Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Why Lumosity is Bullshit. Brain-training Doesn't Work.



Brain Training Doesn't Work. Lumosity.com is a Waste of Time and Money.

People will go to all means to earn some extra money. First, the body-fitness workout and tools were invented; okay, at least these do benefit you. But now the "scientists" and the entrepreneurs who pay those "scientists" to make fools of the general public claim they have invented "brain-workout". 
So, to get to the main point first, the best answer to the burning question "does Lumosity work?" will be "Lumosity doesn't work in the way that you expect it to work (it doesn't work in the way they make it sound like in its commercials). And what that means is:
Lumosity will not make you smarter! (...And getting smarter is exactly what everyone involved in, or contemplating about joining this "workout" program is hoping to achieve, am I not correct?)
What that means specifically is that this "workout" will not make you any better at anything besides the actual games and puzzles that you do in that program. And the reason for that is because what you aquire in this brain-fitness program (and other similar "brain-training" programs) is a set of non-transferrable skills. That means, again, that yes, you will get batter at the specific games and puzzles that they designed, but that's where all the improvement will end. PeriodImprovement in the performance of these games won't translate into an improvement in speed and accuracy of your judgement and decision making, memory or problem solving in the real-life settings. You will practice the puzzles offered by lumosity and will (likely) get better at solving these, but the brain circuits involved in real life decision-making, problem-solving are different and more complex, solving puzzles will not affect these. (Yes, brain is so complex it can get frustrating!) 
But some may object that Lumosity is supposedly "based on neuroscience"   
Well, contrary to what the model in the Lumosity commercial is constantly telling you, there were no real neurosceince or neuroscientists involved in its developement. 
*Maybe that's because I am very close to neuroscience, personally, but that phrase in their commercials makes me especially angry (that phrase coming from some lifestyle model whose only involvement in any kind of brain or memory training has likely been limited to memorizing that commercial script.  
And the reason there is no neurosceince involved has to do with what I talked about above: Any, even beginner neuroscientist knows about such property of the brain as its specificity which is precisely what makes the results you get with Lumosity non-transferrable (read useless). (As well, neuroscientists obviously know about everything (and more) that you are about to find out further, if you keep reading)
Of course, in any field there are some for whom money is the deciding factor, and for a paycheck, Lumosity rep-s may have managed to get a few such "individuals-holding some kind-of-neuroscience-related-degree-who-are-actually-not- true-to-science-at-all -but- to-money-and-money-only" to associate with them, but no true neuroscientists. (Because the goal of a true neuroscientist is to dedicate his knowledge and skill to improve the understanding of the brain, and uwhich ltimately means improving people's lives, and not to reaping these people off designing "brain-workouts" that are both pointless and useless.) Yes, unfortunatelly it's true: in order to be able to say "based on neuroscience" and not have it officially considered fraud or deception, there doesn't need to be any kind of actual neurosceince research or n-s-based developement involved! 
Moving on to the second major point. Not only is Lumosity UNhelpful, but it is also complitely unnecessary!
Explanation:
Body-workouts are useful, because it is true that most people do not move around and exert their muscles as much as they are naturally meant to (which is apparent when you see the access fat and poor muscle tone that many people have). When it comes to "brain-excercise", however our modern environment presents way too much of it already: The amount of information we are bombarded from everywhere in the modern information-based society is enormous: advertisements, commercials, projects and assignments on your job, your mobile plans and other plans, the numerous bills that you have to pay, school work, deadlines, all the writen and visual information of various forms of social media... the list is enormous! You do not think of these things as excercises, because many of these are actually a part of fun and rest for you, but when you get to the essence of it, this is all information. And that's your brain's job to keep and manage all this information on a daily basis.
Do you really think it needs some additional kind of excercises besides that? Do you think even a hundred years ago there were nearly as many of such excercises for your brain as there are now?
Were people more retarded back then because their brain did not get all that excercise? Well, judging by the brilliant works of art and literature, all the innovations and discoveries, that was not the case at all!
So, if anything, what we have to care about in this hectic age of information, is protecting our brain from the overload of information, the "brain-excercise" overload, not about excercising it further!
The question then will be: So if Lumosity is not improving any aspect of your intellect and is basically not in any way whatsoever effective and beneficial for you, then how come it's allowed to advertise its services?
Wait! Who said it's complitely ineffective? Did you forget the puzzles and other excercises you improved at? You did get better at these! Yes, that does not affect anything in the  context of real life, but did they ever directly say in what contexts you were to expect improvements? Watch the commercials again, they never said anything on that! And so you've got nothing on them!
You wanted to improve reaction - you did improve it, yes only for their games, but did they ever specify in what context it's expected to improve? No. So technically it's your bad!
In other words, technically Lumosity is not a fraud. ...Because you do get better at solving their puzzles. All other expectations you that had are technically your own mistake, for which they cannot be blamed...technically...   
I know that's ridiculous, but on airtime, internet, and other broadcasting, these blatant manipulations and mind games are okay and allowed, as long as no direct deception is happening.
That adds some irony to the whole situation:
Those who never got involved with Lumosity are the smarter ones!     
Lumosity will not make you smarter. It is unnecessary and not benefitial in any other way either.
Verdict:
Lumosity is bullshit.  
 ...
It seems though we are getting more and more of the Lumosity-propoganda from its adds and commercials that are as numerous and stubborn as they ever were, if not more so, So Lumosity seems to be doing well... Well, I only hope the funding for all that major brain-wash is coming from their own initial investments in its compaign, and not from all the new money they are reaping-off! 
  
