Luminosity may only work on your ego, not your mind.
Who among us would deny their brain some mental fitness?
You can’t have missed the commercial ads for Luminosity on TV, they air constantly. And because of that, I’ve been drawn to google about the site a few times. Meaning…their marketing campaign works. But I’ve never made the plunge into creating an account and using the program. Now, this isn’t just because I’m lazy. Which, let’s not lie – I often am. No, I haven’t made an account with the program because too much research tells me that it’d be a waste of time. (And Mama don’t have no time to waste!)
Does Luminosity Work?
Luminosity is based on cognitive brain training. But does it work? The online brain training site aims to work on these cognitive areas: speed, memory, attention, flexibility, and problem solving.
Tony Hoffman from PCMag.com is a fan. But he is clear about the fact that, “Scores of scientific studies have indicated that cognitive training provides benefits that extend beyond mastering the particular “brain games” used in the study, others disagree.”
A blogger on The Stochastic Mind took a close look at the study that Luminosity is using to make all of their grand gestures. You can read the study, here. Based on these results, Luminosity is boasting that they can help your brain.
But they only used 23 people for their study. That’s a small number to base a claim on, especially for what is a scientific study.
Adding insult to injury, the control group didn’t work well, and the results were simply phrased in a positive way. All in all, it sounds like a sham.
As that aforementioned blogger suggests, I’d say that just playing a video game or doing a crossword puzzle would work just as well to help your brain.
There’s also been evidence that when you complete a small task, you can feel victorious and your self-confidence can be boosted. (Which is why I often do 50 quick little snaps so I get that nice feeling before I tackle a daunting task.)
Anyway… I signed up.
Here’s what happened:
Speed Test: Easy to do, I had a 90% accuracy. Then, Pinball Recall. Harder. I made it to level 5, at least. I think if you play pool, this would help you a lot.
After playing those 2 games, which took about 10 minutes and got me interested, the next three games were locked. I was told to unlock them. This, finally, took me to a page that talked about money.
Interestingly, nothing on the homepage for Luminosity indicates you’d have to pay anything. But this service is not free. An unknowing user would click on “start training” and you go right into filling out your profile. AFter that, you arrive at a page that says, “Create a free account to see your Personalized Training Program.” All seems good there, because who doesn’t like free?
From there, you fill in your name/age/and other details. They, of course, want to know where you heard about them, and they also want to know your social security number…juuust kidding. After some calculating by the computer, you get a review of what areas you’ll be focusing on, and if you’re like me – you get a page that says that in 3 months of training, your brain will be “improved” by 87%.
From there, you get to play. Because I was looking, I noticed that there was a light gray background that listed seven days. And there was a bright orange button that said, “unlock full access.” It would appear that this was a free program that offered more if you wanted to pay. But is that true? Or do they get you hooked and then go, ‘HEY, now you gotta pay!’?
TLDR: First, you’ll get a chance to play around with a 7 day free trial. Then, it costs $9.99 ( no- higher now, $13.99) per month or $4.66/month for the whole year.
Again, I recommend a crossword puzzle. And reading TV blog reviews on Small Screen Scoop,of course.