Lumosity Data Ranks America’s Smartest Cities

Analysis of World’s Largest Database of Human Cognitive Performance Names Ithaca, NY Number 1

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One of the most interesting findings from this analysis is that most of the top metro areas contain major research universities, suggesting that education is an important predictor of cognitive performance, said Daniel Sternberg, Ph.D., Data Scientist.

San Francisco, Calif. (PRWEB) June 25, 2013

Lumosity today revealed rankings for the smartest cities in America based on an analysis of its database of human cognitive performance. The rankings were based on de-identified data from over 3 million users in the U.S. between the ages of 18-75 who had played multiple Lumosity games. The data objectively measured real differences in cognitive performance across geographic areas by examining scores from users’ first few sessions playing games across five cognitive areas: memory, processing speed, flexibility, attention and problem solving. These cognitive performance scores were then ranked by location.

“One of the most interesting findings from this analysis is that most of the top metro areas contain major research universities, suggesting that education is an important predictor of cognitive performance,” said Daniel Sternberg, Ph.D., Data Scientist at Lumosity. “Neuroscience research has found that those who are engaged in learning and cognitively stimulating activities throughout the lifetime build up a ‘cognitive reserve’ that helps maintain and improve cognitive performance.”

Comparing the Lumosity data with trend data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey data, which is an ongoing statistical survey that samples a small percentage of the population every year, found that the percentage of individuals within a metro area with advanced degrees or pursuing advanced degrees were strong predictors of the cognitive performance score for that city. These findings are consistent with existing neuroplasticity research indicating that those with advanced degrees tend to perform better cognitively throughout the lifespan.

Below are the rankings for the top 50 smartest metro areas.

1.    Ithaca, NY
2.    State College, PA
3.    Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN
4.    Iowa City, IA
5.    Ames, IA
6.    Ann Arbor, MI
7.    Bloomington, IN
8.    Madison, WI
9.    Lawrence, KS
10.    Pullman, WA
11.    College Station-Bryan, TX
12.    Appleton, WI
13.    Champaign-Urbana, IL
14.    Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
15.    Charlottesville, VA
16.    Boulder, CO
17.    Provo-Orem, UT
18.    Harrisonburg, VA
19.    Rolla, MO
20.    Houghton, MI
21.    Muncie, IN
22.    Corvallis, OR
23.    Boone, NC
24.    Logan, UT-ID
25.    Stillwater, OK
26.    Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
27.    Claremont-Lebanon, NH-VT
28.    Lebanon, PA
29.    Moscow, ID
30.    Cedar Rapids, IA
31.    Lincoln, NE
32.    Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA
33.    Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
34.    Starkville, MS
35.    Athens, OH
36.    La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN
37.    Brainerd, MN
38.    Burlington-South Burlington, VT
39.    Fargo, ND-MN
40.    Stevens Point, WI
41.    Columbia, MO
42.    St. Cloud, MN
43.    Rochester, MN
44.    Auburn-Opelika, AL
45.    Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA
46.    Oil City, PA
47.    Fort Collins, CO
48.    Sheboygan, WI
49.    Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
50.    Keene, NH

The data also breaks down the city rankings by cognitive area and age group. Appleton, WI performed the highest in memory and attention, and Ithaca, NY performed the highest in flexibility, problem solving and speed of processing. Rankings by age group found that Ithaca, NY had the smartest population of those under 35 years of age; Iowa City, IA had the smartest 35-55 year olds; and Columbia, MO had the smartest 55+ year olds.

The Lumosity rankings used Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSA) to define geographic areas. CBSAs include an urban center of at least 10,000 people, along with adjacent areas that are socioeconomically tied to the urban center via commuting. CBSAs are used by Federal statistical agencies in collecting, tabulating, and publishing Federal statistics, such as Census data.

Results were controlled for the effects of age and gender. The list included only geographic areas with a sufficient sample size greater than 500.

These data analyses are part of Lumosity’s research program, the Human Cognition Project, which holds the world’s largest and continuously growing database of human cognitive performance. The complete white paper including a full list of 478 metro areas, the top 50 metro areas by cognitive area and age group, rankings by Designated Marketing Areas, and rankings by cities, is available here http://asset1.lumosity.com/smartest-cities-2013/SmartestCities2013.pdf. An interactive map of Lumosity’s Smartest Cities in America is available here: http://asset1.lumosity.com/smartest-cities-2013/.

About Lumosity
Lumosity is committed to pioneering the understanding and enhancement of the human brain to give each person the power to unlock their full potential. Lumosity's online and mobile programs train core cognitive abilities such as memory and attention. Launched in 2007, Lumosity now has more than 40 games, 40 million members, and paying subscribers from 180 countries. Lumosity's games are based on the latest discoveries in neuroscience, with continuing independent third-party studies being conducted by researchers at Harvard, Stanford, and other academic institutions. Lumosity is available at Lumosity.com and on the iPhone. Lumosity is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For more information, please visit http://www.lumosity.com.


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