Lumosity was designed by several leading neuroscientists, which adds an air of credibility to this popular site, and combines the perks of social networking with brain training technology that supposedly makes your brain function at a higher level. But do these brain training games really work? There is plenty of evidence to support and contract the claims made by this popular gaming website, so it is important to look at the facts before making this determination.
What is Lumosity?
Lumosity is a webpage that features several different brain training games. Players are encouraged to create a profile that allows them to track their progress and play certain games that target mental flexibility, memory, problem solving, speed and attention. The idea is that performing these tasks regularly will help "train" your brain to function more effectively.
How Does Lumosity Work?
The web page explains that Lumosity is based on neuroplasticity, which treats the brain like a muscle that needs to adapt when it is presented with new challenges. The idea here is that if you present your brain with harder challenges, the portion of your brain meant to help solve them will grow larger and more functional. Previously it was believed that neuroplasticity was only available in children with brains that were still developing, but recent science leads researchers to believe that this skill is also available for adults.
Lumosity depends on two basic elements when users create their training program. First, users need to use the program regularly. This is similar to creating a daily routine at your local gym to work and tone your muscles. Your routine will not be as effective if you do not stick with it. The second part of this training program depends on users using many different types of games. There are 35 different games available on Lumosity in addition to many different skill levels within these games. Players should use a variety of different games and increase the difficulty level over time to help ensure that they are continuing to challenge the mind. Creating your initial profile gives the player an opportunity to see what weaknesses they have so they can create a routine that is ideal for their situation.
Is Lumosity Effective?
There are several scientific studies that lead scientists to believe that the brain training activities at Lumosity do have an effect on the brain. A study at the University of Michigan found that adults that used brain training games for a regular amount of time saw an improvement in test scores for dual attention asks and memory games in multiple tests. A similar study at Brown University also saw adults exceeding expectations in brain performance after using brain training games to aid in their work. These programs were found to boost the working memory which helps users keep track of tasks they are currently performing.
The thing to remember when analyzing these results is that they came from laboratory conditions. These adults used Lumosity games for hours every day for several months. Users that do not work on a similar schedule will not see these types of results. There is a great deal of evidence that supports the idea that brain training games can help grow and develop the mind, but not necessarily any evidence that Lumosity and the brain training games available here are more effective than other training games that are on the market elsewhere. In general, keeping the mind active and challenging your mind to learn more advanced tasks and ways of thinking are healthy and can help you perform tasks more effectively, and if Lumosity helps you accomplish this, then it can be seen as a positive asset.