|Style over substance|
Lumosity, created in 2007 by Lumos Labs, is a brain training program that sells online games that, as of 2017, are designed to "train core cognitive abilities". Formerly (in 2014), Lumosity claimed:
“”That's why we created a simple online tool to allow anyone to achieve their full potential. Several studies have shown that Lumosity can improve cognitive function in various populations.
“”We object to the claim that brain games offer consumers a scientifically grounded avenue to reduce or reverse cognitive decline when there is no compelling scientific evidence to date that they do. The promise of a magic bullet detracts from the best evidence to date, which is that cognitive health in old age reflects the long-term effects of healthy, engaged lifestyles. In the judgment of the signatories, exaggerated and misleading claims exploit the anxiety of older adults about impending cognitive decline. We encourage continued careful research and validation in this field.
In 2016, Lumos Labs agreed to settle a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission for $2 million regarding deceptive advertising. Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection stated regarding the settlement:
“”Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease. But Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads.
The FTC had alleged:
“”…that the defendants claimed training with Lumosity would 1) improve performance on everyday tasks, in school, at work, and in athletics; 2) delay age-related cognitive decline and protect against mild cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease; and 3) reduce cognitive impairment associated with health conditions, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, ADHD, the side effects of chemotherapy, and Turner syndrome, and that scientific studies proved these benefits.
- Lumosity: About
- About Lumosity (archived from January 4, 2014).
- Neuroscientists speak out against brain game hype by Emily Underwood (Oct. 22, 2014, 4:30PM) Science.
- Lumosity's Brain Games Are Bullshit by Kate Knibbs (10/23/14 3:12pm) Gizmodo.
- A Consensus on the Brain Training Industry from the Scientific Community (October 20, 2014) Stanford Center on Longevity.
- Lumosity to Pay $2 Million to Settle FTC Deceptive Advertising Charges for Its “Brain Training” Program. Company Claimed Program Would Sharpen Performance in Everyday Life and Protect Against Cognitive Decline (January 5, 2016) Federal Trade Commission.