“The Lumosity games are far less intimidating. An effort has been made to make them entertaining rather than hardcore versions of the 11-plus. They are short and sweet and include plenty of encouragement – gold stars leap across the screen when I do something right. Having said that, it’s difficult to fit a 20-minute session into my daily life. I don’t find the games sufficiently interesting to get out of bed and do them each morning, so my training is rather sporadic – more like once a week than once every 24 hours.
But regular monitoring of my performance by Lumosity shows that I gradually improve in all the games the more I play them. Unsurprising, says David Z Hambrick, associate professor of psychology at Michigan State University. In an interview last year, Hambrick said brain-training games are “designed to tap into this ability to control attention. Their idea is that if we can improve the ability to control attention then we can, by extension, improve people’s intelligence… [but] if you find that people get better in one test of reasoning, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re smart; it means they’re better on one test of reasoning.”
I’m a big fan of Lumosity, although I have frustratingly plateaued for the moment.