Does Lumosity Really Improve Your Brain?


Does Lumosity work?We all want our brains to work at their peak performance, long into our golden years, and something like Lumosity promises to help you with that desire. No matter what you want to improve, whether it’s remember where you put your car keys, or what the name of the person you just met is, you can pick a training path that suits you. But is there really a connection to the games you play and your cognitive ability?

Overview
Keeping the brain active is key in order to avoid certain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia late in life. The old adage that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is being disproved the more we learn about the human brain. They say that we’ve learned more about the brain in the last 3 years than we’ve figured out in the last 1000 years and we’ve likely only scratched the surface. It’s one of the last uncharted frontiers, and as NASA probes go deeper into the universe, neurologists will keep going deeper into what makes up the brain, and how we can make it better.

The Claim
Lumosity makes several claims about what it can do for you brain. They say it can improve both the health and performance of your brain by enhancing your memory and allowing you to pay attention more easily and think more creatively. They say that their methods are scientifically based, and that the results are clinically proven.

They say that their games are easy to play, and are web-based so you don’t need to download anything or purchase any game player. They also say that it is affordable, so you don’t have to spend a lot to keep yourself sharp, alert, and ready to go each day. By customizing each program according to what you need, you are not getting a one-size-fits-all system here, but something that actually was built for you, and that adapts to you as you get better and better.

They’ve got over 40 games, so you won’t get bored with the same old ones again and again, and many of them are fun, and you’ll enjoy playing them. You can get on any time you want, and from any computer, by logging into your account.

The Hype
They say that neuroscientists designed Lumosity, and we should hope so, since you wouldn’t want Joe the Plumber designing brain training software. A lot of the games they feature are the same as the ones you would find on popular games like the Nintendo DS’s Brain Age.

The Cost
You can sign up for a free account, which will let you save your scores and track your progress. You can then decide to upgrade to a subscription if you want to take things to the next level and unlock everything it’s $15 a month if you want to pay monthly, but if you’re sure you’re going to stick with it you can pay $80 for the year, representing a savings of over $8 a month. If you pay for the year, you will have 30 days to see if you want to stay on, and you can get your money back if you decide you don’t like it. If you just pay monthly they don’t offer a guarantee.

The Commitment
You have to put the time in to train your brain, much like you have to put the time in to train other muscles in your body. They’re finding out more and more that the brain is able to be retooled and that you can grow and learn your entire life. For many years it was thought that once the synapses in your brain were set, that was it, you would just think that way for life. But now they are finding out about the plasticity of the brain and showing that you can build new synapses and let old one atrophy, essentially changing the way your mind works and leading to a different life.

Evaluation
Lumosity has several brain games that are free to try out so you can get an idea of the kind of activities that they have available on the inside. We like that once you sign up they customize your training based on what your goals are. For example, they ask you if you want to more easily remember where you put things, or if you want to remember people’s names the first time they tell you them. You can also select whether you want to be able to pick up on new subjects more easily, or keep things more organized in your head, be more productive, or be able to think on your feet better.

At the end of their quick assessment, they develop a tailor-made program just for you. We think that this is great, because they could easily have made it a one size fits all sort of situation and started everyone off on the same module one, and disregarded the fact that each of us has our own goals we’re reaching for.

The system gets good reviews from those that have tried it out, and since it charts your progress you get a black and white answer to whether or not it’s working for you, so you can easily decide whether to stay on or cancel.

Final Lumosity Review

People of all ages should be concerned about the health of their brain, and Lumosity makes it easy to not only train your brain, but also track the progress of how you’re improving. After you tell them what you want to train, they come up with a chart that tells you where they project you’ll be after three months of daily training. That’s a pretty cool feature and one that should keep you motivated to come back to the site each day to do your daily exercises. For something that only takes a few minutes a day, it’s remarkably easy to stay on with.

Our Recommendation
Definitely give this a try. The games can be surprisingly addictive if you’re not careful, and the fact that you’re training or retraining your brain gives you a good feeling that you’re not just wasting your time with a mind-numbing game involving running a virtual farm, or making mob hits.

Official Website: Lumosity

What do you think? Does Lumosity work or not?


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacy Bryan July 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Lumosity is a great program if you want to spend some time sharpening your brain. I think that it’s fun to see your progress and how you rank with others your age. It has a wide choice of games and I always look forward to my favorite ones each day. The site has an email list, so if you want to get the best deals you should definitely sign up for it. Lumosity isn’t just bingo style games. The games are set up to actually develop the brain and improve memory. I have heard that Lumosity has poor customer service, however I haven’t experienced anything negative on the site yet.

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Barb July 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I have mixed feelings about Lumosity. I was intrigued by the commercials and thought that I would give it a try. I love games of all kinds, so I was curious to learn about the connection of games and improving my mind. I found the games to be rather simple and scored high from the very start. Thus, I didn’t feel as though my mind was being challenged. I did the games for 2 straight weeks and then when I started getting emails to pay for the program, I stopped going to the website. I still get emails about what Lumosity will do for me, but I’m not sold on it. I’ll continue to play a variety of online games and do my daily puzzles.

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Josh B July 10, 2013 at 1:57 am

I’ve been very curious about this for quite while now. I would often see ads on TV or YouTube advertising this but does it actually make you any smarter just from playing games? I definitely has me intrigued. Maybe I’ll give it try sometime!

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Ricardo De Haro July 11, 2013 at 12:24 am

I’ve only subscribed to Luminosity for a little over a month and had been checking out their free games for a few weeks before I signed up. I’m completely hooked. The games are fun and excellent ways to pass the time away. I recommend not starting to sneak a game in or two while at work… the habit, though fun, can lead to lots of wasted time. The jury is still out on whether brain function, problem solving skills or my memory have improved. Perhaps it’s too early, but at the very least I am subscribing to the idea that I’m making new connections and pathways in my brain. For the price, Luminosity is a steal, you’ll certainly find it worthwhile based on the entertainment value alone.

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andres Vargas July 13, 2013 at 12:07 pm

I’m not sure about any ‘system’ that is ‘designed’ to promote any kind of ‘health’. This is because people have been staying pretty damn sharp for a pretty long time without the aid of prepackaged ‘solutions’ that are being sold to them. Although, people have been trying to sell them for just as long. You can’t get away from the opportunistic nature of commerce. That being said, thinking about stuff that isn’t whats on TV and using the mind to process more than the outcome of the latest quarrel on Jersey Shore, is a good thing. An essential thing, really. Especially these days.

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Kelly K. July 13, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I enjoy playing the games on Lumosity, but I don’t know if it’s worth it to pay for the subscription. You can still play some of the games for free, and you’ll eventually see improvement over time if you keep playing them, but there are a lot of interesting games that you can’t play unless you pay for the service. The games are still really entertaining, at the very least, albeit pretty simple. But that’s what makes them fun–there’s always room for improvement, and a lot of the games get harder as you play. I think it’s worth the time to check it out, and if you get as hooked as I did, you should probably consider the membership.

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Ed Dziuk August 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I know that I’ve learned to play the games and my scores have improved. They are challenging, and I like challenges. Whether improved scores are a function of consistent (daily) play (included in the score algorighm to keep participants hooked), or just valid measures of cognitive function is an open question. I’m looking for an independent testing source for cognitive function so that I can establish a baseline for future eveluations when my Lumosity scores have increased. I’m a CPA, and don’t yet have an observable increase in mental function, other than it seems easier to remember the names of new people that I meet. I’m 59 so I have experienced declining function and should be a good test subject.

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