In support of the above, I quote the final result of the controlled scientific study that was carried out by BBC (involving real neuroscientists) that testes whether or not Lumosity is effective
=>Dr Adrian Owen, a neuroscientist at the Medical Research Council, said: "The results are clear. "Statistically, there are no significant differences between the improvements seen in participants who played our brain training games, and those who just went on the internet for the same length of time."
=>Clive Ballard of the Alzheimer's Society said: "This evidence could change the way we look at brain training games and shows staying active by taking a walk for example is a better use of our time."
=>Rebecca Wood of the Alzheimer's Research Trust said: "This suggests that 'brain training' does not improve people's cognitive ability.

There's no more to add. The the conclusion is unanimous and clear



Lumosity is bullshit.





...6 weeks of wasted time! :)

Video:








15 comments:

  1. Not too surprising. In terms of scientific support, on par with numerology then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I post information about numerology and other things in part because it is interesting, I don't claim it works all the time. Besides there are many things people still have little understanding about, so there is always a possibility some non-material connections between things and events exist which we don't know much about yet..

      Delete
    2. Elena, You are right about that BBC research. But playing complex games do help brain. We can get it for free , we don't have to spend any money. What Lumosity has done is that they gathered all those games to their platform, so our lazy asses don't have to look elsewhere.

      BTW, you are super Sexy Mama.;) I will come back and see what other conspiracy type of posts you might publish.
      Love you Beautiful.
      Nick S

      Delete
  2. Correction - DIGITAL brain training doesn't work. I developed an analog based program for the Marines 5 years ago and since used by pilots, Snipers, SpecOps, pro athletes, kids with learning disabilities even TBI/concussion sufferers - 100% reported improvement in things that matter - grades, marksmanship, relationships, athletic performance, etc. Check out the testimonials at combatbraintraining.com, let me know if you want me to train you via Skype. I guarantee it will blow away the Lumosity results and make a believer out of you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Every time I see one of those commercials I start laughing in anger. I love having things like this in the world. Stupid people should get duped into paying for shit that doesn't work, but on the other hand, I have to keep rewatching these ads over and over, which is making me feel dumber. I know I'm not the smartest guy, but I like to think I have a good grasp on common sense. Common sense should tell you that playing puzzle games will only make you better at puzzle games. After all, tetris, sudoku, crosswords etc, have existed for quite some time and I haven't become a genius yet. On an almost unrelated note, those verizon retrain your brain commercials are driving me insane. Same with the KFC "ate the bones" campaign. You don't have to be totally ridiculous to get people to buy stuff. Just make it look good. I dont see how a talking shark, exploding red couch, pretending not to notice you ordered a boneless meal and shouting, "I ATE THE BONES!!", Is supposed to sell more of that product than actually showcasing the features of said product.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so sick of these kind of products, making all these grandiose promises. I've spent so much of my earnings on brain exercises that promise me an IQ of 800, and never once did it occur to me that it was all some scheme to take money away from me! What kind of monster would prey on the insecurities of the masses to make hideous amounts of money?
    I'm more hip to the whole the-Universe-has-a-path-for-me thing. Instead of falling for these marketing ploys (thanks for pointing it out by the way, I was just about to start my Lumosity training!) I've realized the Universe has a plan for my entire existence. Every little hiccup, every traffic jam, every cup of coffee spilled was a message from the Universe to me. It comforts me to think that the Universe has nothing better to do than to tinker with my daily activities to send me obscure messages, that can only be decoded with my brilliant mind. Sometimes It hides things in numbers, because It's clever like that.
    Carry on warning people against wasting money on these deceptive products, that appear in sketchy pop-up ads that we have no choice but to click. Instead, remind everyone that the Universe revolves around them and their every move!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Elena, could you at least credit my similar article on the topic if you're going to use my face/graphics from it? Either way, great post and I wholeheartedly agree (of course).
    http://www.ironmanmode.com/archives/5736

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's funny how if I google your name, I find a forum post by you annoyed that a photographer used your image without consent, credit or payment while on a modelling job. I asked you to remove my image from this cheap rewrite over a month ago, and you still haven't done it. What's worse is you've hotlinked to the image on my site, meaning you're leeching off my bandwidth.

    Remove it or I'll file a removal request with Google. Since this site is hosted on blogger, they can deactivate the entire blog pretty quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's funny how if I google your name, I find a forum post by you annoyed that a photographer used your image without consent, credit or payment while on a modelling job. I asked you to remove my image from this cheap rewrite over a month ago, and you still haven't done it. What's worse is you've hotlinked to the image on my site, meaning you're leeching off my bandwidth.

    Remove it or I'll file a removal request with Google. Since this site is hosted on blogger, they can deactivate the entire blog pretty quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Geez man, do you have a life? Unlike you, my life is not the blog or the internet, though I do enjoy posting every once in a while, but you are clearly way too obsessed, thinking I hotlinked something to something else, did a re-write of your post, and googling my name to see what I wrote in other posts. But well, I did remove it if this has been such a tragedy for you for so long. And no, I didn't even read your blog post, I just typed lumosity doesn't work to see what kind of pictures I would get, and had no idea it was your photo I thought it was a funny pic of some dude in glasses for fun. But yea, if you want to you can definitely try going to google headquarters and file a complaint if you don't have better things to do :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. On the other hand mindfulness based meditation has been shown to improve memory and decrease stress while increasing the thickness of the prefrontal cortex (the most highly developed part of the brain that is responsible for thinking, perceiving, producing and understanding language). Massachusetts General Hospital article: http://www.massgeneral.org/about/pressrelease.aspx?id=1329 Research article about grey matter growth: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361002/

    ReplyDelete
  10. F**k! Do any of you have a life? I can't believe I just wasted 5min of my life reading all this and even responding OMFG!

    ReplyDelete