Sunday, August 3, 2014

Does Lumosity Really Work?

           I am sure many of you have heard of the “brain training” app, Lumosity. In the commercial, they say top neurologists designed the program, and combined the features of social networks and brain training to allow your mind to function at its best. I have used the app and I would really like to know if it works like it says it does. There is much evidence for and against the app, so lets dive in a little deeper, and I’ll let you make your own conclusions.

            First of all, what exactly is Lumosity? According to, Lumosity is a website and/or app that allows you to track your progress while playing the games that supposedly improve your brain’s “flexibility, memory, problem solving, speed and attention.” Playing these games regularly is supposed to train your brain to function at it’s best.
            Another question I’m sure many people ask is, how does Lumosity work? MDhealth and the commercial say that it is based on “neuroplasticity”. Now, what is neuroplasticity? It is how Lumosity challenges the brain like any other muscle to adapt to new ways of thinking. Many people think the brain stops growing at a certain point in life, but recent studies have proven that to be false; the brain is continuously growing and expanding if we give it the opportunity too. When you sign in to Lumosity, you are asked to create a profile. This profile will tell you what your strengths and weaknesses are, and then create a program specifically to you. MDhealth uses the example if going to the gym. You have to know what muscles to train and how best to train them. As in the gym, you have to use Lumosity regularly and increase the difficulty level over time to maintain that growth of the brain.
            There have been many studies at the University of Michigan and Brown University that have concluded that using brain-training programs on the regular bases improved test scores and muscle memory. One thing to remember about these studies is that they were conducted in a conditioned environment; meaning individuals played the Lumosity games for hours every day for many months. Most working people would not have the kind of time to play games for hours. Also, there is no hard evidence that states Lumosity works better than any other brain-training game out there.

            There are all kinds of positive effects of using a program like Lumosity: to keep your mind sharp, focused, and to improve your memory and speed. I believe any type of brain-training program is a good daily activity that more people should look into because it helps with your multitasking ability and helps you to think in new and different ways.

Abby McFarlin

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