In response to Gizmodo's recent article, Lumosity's Brain Games Are Bullsh*t:
I find this article kind of amusing in that they spend a large amount of time (it is long) making one point: brain training apps don’t make you smarter. To be honest, I never thought they did regardless of the marketing. In the early 2000s, there was a huge fad of similar style games on the Nintendo DS. My wife and I actually used to challenge each other all the time with the games. They were fun and amusing, and of course we grew tired of them after awhile. But NEVER did I think these were going to improve my brain capacity or functions. If they had, they would have taken the world by storm and they didn’t.
What I DO think is undeniable is the long term benefits of engaging your brain in tasks it doesn’t normally do to help contain things like Alzheimer's or other brain impairments (whether from disease or injury). The article is right that physical exercise is the best thing to improving brain functionality, but I think we’d all admit we all do well when challenging our brains regularly. (Note: one of the things that I do NOT like about Luminosity is its insistence I train every day. They should have a less frequent mode.)
The last paragraph on this though also is telling… Just because the science doesn’t exist to prove it works doesn’t mean any exists to prove it doesn’t. Just a reminder that there’s still a lot we don’t know.