Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Sternberg: We were interested in examining how lifestyle factors such as sleep, mood and time of day impact cognitive game play performance. We analyzed game play performance data on Lumosity tasks from more than 60,000 participants and found that performance on the tasks designed to challenge memory, speed, and flexibility peaked in the morning, while performance on tasks designed to challenge aspects of crystallized knowledge such as arithmetic and verbal fluency peaked in the afternoon. Overall, game performance for most tasks was highest after seven hours of sleep and with positive moods, though performance on tasks that challenged crystallized knowledge sometimes peaked with less sleep.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Sternberg: The changes within an individual’s daily life can impact cognitive performance. Once an individual’s differences and peak performance are better understood, there may be a way to optimize the scheduling of different tasks throughout the day.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Sternberg: Future studies can combine these findings with the growing health and lifestyle data from smartphones and wearable devices to help individuals and researchers better understand the relationships between our daily lives and cognitive performance.
Abstract Presented at 2014 Society for Neuroscience conference
Lifestyle effects on Cognitive Training