Results from world's largest human cognitive performance dataset published in Frontiers in Neuroscience
Lumosity, the leading brain training company, today announced a new web-based, big data methodology for conducting human cognitive performance research. Lumosity's research platform, the Human Cognition Project, contains the world's largest and continuously growing dataset of human cognitive performance, which currently includes more than 40 million people who have been tracked for up to 6 years. The study, published today in the open-access journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, examined how Lumosity's dataset can provide insights into the lifestyle correlates of cognitive performance and the impact of age on learning rate.
Human cognitive performance research is typically conducted through experiments in the laboratory, with small numbers of participants - often limited to university undergraduates - and requiring in-laboratory follow-ups. This approach limits the kinds of questions that can be studied, the number and demographics of participants, and can be time-consuming and costly.
"New technologies and research platforms have the potential to transform the speed, scale, efficiency and range of topics in which neuroscience research is conducted," said P. Murali Doraiswamy, Professor of Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, and co-author of the study. "This study is interesting because it brings to light the possibilities of what we can uncover by taking a big data approach to cognitive performance research."
The study presented two examples of research that can be conducted using Lumosity's dataset. Using survey results and a subset of the dataset tied to baseline performance on three cognitive exercises, the first study examined the effects of sleep and alcohol consumption on cognitive abilities, including speed (N = 162,462), memory (N = 161,717), and flexibility (N = 127,048). The study found that cognitive performance in all three tasks was most efficient, on average, for users reporting seven hours of sleep each night. The study also found that low to moderate alcohol intake - a self-reported one or two drinks per day - was associated with better performance in all three tasks, with brain performance scores decreasing steadily with every additional drink.