Lumosity review

This brain-training app promises to improve your memory, flexibility, speed, attention, and problem-solving skills, using a variety of fun yet challenging games.

Lumosity is a gaming app dedicated to improving cognitive function, based on the science of neuroplasticity. According to this principle, the brain is not fixed but can change based on new studies and experiences. With 46 fun yet challenging games, Lumosity promises to increase users' cognitive speed, memory, attention, flexibility, and problem-solving abilities.

Log in via Facebook or create an in-app account. While filling out your profile, indicate your goals, such as increasing speed or improving memory, or opt for a complete cognitive overhaul. Once your aspirations are in sight, Lumosity will recommend a customized daily training regimen of five revolving games. The free version includes only a handful of games. For $15 per month, you get total access, as well as detailed graphs charting your Brain Performance Index, your progress, and how you compare with others.

Pros

A wide variety of games: Lumosity offers an ever-growing catalog of single-player amusements, from computation exercises to puzzles to speed matches, to keep your interest piqued. You'll want to train every day.

Style and substance: Lumosity's streamlined interface is organized, easy to navigate, and easy on the eyes.

Training reminders: For those who are memory-impaired, Lumosity sends daily reminders to complete exercises for the day. Even better, you can get to exercises directly from the e-mail, without having to log in.

Cons

Lack of integration: It would be nice to have better integration between Lumosity for Mac and iOS. As it stands, exercises completed on an iPhone or iPad aren't synced with the desktop app's history.

Featured games: Lumosity tends to recommend playing the same set of games in most training curriculums and under Featured Games. But after your training, you are free to complete your choice of exercises from the long list under Games.

Bottom Line

Major cognitive changes take time. I tried Lumosity for 30 days and saw tremendous improvement in my game scores across the board. It remains to be seen whether that improvement comes through practice or through a true increase in brain performance, and whether I'm more likely to figure out tips more quickly or always remember where I left my keys. I can say for certain that Lumosity games are extremely addictive, so I will be ponying up for a paid account.

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