Posted on October 8, 2010
We are often asked about how much and how often to train with Lumosity for maximum benefit. So, the research team has taken a look at our training database with an eye toward creating the most effective training routines. With over 7 million members, Lumosity has a tremendous data set for examining these fundamental questions of cognitive improvement.
We examined changes on the Brain Performance Index (BPI) for users who have played at least 1000 games on Lumosity. BPI is basically Lumosity’s version of IQ – it measures your ability to handle the speed, memory, attention, problem solving, and flexibility challenges on Lumosity. By examining how BPIs change as a function of games played, we can evaluate the efficiency of different amounts and schedules of training. We saw a number of interesting patterns in this data. A few of the most actionable findings are described below.
1. More training is better. The benefits of brain training
accumulate as you do more. Take a look at the chart below. In this chart, we plot the average BPI for users as a function of games played. As you can see, the more you train, the higher your BPI. The average starting point was 412. After 1000 games, the average performance rose to 919. We found that users continued to improve even after playing 1000 games, the equivalent of approximately 40 hours of training. The steepest rates of performance improvement happen early in training, but even after regular training for hundreds of sessions, users continue to improve their performance.
2. Anyone can benefit. Users across all age groups improved after substantial training. This is demonstrated in the chart below. You can see that older users started off at lower BPI levels than younger users, but all age groups improved a lot over 1000 games. While initial performance was strongest (on average) in the 18-39 year old cohort, the other groups easily surpass this group’s initial performance after substantial training. After 1000 training games, the average 60-89 year old was performing 44% better than the average 18-39 year old was before training.
When thinking about your own performance, it’s important to realize that it’s not where you start, but what you can achieve that’s important.
3. It’s better to train regularly than to do a bunch all at once. We know that more training is better, but it’s also important to train regularly over time since the brain needs time to rest in between training sessions and consolidate its gains. For users who played at least 1000 games, we found that those who trained regularly improved significantly more than those who did all their training in just a few days.
So, if you’re training on a regular basis, keep at it – there’s still much to gain. If you haven’t trained in a while, try to form a new brain training habit. If you’re new to Lumosity, get started today for a better brain!