59. Does "brain-training" work? The case of Lumosity

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By Stanislaw Pstrokonski. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Could specially designed exercises on your computer or mobile phone make you smarter? "Brain-training" is now a multi-billion pound industry, and that money comes from people hoping to get a boost in their mental faculties from spending time playing the various games in the apps in question. Do these apps work as they are supposed to? And if they are, shouldn't we have all children (and maybe adults too) make use of them?

In this episode, I go through the research on this topic, with a particular focus on Lumosity, one of the biggest players in this market. I start from the scientific articles provided on Lumosity's website, and continue with articles found from elsewhere on the same topic.

Of course, there are many more brain-training apps out there other than Lumosity, including Peak, Elevate, Cognito, Left vs. Right, Brain It On!, and Fit Brains Trainer. But they are generally similar enough that the research literature probably applies to basically all of them. Lumosity is a particularly interesting case to analyse since its marketing is so insistent that the app is "scientifically designed". What is the substance behind this claim?

I won't spoil it for you! Have a listen to see what I found out.

Enjoy the episode.

Music by podcastthemes.com.

113 episodes