This just in:
““Brain training” company Lumosity just settled deceptive-advertising charges with the Federal Trade Commission for $2 million. The company will have to notify its customers about the settlement and allow them to easily remove any auto-billing they have on their accounts.”
I’ve been listening to Lumosity’s commercials on the local public radio stations, and what a better place to advertise but to neurotic white, liberal, New Yorkers, whose greatest fear is losing their mind and what? thinking that Ted Cruz and Donald Trump actually make an iota of sense.
Just like Bernie Madoff’s regular 8.1% annual investment returns were “too good to be true,” so I was suspicious of Lumosity’s claims to have developed a “brain training program,” that would stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s.
I doubt this is going to stop Lumosity from marketing their quackery in the future, just as Airborne payed a $23 million suit over false advertising for convincing gullible buyers that their products don’t actually boost the immune system or prevent colds from happening (Airborne is still alive and well, peddling their remedies in stores all over the country.)
I do workshops on neuroscience and numeracy and unlike the mendacious hucksters who run shops like Lumosity, I actually base my work and suggestions on ACTUAL RESEARCH! This means that I don’t endorse any “do this and it’ll raise test scores overnight” dictates; instead, I make recommendations that will help teachers understand why their students struggle with things like learning the multiplication tables, or why certain language is more conducive to understanding mathematics than others.
Unfortunately, it is companies like Lumosity that puts the “real” findings in neuroscience in a bad light. This is a very young field of study, and we have to be careful about what we accept as “truth” when looking at what is being marketed at us. I figured eventually “Lumosity” would get caught eventually, I just wonder why I had to listen to hundreds of commercials before anybody caught on….