Dr Mojtaba Soltanlou

Assistant Professor in Developmental Neuroscience

Academic and research departments

School of Psychology, Cognitive Psychology research group.


Areas of specialism

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience; Educational Neuroscience; Cross-Cultural Neuroscience; Cognitive Development; Numerical and Mathematical Cognition; Developmental and Learning Disorders

My qualifications

Postdoctoral Researcher
Western University, Canada
Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Tuebingen, Germany
PhD in Neuroscience
University of Tuebingen, Germany
MSc in Occupational Therapy
Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran
BSc in Occupational Therapy
Iran University of Medical Sciences, Iran

Affiliations and memberships

Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society (MCLS)
Society of functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (sfNIRS)


Research interests

Research projects


Postgraduate research supervision




Preprint/Under review

Ivanova, E., Joanisse, M., Ansari, D., Soltanlou, M. (in revision, Stage 1 Registered Report). The origin of symbolic numerical knowledge in early development – An fNIRS Registered Report. Peer Community In. doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/F62Y5 [link]

Hochman, S., Havedanloo, R., Heysiettalab, S., Soltanlou, M. (in-principle acceptance, Stage 1 Registered Report). How does language modulate the association between number and space? A Registered Report of a cross-cultural study. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Leonard, S. J., Soltanlou, M., Yun-Chen Chan, J., Daches-Cohen, L., Rubinsten, O., Flavia H. Santos, F. H. (under review, Stage 1 Registered Report). The multi-directional number line: Impact of script directionality on performance of English, Chinese, and Hebrew speakers. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Soltanlou, M., Nuerk, H.-C., Artemenko, C. (in-principle acceptance, Stage 1 Registered Report). Cognitive enhancement or emotion regulation: The influence of brain stimulation on math anxiety. Cortex. doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/6EN48 [link]

Multi-site project (in revision). Awareness of and engagement with Open Research behaviours: Development of the Brief Open Research Survey (BORS) with the UK Reproducibility Network. Royal Society Open Science. doi:10.31222/osf.io/w48yh [link]

Mohammadi Molod, S.#, Vahedi, S., Soltanlou, M., Heysieattalab, S. (under review). Meta-analysis of the effectiveness of transcranial electrical stimulation interventions on executive function and mathematical performance in individuals with learning disorder. Child Mental Health.

Cipora, K., Loenneker, H. D., Soltanlou, M., Lipowska, K., Domahs, F., Göbel, S. M., Haman, M., Nuerk, H.-C. (preprint). Syntactic influences on numerical processing in adults: Limited but detectable. doi:10.31234/osf.io/ewtd4 [link]

Huber, J., Soltanlou, M., Cipora, K., Lipowska, K., Domahs, F., Haman, M., Nuerk, H.-C. (preprint). No evidence for an influence of grammatical number in two-digit magnitude and place-value processing in adults. doi:10.31234/osf.io/9e7jk [link]

Soltanlou, M., Patil, V., Ansari, D. (preprint). Mathematical brain from birth to school - A systematic review. [link]



Chiou, R., Margulies, D., Soltanlou, M., Jefferies, B., Cohen Kadosh, R. (in press). Semantic cognition vs. numerical cognition: A topographical perspective. Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

Cipora, K., Gashaj, V., Gridley, A. S., Soltanlou, M., Nuerk, H.-C. (2023). Universalities and cultural specificities of finger counting and montring: evidence from Amazon Tsimane’ people. Acta Psychologica. 239, 104009. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2023.104009 [link]

Haman, M., Lipowska, K.#, Soltanlou, M., Cipora, K., Domahs, F., Nuerk, H.-C. (2023). The plural counts: Inconsistent grammatical number hinders numerical development in preschoolers – a cross-linguistic study. Cognition. 235: 105383. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2023.105383 [link]

Sabaghy Pour, S.#, Sabouri Moghaddam, H., Farkhondeh Tale Navi, F.#, Nazari, M. A., Soltanlou, M. (2023). Do numbers make us handy? Behavioural and event-related potentials evidence for number-hand congruency effect. Acta Psychologica. 233, 103841. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2023.103841 [link]

