A team of researchers have provided an insight into how lifestyle factors such as sleep, mood and time of day impact cognitive game-play performance.
The study, titled ‘Estimating sleep, mood and time of day effects in a large database of human cognitive performance,’ at Lumosity analyzed over 60 million data points from 61,407 participants and found that memory, speed, and flexibility tasks peaked in the morning, while crystallized knowledge tasks such as arithmetic and verbal fluency peaked in the afternoon.
Overall, they found that game performance for most games was highest after seven hours of sleep and with positive moods. Lead author Daniel Sternberg said that these findings, combined with other health and lifestyle data, have the potential to provide clear and actionable insights into how an individual’s daily life can impact cognitive performance.
This study suggests that there are subtle individual differences in game play performance that may be impacted by time of day, sleep, and mood and in addition, participants’ beliefs about when and how well they will perform are in line with their actual performance results. Sleep effects built on previous findings (Sternberg et al 2013), and suggest there may be a way to optimize the scheduling of different tasks based on individual differences.
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 people’s daily lives and cognitive performance.