When gym culture has been on the rise for what seems like the past 30 years, one muscle seems to be left out time and time again – our brain. This vital piece of organic hardware at the top of us should not be overlooked, and yet everyday many of us take our intelligence and our ability to even comprehend the world for granted. What’s worse is that today more than ever, our minds are overworked with the incredible amount of noise that we try our best to filter out. Whether that is the infinite amount of text we see, the bold and colourful still and moving images or the collective sounds of millions of others in our vicinity. Keeping our brains pumped and our minds sharp is vital to remaining healthy; luckily, we have an easy and enjoyable way to do this – Lumosity.
Brain training games were quite the fad when a series of video game releases led to a string of them, but not everyone has an up to date console or access to a PC. On the other hand, so many of us have a smart phone, and now that screens are big and of course touchable the ability to play on the device most familiar to you comes naturally. Enter Lumosity. Unlike many other phone games that simply sap your time in order to prevent boredom this gem allows users to learn on the go.
Developed by Lumos Labs, this interesting research based endeavour into the brain game market is one of a kind. Behind a simple and quite charming interface of simple icons and cartoons, the core of Lumosity is driven by science. Brought into existence with help from genuine scientists who have been studying the field of cognition, the games that Lumosity uses are not just any simple brain teasers. Instead, what Lumosity puts in front of its 85 million strong user base is actually psychological tasks that have been carefully ‘dressed up’ to become fun games.
Each different game focuses on a particular mental task, such as ‘Playing Koi’ where players have to feed a pond over overlapping fish. Remembering which ones have been fed and which have not. This seemingly simple task quickly becomes taxing as the fish move between themselves continuously, making it difficult to keep track of each individual at any given time. The logic behind this game is to assess your divided attention, as in your ability to conduct yourself in a chaotic environment, which as many of us know is something we encounter regularly in every day life.
Not only do the players get a fun mental boost from playing these games, the researchers and teams of cognitive experts back at Lumos Labs receive stacks of data. Their mission is to continue to develop new games and find better ways to enhance our minds. Premium players can compare their scores with others and also see their own progress with a glance at their personal statistics. Lumosity is not just a game, its not just a mental exercise, its not simply a device for research, collectively it is a wonderful stepping stone for our mental health and cognitive capabilities as a species.