Brain games are important especially if it has a complete companion course.

The "go-to-company" who has the best all around program for games, theory, and knowledge is Lumos Labs. It offers complete courses in the areas that best meet your needs, based on your performance results at its game center. The name of their brain center is called LUMOSITY.

In the past, the conventional wisdom among neuroscientists had been that our mental abilities were fixed at a very young age, with no possibility of improvement.

That view has shifted dramatically in recent years, thanks to an improved understanding of the brain. We now know that our mental abilities, such as memory, attention, creativity, and problem solving, can be improved at any age with the right kind of brain exercise.

The Lumos Labs mission is to take advantage of these new scientific findings to make effective brain training available in a form that is engaging and accessible.

The Knowledge Center at Lumos Labs has been developed to share this new understanding and provide information about the science behind Lumosity. The firm is continually collaborating with independent research labs at top universities to test and hone the effectiveness of their programs.

Improvement of Visual Attention and Working Memory through a Web-based Brain Training Program

Researchers were: Michael Scanlon (Stanford University), David Drescher and Kunal Sarkar (Lumos Labs, Inc.), Gregory Kellett (San Francisco State University), Mark W. Geisler (San Francisco State University)

Prior research revealed cognitive abilities to be adaptive and capable of improvement via targeted cognitive behavioral training methods; however, use of these methods are limited outside of research and clinical settings. The research objective was to investigate the efficacy of a web-based cognitive training program to improve the attention and memory of healthy adults.

Volunteer participants (23 people with a mean age of 54) were given initial cognitive assessments, a training (or control) intervention, and then cognitive assessments again post-training. Both training and testing were conducted online at each participant’s home.

Trained subjects completed 20-minute online cognitive exercise sessions once daily for five weeks, while control participants received no training. Exercises consisted of one visual attention and three working memory tasks. Results and compliance data were captured online automatically.

The trained group improved significantly in measures of visual attention and working memory (p<0.01) while the control group did not.

Training reduced the average error in localization of transient and non-central visual stimuli while improving performance on measures of spatial working memory. There were no significant performance shifts in the control group.

Results indicate that improving cognitive abilities such as working memory and visual attention is possible via the use of web-based applications outside of a clinical setting.

Q & A Regarding Cognitive Training

Is there scientific evidence that brain training works?

The answer is yes and no, depending on what you’re asking. Is there evidence that cognitive training can improve specific cognitive abilities? Yes.

Does research today prove that brain training will improve your life and day-to-day living?Not at this point.

A number of scientific studies have shown that properly constructed exercises can lead to improvements that go beyond the task subjects used for training. Last year, a University of Michigan lab demonstrated that working memory training can lead to an improvement in fluid intelligence. Another set of studies by researchers at the University of Alabama linked visual attention training to safer driving.

Lumosity uses the findings of studies like this to develop all of its games and training programs. Further, Lumosity has initiated several studies testing the efficacy of the games and training programs, and is involved in a number of experiments at leading universities testing Lumosity’s impact on various cognitive functional areas.

For instance, a clinical experiment on the Lumosity program revealed that participants improved in measures of both working memory and attention. The results showed that subjects didn’t just improve at the games, they were also better on neuropsychological tests of memory and attention that were not part of the training.

Importantly, the improvement was statistically significant, and the methods and analysis were approved by a board of neuroscientists from both Stanford University and University of California at San Francisco.

Another study at the younger academic level revealed that 11 year olds improved their scores on math tests by 34 percent after using Lumosity for six weeks. The gains made by these students were significantly greater than those made by other students in the same class, who were not training with the Lumosity program.

An ongoing experiment at Austin Speech Labs is evaluating the use of Lumosity to help people recover from stroke, and the early results are promising. A 72 year old patient said, “From the time I had my stroke I have had difficulty with speed and language. Lumosity is definitely helping me get better.”

Lumosity anticipates the results of this study will be published sometime in the coming months and will be available on the site and through various scientific publications.

At a basic level, working memory and attention are cognitive abilities that underlie complex thinking, language, and other components of intelligence.

Lumosity’s games and training programs address each of these functional components, while other Lumosity exercises address academic skills like language and mathematics. And while no brain exercise is proven to get one a better job or bring up poor grades, independent researchers and doctors are continuing to explore the benefits of Lumosity training – as well as the limitations.

Many of the reports published lately have detailed the benefits of everyday activity, such as light physical exercise, as an equally effective way to stimulate the brain. While physical exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and the brain performs best in a healthy body, it cannot replace the direct cognitive benefits of cognitive training.

What about crossword puzzles?

These activities are intellectually stimulating and fun, which is great. There is no evidence, however, that doing crossword puzzles will develop any abilities beyond the skill of doing crossword puzzles. Lumosity exercises target basic cognitive abilities that can impact brain performance more broadly.

Max Goldberg, a Lumosity user, said, “I speak a foreign language, Spanish, and I do crossword puzzles,” Goldberg said. “But through speaking Spanish and doing the crossword puzzles, I never felt the improvement in my memory like I do with the brain games.” (from

Does brain training prevent Alzheimer’s disease?

There is in fact no proof that any activity prevents Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that cognitively stimulating activities might delay it.

People who had extra years of education, work at challenging jobs, and participate in intellectually challenging activities including socializing tend to be less likely to get Alzheimer’s. It’s not yet clear, though, if these activities build resistance to Alzheimer’s or if the people who are already resistant to Alzheimer’s seek out these activities.

Should you pay for brain training?

This is similar to asking if it’s a good idea to purchase a gym membership. You can get physical exercise in many ways, so it’s not necessary, but a gym provides the equipment to exercise muscles efficiently. Similarly, many forms of free intellectual activity can stimulate brain function, but Lumosity provides the equipment to target specific cognitive abilities.

Brain Games: Try the Lumosity Brain Training Program. Only $6.60 a month.

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