Lumos Labs researchers, in collaboration with researchers at Stanford and San Francisco State Universities, have published a groundbreaking study in the Mensa Research Journal. This is the first peer-reviewed, controlled trial to demonstrate that web-based cognitive training can significantly enhance cognitive performance in healthy adults.
Participants in the study were randomly assigned to one of two groups: a training intervention group or a waitlist control group. Intervention group participants did Lumosity training 20 minutes a day for 5 weeks. At the end of the period, they saw significant improvements on tests of visual attention and working memory (20% and 10%, respectively). Control participants, on the other hand, did not undergo Lumosity training and did not improve.
This study goes above and beyond others of its kind in building a persuasive case for cognitive training for the general population. Firstly, the experiment used a control group to demonstrate that these improvements were not based on practice effects. Furthermore, the standard assessments of attention and memory used to test the transfer of training effects were distinct from the tasks used for training–thus indicating that cognitive benefits went beyond game-specific abilities. Cognitive improvements were transferable to core cognitive abilities.
The implications of this study are clear and compelling: Lumosity training can improve core underlying mental abilities, abilities that transfer to myriad aspects of our everyday lives. We engage visual attention to focus on our environment, whether it be the webpage we’re reading or the cars on the road. We use working memory for a wide variety of tasks, from remembering the grocery list to solving a complex problem at work. Enhancing these abilities can make you more efficient at the things you do all the time.