Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

From lab to laptop: the origins of Lumosity games

Ever wonder how our game designers and scientists come together to create our games? Join us behind the scenes and find out!

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Creating brain training with intelligence

For decades, researchers have created tasks to measure cognitive abilities. Traditionally, these are administered during in-person studies using pen and paper — which means they rarely make it out of the lab.

That’s where we come in! Our scientists and game designers work together to turn common cognitive and neuropsychological research tasks into exciting games, bringing cognitive research — and fun — to 90 million people worldwide.

From cognitive task to engaging game

When creating a new game, our in-house scientists first identify a cognitive ability, such as working memory (the ability to temporarily store and manipulate information) or divided attention (the ability to simultaneously respond to multiple tasks or task demands).

Next step: find a way to challenge that skill. They’ll either adapt cognitive or neuropsychological tasks used by researchers for decades to test cognition, or they’ll use their knowledge and research experience to design entirely new, experimental challenges.

Working with experienced game designers, our scientists transform these tasks into beautiful, challenging, fun games that anyone can access from a computer or mobile device. Many of our games adapt to a player’s ability level, ensuring that each person is challenged to the full extent of their abilities.

The origins of classic Lumosity games

The much-loved Color Match is inspired by the Stroop Test, a classic task first published in 1935. It measures your ability to focus on the difference between naming a color used in the letterforms of a word, even if the text of the word conveys a different color.


Color match utilizes the Stroop Test by tasking your ability to suppress your response to what the word says, and focus on how the word looks. That’s how it challenges your response inhibition: the ability to quash inappropriate responses that get in the way of your goal.

 The brain game, Color Match, is inspired by the Stroop Test.

The brain game, Color Match, is inspired by the Stroop Test.

Or how about Lost in Migration? It’s based on the 1974 Flanker Task, which challenges selective attention: your ability to ignore distracting details and focus only on the target.

Just like the original Flanker Task, Lost in Migration challenges you to respond to the central target — in this case, a bird — and ignore distracting information from the surrounding flankers.

 The brain game, Lost in Migration, is based off of the Flanker Task.

The brain game, Lost in Migration, is based off of the Flanker Task.

Which Lumosity game do you want to learn more about? Visit our Facebook page and let us know.

Lumosity Explained: Interpreting Cognitive Training Research VIDEO

Lumosity Explained: Interpreting Cognitive Training Research VIDEO