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I've read conflicting reports on the effectiveness of brain training, but I have come across few reports by users of such tools. Is "brain training" effective in enhancing cognitive function?

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Interesting article, thanks for the link! What they're saying about the lack of scientific proof of the whole idea certainly makes sense... –  weronika Aug 17 '11 at 15:52
    
see also this related question cogsci.stackexchange.com/questions/1705/… –  Jeromy Anglim Jan 16 '13 at 6:13
    
I think it helps you become proficient in the areas where you train. I.e. the water droplets game that requires fast addition skills will improve your ability to do addition on the spot. –  Gaʀʀʏ Apr 9 '13 at 2:04
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7 Answers 7

I've used Lumosity for more than two years. I've noticed that 15-20 minutes of Lumosity first thing in the morning does an excellent job of warming up my brain for the challenges of the day.

I've also found that after prolonged work that 15 minutes of L can enable you to go back to your work refreshed.

In addition, after a little poking around the Lumosity site you will find that a number of universities are working with Lumosity on the human cognition project.

Lumosity is an excellent tool. I swear by it like my morning cup of coffee.

P.S. I do not work for Lumosity.

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I suspect this comes down to your age, and state of your brain (not sure that's the right way to say it). About two years ago I invested several months in working through the site every day. I found that I got better at the games, but they contributed more to my scattered, short attention span - something I didn't like. I did improve scores in most games....but didn't feel there was any payoff outside of the games themselves. I was 41 at the time and in good health.

Granted - what I really felt like I needed (still working on it) is help staying focused on things that take more than a few minutes to complete, so perhaps I wasn't their ideal user to begin with.

I will say, though, that many of the games are pretty fun. :-)

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Analog yes - digital very minimally despite Lumosity's claims. We are analog beings, not computers and the more senses involved the faster and deeper the connections. Yes you'll get better at the games, but that doesn't always translate to better real world performance. Even the famous dual n-back research by Jaeggi they all quote found minimal translation to real world performance changes and has yet to be duplicated by other researchers (google - does lumosity work?)

The best analog brain training program (the only one of its kind in the world according to US SpecOps Command) is described at combatbraintrainingdotcom. Greater focus, accelerated cognition and improved situation awareness translate into significant real world performance improvements in military, athletes, business people even TBI/concussion sufferers in as little as 6 hours training. The limitation of analog based programs is that they must be delivered in person or via Skype. So, digital based programs are a great revenue model!

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I think brain games work pretty well. Games like braintraining on the DS, I don't think so. You'll just get better at the games instead of improving your actual cognitive skills. The creators themselves admitted that. It's for entertainment purposes.

But, if you take a site like http://braingymmer.com with games all based upon neuroscientific research, or another similar site, I think you can actually achieve some nice results with daily training.

At least I feel like it's helping for me, and I train about 15 minutes a day.

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I'm from Lumosity. If you're interested in the science behind our games check out our blog. We post all new research and any peer reviewed studies involving our games there.

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I've checked out the lumosity blog website, its not clear to me where the peer reviewed research is. It needs to be more visible. It appears to be more PR related than anything else. Can you back up your claim? (perhaps a link to an actual peer reviewed research?) –  user2474 Feb 2 '12 at 6:56
    
Is this the research they mean? lumosity.com/the-science/research-on-lumosity –  Joe Feb 2 '12 at 8:18
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Well, practicing does make you better at the games, especially on spot the bird game. But, whether that translates to anything useful......?

But I think that even if you do this, it goes away after you stop. So, are you ready to keep paying for such service?

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