Brain games are popping up everywhere these days, and the claims associated with them can seem a little too good to be true. Brain games won’t make you a genius, but certain ones have been shown to improve your working memory and increase your fluid intelligence.
Lumosity is a brain training program with scientifically designed games that aim to improve brain function — which can begin to slow as early as age 30.
The company bases its research on the ACTIVE study which found that older adults who received training in memory, reasoning and processing speed improved their cognitive abilities and maintained the gains for years afterward.
The company reports that its scientifically developed brain training games:
- Increase alertness and awareness
- Improve your memory so you can recall names, numbers and directions more easily
- Elevate your mood
- Improve your concentration both at work and while driving
- Give you clearer and quicker thinking
Lumosity’s brain training is designed to give you a full cognitive workout in as little as 10 minutes at a time, although if you’re like me you’ll end up getting hooked and play for much longer.
Here are a few examples of the games.
In this game you must navigate your farmer around the garden monsters. You will see quick images of monsters and then they will disappear. You get bonus points if you can point to where the monsters were after your game. Monster Garden is designed to improve memory.
In this game, birds will pop up on a real life nature scene. Each bird is marked with a letter. You will click where you saw the bird and then you’re asked which letter appeared. Bird Watching is designed to improve attention.
In this game, you’ll be given a set of letters and you’ll be asked to form as many words as you can from those letters. Word Bubbles is designed to train and improve your processing speed.
One of the features I like best is that you can track your progress with a “my history” link that will show you the difference in your scores, agility and overall performance. So, you don’t have to take the program’s word for it that it improves your brain. You can actually see for yourself if it’s working.
Lumosity offers a free trial so you can play all of the games and see if the program is right for you before you commit. After the trial period you have the option of continuing your training for a monthly fee. There is also a second option where you can pay a one time fee for the whole year and save yourself some money.
Take the free trial. I think you’ll be pleased with your results, however I’m not taking the blame if find yourself more than a little addicted to the games.