Lumosity Memory Match

by Brent
(New Zealand)

Hi there, I'm really struggling to make any progress on Lumosity's Memory Match... do you have any tips?


PS. I'm really impressed with your brain profile!

NOTE: I no longer recommend Lumosity brain training. Unfortunately the Lumosity company has been plagued by numerous customer complaints. Worse yet, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined Lumosity $2 million for deceptive practices.

I think Lumosity management is trying to turn the company around, but the scandals left a bad taste in my mouth.

Doug's Reply. Memory Match is absolutely one of the most challenging of Lumosity's brain games. It's also one of my favorites, because Memory Match trains IQ and intelligence as proven by research.

When I first started playing Memory Match, it was indeed very hard and somewhat frustrating. What I noticed, though, is that with persistence my brain began to adapt to the game.

Over time (it took awhile) my brain came to understand what was expected, and I was eventually able to hold the missing, invisible shape-pattern in memory more easily.

Memory Match Example

Thus my main suggestion to you is to practice, practice, and practice some more. Play a session or two of Memory Match every day for a week, and it will get easier.

Here are some additional Memory Match tips from other Lumosity users:
  • Play the Memory Match Overload version, then come back. It will be much easier for you than before.

  • Being accurate and fast helps you get bonus points!

  • Give the shapes a number, and when it appears, say

    it to yourself. Keep repeating the numbers of the two shapes. Then skip them as you go. For example: 1,3 then 3, 3 then 3, 2. This way you will always know if the current shape's number equals the first one on the left.

  • It's more important to be accurate than fast.

  • Watch for repeating patterns such as AAA... and ABABAB...

  • Say a name for the color that is fading into the left box.

  • If you've forgotten -- better to guess NOT A MATCH than MATCH (better odds!)

  • There's an optimal speed where you haven't quite forgotten the two prior shapes.

  • Say them to yourself, white, red... and watch the pattern.

  • At the first, I found this very hard. Then, I started slowly, not going for scores or anything, and just trying to improve my memory. Slowly I started to remember things better, and started to improve. So forget about high scores, and just improve your memory! Later you will get better scores, too.

  • Stay calm!

I hope you found some of these suggestions helpful. That last one is probably the most important.

I'm looking forward to trying Memory Match Overload. It is going to be intense. However, I haven't yet because that game scares me. Smilie

If you want to try another crazy-hard game for memory and intelligence, check out Dual N-Back. That one almost made my brain burst.

Because it was the prototype for Memory Lane, Dual N-Back is kind of hidden on the Lumosity site. It isn't listed on the Games tab, but you can find it on the Courses > Peak Performance tab.

Best regards,

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Feb 26, 2014
Dual N-Back on Lumosity
by: Douglas - MIT

Hi Anonymous,

You make some good observations, but I disagree with you on several points, actually...

Dual n-back is not the only game proven to "improve your mind". Read the scientific references at the bottom of my Brain Games page. Many scientists agree cognitive training improves the individual brain skills being used. An action game might improve cognitive control and multiple object tracking skills, for example. But not make you smarter overall.

Dual n-back improves working memory. But a main reason dual n-back is different is the Jaeggi studies showed the benefits transfer to general intelligence. That's the exciting thing. It's the only style of game so far that does this. Playing dual n-back may actually raise your IQ!

You are right to say dual n-back is hard. Some people would call it ridiculously hard. And time consuming. Those 20 minutes go by slowly. It hurts my brain when I play it.

Through their Memory Lane game, Lumosity has tried to offer the same experience with a friendlier interface. Memory Lane is obviously modeled on dual n-back. Instead of a plain grid, you remember letters and window patterns in buildings. Memory Lane is more appealing than vanilla dual n-back.

As for it being "hidden", the original dual n-back (still Beta version) is listed in Lumosity's Memory Games section along with all the other games, as this screen image shows:

Lumosity's dual n-back

Lumosity is a for-profit business, not a charity. They offer a fun, affordable, and effective suite of brain training games. That is my opinion. And I've played their games ALOT.

Those who want to play hardcore dual n-back can easily do so, not only on Lumosity's website, not only with Brain Workshop (as you point out), but also right here on my website if they wish.


Feb 16, 2014
Dual N Back
by: Anonymous

Considering the absolute fact that dual-n-back type games are the only "proven" way to improve your mind, why are they hidden on Lumosity?

If they really are interested in improving anyone's mind, this type of game should actually be lauded by Lumosity, and easy to locate. I suppose because those type games can be so difficult at first, they don't want to discourage users, and lose customers. Lumosity isn't designed to improve your brain, but instead to stroke your ego, and make money.

Anyone who doesn't see this after playing Lumosity for more then a few days, does really need brain training.

Dual N Back -

Jul 27, 2013
The game is hard, no doubt about it
by: Douglas - MIT

Hi Kris, It's not just you - the Memory Match game IS hard.

But it does get better. If you practice every day, I'm sure you'll see improvement in your scores.

I force myself to play Memory Match every morning, even though the game is somewhat stressful. The benefits (clearer, sharper thinking, improved working memory and IQ) are just too appealing.

It appears to me that you DO understand what's expected. Based on your comments, you do seem to comprehend the instructions.

Focus on and remember what the current two invisible shapes are, and answer the question: Does the left-most invisible shape match the right-most shape (the visible one). You can't forget the middle shape, of course, because that one will become the left-most shape next.

Easy to explain, very hard to do. But I encourage you to be persistent.

Play Memory Match for 5-10 minutes a day, every day for two weeks. Your brain WILL adapt to this game.

By the way, if you have an iPhone, Memory Match is one of the games available in the Lumosity app. (Not all of them are.)

Jun 13, 2013
What IS expected???
by: Kris

I'm getting really frustrated. I've played this game many times and still can't figure out what it wants. I look at the figures in the two boxes on the current screen. Logic and the screen instructions say 'Do the figures in the boxes match?' but that doesn't seem to be what it wants at all. So I try to remember the one figure that just slid to the left. And that doesn't seem to be it. Or have I just mis-remembered? Oh who will save me from this game!

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