Saturday, February 1, 2014

Does Lumosity Work? (Kesler of Stanford says “yes”)

For starters, you should probably know that Lumosity– www.lumosity.com - is “a San Francisco-based company that provides an online brain training program, where subscribers play nearly 40 different games to improve attention, flexibility, memory and problem solving. It launched in 2007 and has about 40 million subscribers.”

Let me see, if the US population is roughly 320 million people, which means something like 12 – 13 % of us is training our brains on Lumosity which seems incredibly high…and it doesn’t count all the other online brain exercise programs out there like Cogmed (http://www.cogmed.com/) and PositScience (http://www.positscience.com/ ).

Shelli Kelser is a assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and I read about her opinion in a nicely written DailyTech.com posting by Tiffany Kaiser: http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=31612. You should know that she, like me, is a Lumosity-addict.

Here’s the crux of Kaiser’s posting in response to the “Does it work?” question: “Shelli Kesler, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, seems to think it does.

Kesler recently led a Stanford study that aimed to measure how well Lumosity's brain training transferred into the real world. She used a small sample of 41 breast cancer patients who had been treated with chemotherapy. Past studies have shown that cancer patients who've undergone chemotherapy can experience cognitive impairment for years afterward.

The experimental group in the Stanford study played Lumosity games four times a week for 12 weeks, and results showed that they had improved word finding, executive function and processing speed over the control group.”

Using breast cancer victims as the experimental group strikes me as relevant for us brain tumor survivors. And, since I know several breast cancer chemotherapy survivors, I’m going to pass this on to them, too.