Re: [visionlist] [cvnet] Update on my case with the FTC

Dear Aaron,
As a friend and colleague, I can only express how sad I’m for this unfair outcome, you should try to do a crowdfunding and share that with the community, it may help a little… It is sad not only for you but also for science…

Il 25/feb/2016 03:43, “Aaron Seitz” ha scritto:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I truly appreciate those of you who have shared in my journey with the FTC (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, feel free to skip the rest, or here’s some information: I originally brought this situation to the scientific community because Universities, funding agencies, and our individual intentions to more directly contribute to people’s health and wellbeing, etc., are increasingly motiving scientists like myself to translate research from lab to market-place.  However, the paths to best translate knowledge from research labs into effective use in the public sphere are difficult to navigate; I’m hoping lessons can be learned and processes changed based on my situation.

A short version of my situation: colleagues and I started a company to sell, at low cost on iTunes, the vision training protocols based on my lab’s scientific work.  FTC sued, saying that our claims are not justified because no research without a randomized, double-blind control, could be the basis of a health claim.  We countered, with your help through public comments  ( to say that the scientific standard was inappropriate and the punishment was too severe. Unfortunately the FTC effectively ignored the public comments about this situation  ( FTC response at: and made no alterations to the original settlement.  I now need to complete payment of $75,000 (my share of the $150,000 settlement) to the FTC and will be subject to the 20 year “consent decree” for which essentially any commercial activity that I’m involved with needs to be reported to and reviewed by the FTC and adhere to a randomized double blind control. Ironically, this strict standard only applies to me, whereas Lumosity in their 10 year agreement has the standard of “blinded to the extent possible.”  Irrespective of changes in the scientific community of accepted inferential approaches, I will have a different bar to reach if I want to continue to translate research to the public sphere.

My hope still is that my situation can be used as a lever to promote positive policy change to improve the process and, to be frank, make sure that others don’t end up in a situation like mine. 

This has been a difficult journey and I appreciate all of those who have shown interest, concern and support.




Aaron Seitz, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology

Director of UCR Brain Game Center

University of California, Riverside

900 University Ave.

Riverside, CA 92521

Ph:   (951) 827-6422

Fax:  (951) 827-3985






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s