Mielicki, M. K. #, Wilkey, E. D., Scheibe, D. A., Fitzsimmons, C. J., Sidney, P. G., Bellon, E. #, Ribner, A. D. #, Soltanlou, M., Starling-Alves, I. #, Coolen, I. #, Ansari, D., & Thompson, C. A. (2023). Task features change the relation between math anxiety and number line estimation performance with rational numbers: Two large-scale online studies. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. doi:10.1037/xge0001382 [link]

Karami Isheqlou, L.#, Soltanlou, M., Zarean, M., Saeedi, M. T., Heysieattalab, S. (2023). Feedback-related negativity in perfectionists: An index of performance outcome evaluation. Behavioural Brain Research. 444: 114358. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2023.114358 [link]

Terry, J., Ross, R. M., Nagy, T., Salgado, M., Garrido-Vásquez, P., Sarfo, J. O., … Soltanlou, M., … Field, A. P. (2023). Data from an International Multi-Centre Study of Statistics and Mathematics Anxieties and Related Variables in University Students (the SMARVUS Dataset). Journal of Open Psychology Data. 11: 8, 1-25. doi:10.5334/jopd.80 [link]

Schilling T., Soltanlou, M., Nuerk, H.-C., Bahmani, H. (2023). Blue-light stimulation of the blind-spot constricts the pupil and enhances contrast sensitivity. Plos One. 18(5): e0286503. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0286503 [link]



Soltanlou, M., Dresler, T., Artemenko, C., Rosenbaum, D., Ehlis, A.-C., Nuerk, H.-C. (2022). Training-related activation increase in the parietal cortex in children with developmental dyscalculia: An fNIRS study. Brain Structure and Function. 227, 1757-1771. doi:10.1007/s00429-022-02470-5 [link]

Akbari, S., Soltanlou, M., Sabouri Moghaddam, H., Nuerk, H.-C., Leuthold, H. (2022). The complexity of simple counting: ERP findings reveal early perceptual and late numerical processes in different arrangements. Scientific Reports. 12, 6763. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-10206-y [link]

Barreto, C.#, Soltanlou, M. (2022). Functional near-infrared spectroscopy as a tool to assess brain activity in educational settings: An introduction for educational researchers. South African Journal of Childhood Education. 12(1), a1138. doi:10.4102/sajce.v12i1.1138 [link]

Tan Lau, T.#, Wilkey, E., Soltanlou, M., …, Ansari, D. (2022). Numeracy and COVID-19: examining interrelationships between numeracy, health numeracy and behaviour. Royal Society Open Science. 9(3), 201303. doi:10.1098/rsos.201303 [link]

Karami Isheqlou, L.#, Zarean, M., Saeedi, M. T., Soltanlou, M., Heysieattalab, S. (2022). Maladaptive perfectionists are more impulsive than adaptive perfectionists in a monetary gambling task. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology. 13(2). doi:10.1177/20438087221106925 [link]



Cipora, K., Soltanlou, M. (2021). Editorial: Direct and Conceptual Replication in Numerical Cognition. Journal of Numerical Cognition. 7(3), 240-247. doi:10.5964/jnc.7799 [link]

Bahnmueller, J., Cipora, K., Göbel, S. M., Nuerk, H.-C., Soltanlou, M. (2021). Pick the smaller number: No influence of linguistic markedness on three-digit number processing. Journal of Numerical Cognition. 7(3), 295-307. doi:10.5964/jnc.6057 [link]

Cipora, K., Soltanlou, M., Smaczny, S., Göbel, S. M., Nuerk, H.-C. (2021). Automatic place-value activation in magnitude-irrelevant parity judgement. Psychological Research. 85, 777-792. doi:10.1007/s00426-019-01268-1 [link]



Colling, L. J., Szűcs, D., De Marco, D., Cipora, K., Ulrich, R., Nuerk, H.-C., Soltanlou, M., ..., Henare, D. T. (2020). Registered Replication Report on Fischer, Castel, Dodd, and Pratt (2003). Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science. 143-162. doi:10.1177/2515245920903079 [link]

