chicago, in the journal Plos One. The authors say that previous research has shown that other forms of psychological stress, such as social rejection or a traumatic break-up, can also elicit feelings of physical pain.

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