July 22nd, 2013

UPDATE: Lumos Labs, which markets Lumosity, agreed to pay $2 million in redress to customers to settle FTC charges that the company deceived consumers with unfounded claims that the brain games could help them perform better at work and in school, reduce cognitive impairment associated with aging, and even protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia.  The agency alleged the company failed to disclose that consumers featured in testimonials had been solicited through contests that promised prizes. What follows is’s original alert about Lumosity.

We’ve seen ads for Lumosity, a subscription brain-game website that claims its service will help you “improve your brain performance and live a better life,” on television and online. In the ads, hip-looking attractive people of all ages (as portrayed by actors, notes the fine print) credit Lumosity with bettering their brains. But can playing Lumosity’s games, “designed by neuroscientists to improve core cognitive functions,” really help your grey matter?

Science seems to say “maybe, maybe not.” While Lumosity’s website provides links to 15 studies that they say support the better brain claims, the Guardian has reported that such games may be no more effective than crossword puzzles and that brain training games make users better at the games themselves but not much else. In other words, it’s unclear whether such brain games improve your brain’s overall performance, or whether over time you get better only at the games.

We’re not sure how effective Lumosity is, but claims that these sorts of brain games can improve your mind’s performance seem up for debate.

For more about brain claims, click here.

This alert was updated on 1/5/16. 

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