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Luminosity: Scam or No?

Posted Nov 09 2010 11:44am

I just signed up for a month of Luminosity.  It’s one of those “exercise your ” things.  Frankly, I think one can exercise one’s brain just as easily by .  Still…

I took a run-through of assessments in all the areas back some time ago.  I retook those assessments today.  There are 11 areas.  I did worse in six areas, scored the same in three and did better in 2.  My biggest hit was in the “Trail Making – A” test, where last time it took me 37.3 seconds, this time it took 51.

Then I took three “daily sessions” in order to give me enough “points” to register a “Brain Profile Index.”  And I’m just wondering about the validity of these scores.  Will they improve every time I retake a test, thereby urging me to continue my membership?  Or if I do worse on a test, will my score actually reflect that.

My Overall BPI stands at 387, which Luminosity says ranks me in the 21st percentile.  That means I had a better score than 21 percent of other Luminosity users within 5 years of my age.  Other scores…

Processing Speed 461 (9th percentile)

Memory 392 (18th percentile)

Attention 371 (26th percentile)

Flexibility 420 (32nd percentile)

292 (24th percentile)

So, we see that they get the OVERALL BPI by averaging the scores from the five areas they score.  Gonna have some lunch then try a few more “daily sessions” and see what goes up and what goes down.

(Pause at 12:08 pm)

OK, it’s an hour later.  I did three more sessions, and improved in almost all areas.

Overall BPI from 387 (21%) to 464 (31%)

Processing Speed from 461 (9%) to 517 (18%)

Memory stayed the same at 392 (18%)

Attention went from 371 (26%) to 480 (41%)

Flexibility went from 420 (32%) to 623 (53%)

Problem Solving went from 292 (24%) to 308 (26%)

Now, I’m going to do a series of games focusing on each area and see what happens to the BPI.

It’s now 1:53, and I have played every game now.  Some, multiple times.  So, here’s my BPI rundown

Overall BPI went from 387 (21%) to 464 (31%), back down to 424 (29%)

Processing Speed from 461 (9%) to 517 (18%), back down to 482 (13%)

Memory stayed the same in the first two runs at 392 (18%) before dropping to 326 (12%)

Attention went from 371 (26%) to 480 (41%) to 284 (44% although that must be a mistake in the FIRST calculation)

Flexibility went from 420 (32%) to 623 (53%) and stayed there.

Problem Solving went from 292 (24%) to 308 (26%) then up to 407 (which, the thing says is also 26% and must be a processing error).

So, how’s my brain doing?

I dunno.

Went to the website Cognitive Fun.net and found that I’ve improved a tad in three areas and worsened a tad in two.

Attention went from 99.93 to 100.94

slid from 79.35 to 78.54

slipped from 76.24 to 75.58

Item Span climbed from 135.09 to 137.69

Perception jumped from 96.46 to 98.07

These numbers all related to a baseline of 100 in each area when I first took the tests some months ago.  So the only areas I’m doing BETTER than baseline are attention and item span.  I’m close to baseline in perception, and I’ve really dropped off in executive functioning and working memory just as one would expect in this stage of Parkinson’s disease.

OK.  Nap time.

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