Lumosity: Does it Work?
May 22, 2013 8:20 PM
comment(s) - last by
A new Stanford study says yes
Many of you may be familiar with Lumosity (it even has its own commercial on TV now). It's a San Francisco-based company that provides an online
brain training program
, where subscribers play nearly 40 different games to improve attention, flexibility, memory and problem solving. It launched in 2007 and has about 40 million subscribers.
The commercial says the Lumosity games are based on neuroscience, but the million-dollar question is, does it actually work?
Shelli Kesler, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, seems to think it does.
Kesler recently led a Stanford study that aimed to measure how well Lumosity's brain training transferred into the real world. She used a small sample of 41 breast cancer patients who had been treated with chemotherapy. Past studies have shown that cancer patients who've undergone chemotherapy can experience cognitive impairment for years afterward.
The experimental group in the Stanford study played Lumosity games four times a week for 12 weeks, and results showed that they had improved word finding, executive function and processing speed over the control group.
While this shows promising results, it's important to note that the study is a bit flawed, considering the fact that it depended on self-reporting for a couple of measures.
The question of whether online brain games really work or not has been met with mixed answers. Psychologist Susan Jaeggi (an assistant professor at Maryland Neuroimaging Center) will tell you it does work after her 2008 study found that online brain training increased intelligence. However, a Georgia Tech study found that they had no effect on its participants.
Also, a 2009 study by researchers at the the University of Rennes, Brittany, found that
the video game "Brain Age"
(which claims to offer benefits similar to that of Lumosity) didn't help students very much in memory tests.
Personally, I love Lumosity. I make it a point to jump on the site once a day (when I can) and play the 3-4 games Lumosity has chosen for me for that particular day. Once I've played those games, Lumosity calculates my BPI (brain performance index) and tells me to come back tomorrow. I can't play anymore for the day because I signed up as a free subscriber. If you pay, you unlock full access to more gameplay and user statistics.
Even if I am using the free version (and that may mean I'm not getting the optimal amount of training needed for real cognitive improvements), I really look forward to my daily Lumosity training. It's become a lottery of sorts, where I wonder which games I'll be able to play that day and whether or not they'll be any of my favorites.
But that's the thing. Lumosity tends to send the same games to me over and over (they're usually spread out over different days of the week while gradually introducing new games here and there). I get it, repetition will make you better and raise your BPI, but I can never tell if I'm actually experiencing any cognitive improvements in the real world or if I'm just familiar with the games, so I know what to expect when playing them.
What's your take,
readers? Do any Lumosity (or any other online brain training game) players out there feel they've started remembering where their car keys are more often after playing for an x amount of time?
Oh, and for those who are curious as to how much the paid version of Lumosity costs, it's $14.95/month. Or you can pay $6.95/month if you commit to a full year, $4.99/month for a two-year commitment or a one-time payment of $299.95 for a lifetime subscription.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Do you think ?
6/6/2013 10:50:23 AM
I think PT Barnum had a quote about suckers.
RE: Do you think ?
6/14/2013 8:55:48 PM
That was David Hannum, not P.T. Barnum.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
Brain Age: Not as Good for Your Brain as Claimed
January 28, 2009, 10:30 AM
Latest By Tiffany Kaiser
China to Require Real Names for Chat Apps
August 8, 2014, 8:28 PM
Quick Note: Windows Phone Store Surpasses 300,000 Apps
August 8, 2014, 12:30 PM
Google, Yahoo Working Together on Encrypted Email Tool
August 8, 2014, 7:23 AM
Edward Snowden's New Residence Permit Allows Another 3 Years in Russia
August 7, 2014, 2:41 PM
T-Mobile Beats Sprint in Prepaid Subscriber Numbers, John Legere Ribs New Sprint CEO
August 7, 2014, 11:55 AM
Microsoft Surface Losses Total $676M USD for FY2014; Will Launch in 25 Additional Markets
August 6, 2014, 1:07 PM
Quick Note: Microsoft Giving Nokia 630s to Employees Laid Off in China
August 6, 2014, 1:03 PM
Ten Apple Products Cut From China's Procurement List
August 6, 2014, 11:45 AM
Xiaomi Passes Samsung, Lenovo in China's Q2 Smartphone Shipments
August 5, 2014, 1:50 PM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
Microsoft Expands Free Office 365 to All College Students
September 22, 2014, 3:21 PM
Apple Adds New Password Protection for Third Party iCloud Apps
September 17, 2014, 8:50 PM
Facebook Tests Moments App, Aims to Keep Your Private Memories Private
September 17, 2014, 5:46 PM
Russian Hackers Compile List of 10+ Million Stolen Gmail, Yandex, Mailru
September 11, 2014, 11:41 AM
House Minority Leader Pelosi Criticizes FCC's "Fast-Lane" Net Neutrality Plan
September 9, 2014, 4:15 PM
Smarter Than Siri? Cortana Adds Game NFL Game Winner Prediction
September 3, 2014, 4:12 PM
Most Popular Articles
HTC Preps Nexus 9 With Nvidia K1 64-Bit "Denver" SoC, Android L Onboard
September 10, 2014, 10:21 PM
Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Reviews Roll In
September 16, 2014, 9:13 PM
Big Media: If You Want Privacy, You're Probably a Pirate
September 18, 2014, 2:57 PM
Apple Cripples NFC in iPhone 6, 6+ With Developer Ban
September 17, 2014, 1:00 PM
"Decepticon" Driver Triumphs Over Cops in Massachusetts Court
September 5, 2014, 12:07 PM
Latest Blog Posts
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information