My PhD concerns the relationship between abstract problem solving and the cortical motor system, with a special focus on mental arithmetic. The way in which we process abstract knowledge such as numerical symbols is a highly topical field in current neuroscience. Research has found that a child’s level of motor skill, such as performing complex finger movements, can predict arithmetic task performance. It is thought that a sense of numbers might be acquired through finger counting. I am investigating the interactions between brain areas that initiate movement and those that are involved in complex arithmetic. By using EEG/MEG techniques, I am especially interested in the time-course of activation in neural networks of abstract problem solving. I believe my research will impact upon interventions for people with problems processing numbers and has theoretical and practical implications for teaching mathematics.