Artemenko, C.*, Sitnikova, M. A.*, Soltanlou, M., Dresler, T., Nuerk, H.-C. (2020). Functional lateralization of arithmetic processing in the parietal cortex is associated with handedness. Scientific Reports. 10(1), 1775. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-58477-7 [link]

Solanlou, M.*, Nazari, M. A.*, Vahidi, P., Nemati, P. (2020). Explicit and implicit timing of short time intervals: Using the same method. Perception. 49(1), 39-51. doi:10.1177/0301006619889554 [link]

Schilling T., Soltanlou, M., Seshadri, Y., Nuerk, H.-C., Bahmani, H. (2020). Blue light and melanopsin contribution to the pupil constriction in the blind-spot, parafovea and periphery. In Proceedings of the 13th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies. 5(Healthinf), 482-489. doi:10.5220/0008972404820489 [link]



Soltanlou, M., Coldea, A., Artemenko, C., Ehlis, A.-C., Fallgatter, A. J., Nuerk, H.-C., Dresler, T. (2019). No difference in the neural underpinnings of number and letter copying in children: Bayesian analysis of functional near-infrared spectroscopy data. Mind, Brain, and Education. 13(4), 313-325. doi:10.1111/mbe.12225 [link]

Artemenko, C., Soltanlou, M., Dresler, T., Ehlis, A.-C., Nuerk, H.-C. (2019). Individual differences in math ability determine neurocognitive processing of arithmetic complexity – A combined fNIRS-EEG study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 13, 227. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2019.00227 [link]

Soltanlou, M., Artemenko, C., Dresler, T., Fallgatter, A. J., Nuerk, H.-C.*, Ehlis, A.-C.* (2019). Oscillatory EEG changes during arithmetic learning in children. Developmental Neuropsychology. 44(3), 1-17. doi:10.1080/87565641.2019.1586906 [link]

Cipora, K., Soltanlou, M., Reips, U.-D., Nuerk, H.-C. (2019). The SNARC and MARC effects measured online: Large-scale assessment methods in flexible cognitive effects. Behavioural Research Methods. 1-17. doi:10.3758/s13428-019-01213-5 [link]

Soltanlou, M., Artemenko, C., Dresler, T., Fallgatter, A. J., Ehlis, A.-C., Nuerk, H.-C. (2019). Math anxiety in combination with low visuospatial memory impairs math learning in children. Frontiers in Psychology. 10, 89. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00089 [link]

Huber, S., Nuerk, H.-C., Reips, U.-D., Soltanlou, M. (2019). Individual differences influence two-digit number processing, but not their analog magnitude processing: a large-scale online study. Psychological Research. 83(7), 1444-1464. doi:10.1007/s00426-017-0964-5 [link]



Artemenko, C., Soltanlou, M., Dresler, T., Ehlis, A.-C.*, Nuerk, H.-C.* (2018). The neural correlates of arithmetic difficulty depend on mathematical ability: Evidence from combined fNIRS and ERP. Brain Structure and Function. 1-14. doi:10.1007/s00429-018-1618-0 [link]

Soltanlou, M., Artemenko, C., Ehlis, A.-C., Huber, S., Fallgatter, A. J., Dresler, T.*, Nuerk, H.-C.* (2018). Reduction but not shift in brain activation in arithmetic learning in children: A simultaneous fNIRS-EEG study. Scientific Reports. 8(1), 1707. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-20007-x [link]

Artemenko, C., Soltanlou, M., Ehlis, A.-C., Nuerk, H.-C.*, Dresler, T.* (2018). The neural correlates of mental arithmetic in adolescents: a longitudinal fNIRS study. Behavioural and Brain Functions. 14(1), 5. doi:10.1186/s12993-018-0137-8 [link]

Soltanlou, M.*, Sitnikova, M. A.*, Nuerk, H.-C., Dresler, T. (2018). Applications of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in studying cognitive development: The case of mathematics and language. Frontiers in Psychology. 9, 277. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00277 [link]

Artemenko, C.*, Coldea, A.*, Soltanlou, M., Dresler, T., Nuerk, H.-C., Ehlis, A.-C. (2018). The neural circuits of number and letter copying: an fNIRS study. Experimental Brain Research. 236(4), 1129-1138. doi:10.1007/s00221-018-5204-8 [link]

