Abstract：To date, many studies have found that abacus-based mental calculation (AMC) contributes to the improvement of math ability, and even transfers to general cognitive abilities. This review aims to provide an updated overview of the training effect of AMC on mathematical cognition and brain plasticity. As a special mental arithmetic method, AMC forms the unique visual representation of numbers based on a column-based model. Our review of existing literature suggests that long-term training benifit to improve numerical processing efficiency, calculation ability and visuospatial math ability, has transfer effects on visuospatial ability, attention, working memory and switch ability. It also summarizes that AMC training can change the brain function by improve the neural efficiency of frontoparietal network, can shape brain structure with higher fractional anisotropy in fiber tracts and less volume of gray matter, also can modulate the brain network by reconfiguring toward more localized processing and segregated architecture. Finally, we point out the scientific problems to be solved in this field.