Do brain apps like Lumosity actually work?

Brain jogging has become a true trend sport - what offers are there?

Numerous digital offers in the form of apps are intended to train the memory. But the scientists argue about whether this works.

Jogging, exercising, working on yourself - you can do the same for your brain. The providers of numerous digital brain fitness tools promise to improve memory, attention and concentration over the long term. This is well received: In recent years, brain jogging has become a real “trend sport”. Because not only the muscles, but also the brain can be trained.

Brain jogging improves memory

Critics say that while brain jogging can improve the individual's memory or attention, the general thinking skills, on the other hand, remain unchanged. Brain training users would not be more intelligent. In addition, activities that can be implemented in everyday life are more valuable. Attending a dance class or learning a new language, for example, is better memory training, especially for seniors. Scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, the National Institute for Health and Wellfare, and the University of Eastern Finland found that the combination of strength and cardio training, healthy eating, and regular brain training increased participants' general cognitive skills by 25 percent .

Personalized memory training with NeuroNation

The NeuroNation app, which has received an award from the Federal Ministry of Health, offers intensive brain training - this is so far unique among the competitors. In collaboration with scientists, 60 cognitive exercises were developed, which were evaluated in the COGITO study by the Max Planck Institute in Berlin. The study showed that intensive brain jogging improved the general cognitive abilities and in particular the attention and memory of the participants and not only the abilities that were practiced through the respective training task. What makes the app so special? Personalization for the user, which ensures that the exercises are neither too demanding nor too demanding. The NeuroNation brain training is very demanding and offers varied exercises. Gamification elements bring the necessary motivation boost. The app gives direct feedback, from which personal performance can be read. In addition, friends and family are integrated via a social network. In this way, users can directly compare and challenge each other. The app is even used in medical projects, for example as memory training for seniors or for the rehabilitation of stroke patients.

Lumosity is the market leader in memory training

Lumosity takes a similar approach. With around 70 million users in 182 countries, the app has established itself as the market leader worldwide. First, the user determines his starting point in three test runs and specifies what should be trained. This could be, for example: "efficiently switch between tasks" or "keep several pieces of information in mind". Then the training begins, which consists of daily workouts that challenge five core cognitive skills. Lumosity is also personalized and thus adapts to individual skills. The training progress can be viewed. Lumosity is based on tests developed by researchers to measure cognitive abilities. These have been revised and prepared in the form of 25 games for the user for brain jogging. You name yourself for example Speed ​​match, Lost in Migration or Pinball recall. The user has to determine in which direction a bird is flying on the screen, assign shapes to one another or estimate which direction a flying ball will take. The app is continuously updated and optimized as required.

The results are inconclusive

It is debatable whether all of these offers for brain jogging really help and make sense. The general tenor: Brain fitness offers help to improve what we practice with them. Above all, attention and concentration are trained more intensively in connection with physical activity and a healthy diet. So: to be able to remember names better, not to forget phone numbers or to puzzle. And that holds a great deal of potential for everyday life, which is currently and will probably continue to grow in the future.