Heubner, L., Cipora, K., Soltanlou, M., Schlenker, M.-L., Lipowska, K., Göbel, S. M., Domahs, F., Haman, M., Nuerk, H.-C. (2018). A mental odd-even continuum account: Some numbers may be more odd than others, and some numbers may be more even than others. Frontiers in Psychology. 9, 1081. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01081 [link]

Nazari, M. A., Mirloo, M. M., Rezaei, M., Soltanlou, M. (2018). Emotional stimuli facilitate time perception in children with attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Neuropsychology. 12(2), 165-175. doi:10.1111/jnp.12111 [link]



Soltanlou, M., Artemenko, C., Dresler, T., Haeussinger, F. B., Fallgatter, A. J., Ehlis, A.-C.*, Nuerk, H.-C.* (2017). Increased arithmetic complexity is associated with domain-general but not domain-specific magnitude processing in children: A simultaneous fNIRS-EEG study. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioural Neuroscience. 17(4), 724-736. doi:10.3758/s13415-017-0508-x [link]

Nazari, M. A.*, Caria, A., Soltanlou, M.* (2017). Time for action versus action in time: time estimation differs between motor preparation and execution. Journal of Cognitive Psychology. 29(2), 129-136. doi:10.1080/20445911.2016.1232724 [link]

Nemati, P., Schmid, J., Soltanlou, M., Krimly, J.-T., Nuerk, H.-C., Gawrilow, C. (2017). Planning and self-control, but not working memory directly predict multiplication performance in adults. Journal of Numerical Cognition. 3(2), 441-467. doi:10.5964/jnc.v3i2.61 [link]


Before 2017

Soltanlou, M., Pixner, S., Nuerk, H.-C. (2015). Contribution of working memory in multiplication fact network in children may shift from verbal to visuo-spatial: A longitudinal investigation. Frontiers in Psychology. 6, 1062. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01062 [link]

Moazen, M., Nazari, M. A., Yaghooti, F., Mirzakhanloo, T., Soltanlou, M. (2015). Time Reproduction Deficit in autistic children and its relationship to executive functions. Advances in Cognitive Science. 17(2), 23-31. (in Persian) [link]

Nazari, M. A., Soltanlou, M., Saeedi Dehaghani, S., Damya, S., Rastgar Hashemi, N., Mirloo, M. M. (2014). The effect of gender, valence and arousal of Persian emotional words on time perception. Journal of Social Cognition. 2(4), 62-73. (in Persian) [link]

Soltanlou, M., Anbara, T., Taghi-Zadeh, G., Rahim-Zadeh Rahbar, S., Karimi, H. (2013). Assessing the relationship between cognitive deficits and functional balance in right adult stroke patients. Urmia Medical Journal. 24(5), 295-301. (in Persian) [link]

Nazari, M. A., Mirloo, M. M., Soltanlou, M., Rezaei, M., Roshani, A., Asadzadeh, S. (2013). Design and development of the time discrimination threshold computerized task. Advances in Cognitive Science. 15(1), 67-76. (in Persian) [link]

Salemi Khamene, A., Ghahari, S., Soltanlou, M., Darabi, J. (2013). Effectiveness of pivotal response treatment on communicative and behavioural disorder of 8-12 years-old autistic boys. J Gorgan Uni Med Sci. 15(1), 6-11. (in Persian) [link]

Soltanlou, M., Olyaei, G., Tehrani Dost, M., Abdolvahab, M., Bagheri, H., Faghihzadeh, S. (2009). Comparison of attentional set shifting in cerebral palsy children with normal in aged 7-12 years. Modern Rehabilitation Journal. 2(3&4), 60-65. (in Persian) [link]

Soltanlou, M., Olyaei, G., Tehrani Dost, M., Abdolvahab, M., Bagheri, H., Faghihzadeh, S. (2008). Comparison of spatial working memory and strategy use in cerebral palsy children with normal subjects with 7-12 years old. Modern Rehabilitation Journal. 2(1), 9-14. (in Persian) [link]