A new study by the University of Pennsylvania has revealed that Lumosity, a highly commercialized brain-training program, is no better for improving brain function than video games. Study findings were published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Previous studies of brain-training programs that adjust the level of difficulty based on the user’s performance showed mixed results. Some of the studies suggest that activity in brain regions responsible for regulating the desire for an immediate or risky reward instead of a more conservative choice was enhanced.
In 2016, Lumos Labs was hit with a $2 million fine due to deceptive advertising because their product Lumosity was marketed as cognitive training software that was supposed to help users have better success in school or at work. In addition, the advertising said using Lumosity had other benefits such as the ability to delay cognitive decline associated with aging.
During the new study, the University of Pennsylvania’s Caryn Lerman and Joe Kable monitored and evaluated 128 young adults over a 10-week timeframe. The young adults were randomly assigned to one of two trials, the Lumosity brain training or a control condition where they played non-adaptive video games.
When researchers reviewed the results, both groups improved on standard cognitive assessments at a similar rate. In addition, this improvement was similar to other young adults who had no intervention at all. Analysis using functional magnetic resonance imaging showed no difference in brain activity in relation to training conditions while completing decision-making tasks.
By Trixie Dillwood
Photo Courtesy Lumosity