Lumosity users often ask how much they can expect to improve with training. The short answer is you can improve a lot.
The chart below shows the average Brain Performance Index (BPI) for users as a function of the number of Lumosity games played, up to 1000 total games. BPI is Lumosity’s version of IQ — it measures your ability to handle the speed, memory, attention, problem solving, and flexibility challenges on Lumosity. On average, users who played at least 1000 games saw their BPIs more than double — the equivalent of moving from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile. Furthermore, this holds true for people of every age and starting ability. Everyone can improve with sufficient training!
As is often the case, however, looking at average curves obscures some individual differences. The above curves seem to indicate that every time you play a game, your performance will be a little bit better. Anyone who’s ever spent time trying to improve any ability — whether it be memory, a foreign language, or even dancing — knows that progress is not so smooth. There are often periods of seemingly little progress followed by abrupt breakthroughs of improved ability. Examination of many individual improvement curves reinforces this intuition. While average performance appears smooth, individual performance often appears to plateau and then rapidly improve.
This pattern of spikes and plateaus is apparent in my own BPI history. The chart below shows my BPI over the past 50 games:
As you can see, there are strings of many games where my BPI is stable or even declines. This is followed by rapid gains with performance stabilizing at a new plateau.
Neurologically, there are changes going on throughout this training period — however, these changes appear in behavior only intermittently. The reasons for this, at a neural level, are complex and somewhat poorly understood. It’s important to realize that these plateaus are perfectly normal. If you feel that you are stuck at a certain level, don’t give up! Your brain is working away at improving, even if it doesn’t translate into obvious gains immediately.
Keep training and working on your own BPI. You’ll improve a little bit day by day, even when you don’t notice the changes.
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