OUCH: Lumosity’s puzzles and games may strain your brain. But that doesn’t justify claims that they can make people smarter or reduce the likelihood of memory loss and dementia. The developer, Lumos Labs, agreed to a $2 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over misleading ads that its games can improve performance in schools, athletics, and even in the workplace. The settlement (PDF) also found that testimonials were “not spontaneously generated by consumers” but rather tied to prizes.
In its defense, Lumos Lab told NBC News that “neither the action nor the settlement pertains to the rigor of our research or the quality of the products.”
A “consensus” paper published last year by The Stanford Center on Longevity and the Berlin Max Planck Institute for Human Development voiced the academic community’s concern over whether brain trainers can actually improve intelligence or cognitive functions. NBC further notes that the Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve any brain training programs to date.