Adventures in Brain Training: Lumosity – River Ranger 2-2-2017
In the never-ending Pursuit of Peak Performance, on January 3rd, 2013 I became aware of what is known as cognitive brain training through a website called Lumosity. Their training site features a series of brain games created by scientists and game designers that help train different areas of cognitive skill with the desired result to create an overall significant improvement in how you process and react to incoming information. Similar to crossword puzzles but only on a much higher level.
Anyone can train their core cognitive abilities to think better, sharper and faster with increased focused no matter what their current state is. I’ll do a future article that goes more in depth on cognitive brain exercises and what our current research has shown us but for now let’s just have some fun and jump right into the games.
Today’s game will be River Ranger, recorded on February 2nd, 2017. The game trains your Information Processing skills by challenging you to remember the last animal you saw throughout a sequence of grouped animals swimming in a river. Lumosity describes Information Processing as “the initial identification and analysis of incoming sensory input“. In simple terms, how well you can process information as it comes in and apply it to what happens next.
How to Play: When the game begins if you see a seal you simply click the seal, next if you see a bear and the same seal again you click the seal again, next you may see the same bear from the previous group and a turtle you haven’t seen yet so you click the bear. Always remembering to only click an animal you’ve seen in the previous group. Get the point?
Let’s take a look at how I performed. Since this is the first time I screen recorded this game I set the difficulty level down two levels from my current level for demonstration purposes. Note: The video is real-time speed and not sped up.
Normally the animals are not different colors as you see in the video but for some odd reason because I unlocked a high level where they are, they’re now that way even when I set the level lower. I think you get the idea. I was god awful when I first started playing this but I now I’m very fluid and can get myself into a very good rhythm.
What the Heck is LPI?
Lumosity grades you according to it’s Lumosity Performance Index or LPI. LPI is a standardized scale calculated from all of your game scores. LPI helps you compare your strengths and weaknesses across games that challenge different cognitive abilities.
My starting LPI in 2013 was 1029
My best LPI is 1691.
My current LPI is 1689.
The How You Compare section will show you what LPI percentile you’re in for your age group. You can also view your LPI in comparison to other age groups. I believe I began somewhere around the mid 70th percentile. I’m now in the 99th percentile which is the highest “full percentile”.
I can still however increase my total LPI in tenths of a percent (99.1,99.2, etc) and I can also increase my percentile in the separate categories of Speed, Memory, Attention, Flexibility and Problem Solving. I’ll get more into detailed stats in a future post.
Tracking your progress throughout training sessions comes in handy to see where you improved most and where you still may need improvement. You should eventually notice the difference in how your brain performs during everyday activities.
So Does Brain Training Work?
I used the free version of Lumosity for many years and after seeing noticeable improvement I upgraded to a paid subscription in November of 2016 because I wanted to view and track my daily stats. According to my stats I’ve experienced a significant improvement across the various categories of cognitive functions (Speed, Memory, Attention, Flexibility and Problem Solving). I feel much sharper and noticed significant improvement in short-term memory retention. In my personal experience, since I actually enjoy playing many of the games this comes as a great benefit. A few of the games can be somewhat frustrating (which likely varies from person to person) but most are actually fun and incredibly challenging.
Since I’ve been recently recording my game activities I’ll continue to share them in future posts. If you train with Lumosity feel free to share yours.