FTC Takes Aim At “Brain Training”

On Tuesday the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Lumos Labs, the company behind the Luminosity ‘brain training’ subscription program (H/T ScienceInsider).  The company will pay $2 million to its subscribers in connection with its claims that the products would help prevent cognitive decline, reduce cognitive impairment and improve cognitive functioning.  The FTC alleged in its complaint that the company failed to back up its claims and that it failed to disclose that some of the testimonials the company used were solicited with prizes.

The proposed order would require the company to have competent and reliable scientific evidence at hand when making the kinds of claims it did.  Additionally, the company must notify its subscribers that participate in auto-enrollment and allow them means to cancel their subscriptions.

Meanwhile, if you see any advertisements for Luminosity or similar programs, I’d encourage you to ask for evidence behind any claims.