“Mathematics is food for the brain… It helps you think precisely, decisively, and creatively and helps you look at the world from multiple perspectives.” -Dr. Arthur Benjamin.1
While a statement like that is bound to raise questions, math is, after all, about finding patterns and making connections. The brain uses math to interpret the world around us by applying the calculation of possibilities and probabilities in order to determine the causes of the happenings around us.
Math enhances analytical thinking and problem-solving skills, fosters systematic and logical thinking, and broadens the mind to handle unfamiliar tasks with confidence, among other benefits.
The majority of you probably know the various functions and advantages of math, like how it is used in everyday life, but reading this article will give you a better perspective on how math affects your mental health
So, does math really help improve brain function?
Of course it does! Math is one of the main reasons the brain circulates. Thinking deeply, using logic, reasoning, and continuous attempts are all skills that you use while trying to solve math.
According to research, one can improve their intelligence through hard work and effort. People can thrive in math regardless of whether they are born with a math aptitude or not.In fact, learning math at an early age is thought to promote children’s cognitive development to the fullest potential.2
How is Math Beneficial for the Brain?
- Math Strengthens the Brain
Our brains develop important neural pathways for processing information, and math plays an important role in this. According to the research by Dr. Tanya Evans, “Children who know math are able to recruit certain brain regions more reliably, and have greater gray matter volume in those regions than those who perform more poorly in math.” Several cognitive tasks involving visual attention and decision-making were linked to higher math skills in high-achieving children.3 According to Tim Radford, “Maths is one of the best ways to strengthen a brain.“4
- Math is a Mental Workout
Mathematical thinking is like exercise for your brain that helps strengthen and develop the brain.Similar to how your body requires exercise and muscles are strained in order to become stronger, your brain requires mental exercise in order to strengthen itself and maintain mental skills and memory at their best.
Indeed, mental arithmetic is known to significantly increase brain capacity. Professional mathematicians also train their cerebral functions to keep their brains energized, healthy, and in optimal working order.4
So, the more math problems one solves, the more able the brain becomes to handle difficult problems.
- Math Increases Brain Efficiency
The critical thinking and concrete analysis that most math problems require increase the efficiency of the brain. Thinking precisely, defensively, and creatively to solve problems will not only help children excel in math but will also help with other academic subjects, which will in turn result in an overall increase in their brain capacity.
Neuroscientists studied the brain activity of students who were taking a math test. They found that certain parts of the brain lit up in different areas while they were undergoing the tests. After two months, the brain scans of students with math difficulties showed significant improvement. This proved that math can, in fact, make one smarter and improve their brain efficiency.5
Math is fundamental for the intellectual development of people. It shapes values and attitudes and ensures a sense of independence in its handling, a sense of confidence in its methods, and a sense of security in its outcomes.This creates a favorable disposition for two people to arrive at solutions to problems they face on a daily basis. Mathematicians today are solving the world’s biggest and most difficult issues, and almost all the technologies we have today were developed using one or other mathematical concepts.
Math is a powerful tool that not only helps children solve math problems and excel in other academic areas, but also improves many other life skills such as spatial thinking, logical reasoning, critical analysis, concrete reasoning, problem solving, and so on, along with mental health development.
So, did you find this article useful? Let us know in the comments. To learn more about the amazing benefits of learning math,visit BYJU’S FutureSchool Blog.
- “Mathematics is food for the… – Math and more Studio | Facebook. (n.d.). Retrieved May 13, 2022, from https://www.facebook.com/221259291735993/posts/mathematics-is-food-for-the-brain-says-math-professor-dr-arthur-benjamin-it-help/566336940561558/
- Does Math Improve Brain Function? – NeuroTray. (n.d.). Retrieved May 13, 2022, from https://neurotray.com/does-math-improve-brain-function/
- Why is Math Important? | College Math – Intellecquity. (n.d.). Retrieved May 13, 2022, from https://www.intellecquity.com/why-is-math-important/
- Maths builds brain muscles | Schools | The Guardian. (n.d.). Retrieved May 13, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/education/2001/aug/28/schools.highereducation
- How mathematics helps you to increase brain efficiency. (n.d.). Retrieved May 13, 2022, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-mathematics-helps-you-increase-brain-efficiency-neelakantha-bhanu