The (False) Promise of Brain Training Apps

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Can the daily use of brain training apps really make us smarter and delay or even prevent health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease? The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is not convinced it can and reached a settlement with brain training app maker Lumosity.

Lumosity has to pay $2 million in fines and send out a statement about the settlement to its customers. In addition, the company has to offer an easy way to cancel auto renewal subscriptions to all existing clients who signed up between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2014.

Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection stated that

“Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease. [...] But Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads.”

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