Given the popularity of my previous posts discussing Lumosity and the fact that Lumosity’s number crunchers recently (presumably) collected enough data to provide more refined performance feedback, I thought I’d provide an update.
Ater my initial push for the 99th percentile, I played for a couple more weeks and then abruptly stopped playing. I figured that the mountain of MOOCs would be enough to keep my brain stimulated, plus I was growing bored of most of the games available. But about a week ago, I fired it up again to see if there were any new games available and because I had just read a couple books about neural plasticity. (As the reviews suggest, the first one is better.) When I played over the summer, it took me a while to work up to the level necessary to hit 99. Jumping back into it now, I just started tearing things up immediately upon resuming. Most of my old records were broken within just a couple days by a nontrivial amount, and they’ve been steadily improving too. So perhaps whatever brain changes I prompted initially decided to stick around? My health has also been improving lately, too, and that definitely helps with my ability to focus, process information, and remember things.
I’ve been playing games in each of the 5 categories, but the Memory games have been the most interesting lately. As I mentioned previously, n-back training seems to be about the best you can do to actually increase your intelligence, and that’s obviously an appealing outcome. (That said, I do believe that there are many other things you can do to improve your mental performance, even if you’re not actually changing your innate intelligence level.) Plus, they’re just more interesting to me, and there’s no way to ever “beat” many of them: until the laws of physics governing light, my eyeballs, and my fingers mean that I physically can’t answer questions any faster, there’s always room for improvement. And believe me, there’s lots of room for improvement.