If you didn’t do well in math, it may be because crunching numbers literally hurts your brain.

When neuroscientists look at a human brain under an fMRI machine, while they give them a math problem to do, the pain centers in some people’s brains light up. In one such test, the parts of the brain that perceive pain and bodily threats reacted as if the subject’s hand had been burned on a hot stove.

On the National Geographic website, Jeremy Berlin quotes researcher Ian Lyons as saying, "The anxiety occurred only during anticipation. When they actually did the math problems, they didn’t seem to experience pain. That suggests it’s not the math itself that hurts; it’s the thought of it that’s painful.
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