Print 68 comment(s) - last by wolfchen.. on Jul 16 at 2:36 PM

  (Source: Oxford Press)
Data from over 3 million users helped build picture of local brainpower

San Francisco-based indie edutainment internet software company Lumosity has a bonafide hit, with its cognitive training app.  Consisting of over 40 games, the online portal is supposed to boost your memory and problem solving skills, similar to Nintendo Comp., Ltd.'s (TYO:7974) Brain Age for the Nintendo DS.

With over 3 million users, the site decided to offer up an interesting data mining analysis, determining which cities in America have the "smartest" citizens (as assessed by puzzle solving and memory skills).

It appears that Iowa and Indiana are among the most mentally endowed states.  More specifically, the top 10 cities are:
  1. Ithaca, N.Y.
  2. State College, Penn.
  3. Lafayette-West Lafayette, Ind.
  4. Iowa City, Iowa
  5. Ames, Iowa
  6. Ann Arbor, Mich.
  7. Bloomington, Ind.
  8. Madison, Wisc.
  9. Lawrence, Kans.
  10. Pullman, Wash.
Seattle (90) and San Francisco (114) both scored relatively well.

Washington D.C. (154), Portland (155) and Chicago (188) scored in the middle.

Red = not so smart; Green = smart [click to enlarge] [Image Source: Lumosity]

In the worst category, Texas and North Carolina get hit particularly hard.  The lowest ranking cities include:
  1. Wilson, N.C.
  2. El Paso, Tex.
  3. Talladega-Sylacauga, Alab.
  4. Albany, Geor.
  5. Brownsville-Harlingen, Tex.
  6. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Flor.
  7. El Centro, Calif.
  8. Kinston, N.C.
  9. Laredo, Tex.
  10. Lumberton, N.C.
Los Angeles (309) and New York City (382) (which was lumped with Newark/Jersey City) were among the worst scoring large cities.

Lumosity has an interactive map of its results here, and a full white paper on the study here [PDF].

Sources: Lumosity [map], [white paper; PDF]

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Not surprising
By aurareturn on 7/2/2013 4:48:11 PM , Rating: 5
Those top cities are college towns with great universities.

RE: Not surprising
By Ammohunt on 7/2/2013 5:31:43 PM , Rating: 2
Education != Intelligence

RE: Not surprising
By Schadenfroh on 7/2/2013 5:53:43 PM , Rating: 4
Education does help unlock potential.

RE: Not surprising
By GulWestfale on 7/2/2013 9:19:16 PM , Rating: 4
hmm... austin is one of the fastest growing US cities, and has a lot of high tech industry... i wouldn't lump them in with some dumbass redneck town and declare all of texas "stupid". i just come from a trip to the DFW area, and i loved every second of it. didn't get shot, didn't see too many people with 26" rims on an old caprice (there's always a few though, right?), and everyone was really quite nice. YEE-HAWWWW. oh, and i bought a cowboy hat lol

RE: Not surprising
By Ammohunt on 7/2/2013 9:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
Texas is my favorite state try South Padre Island next time.

RE: Not surprising
By ImEmmittSmith on 7/3/2013 10:21:22 AM , Rating: 4
If you notice, the Texas cities on the list are border towns.

RE: Not surprising
By rs2 on 7/3/13, Rating: 0
RE: Not surprising
By nafhan on 7/3/2013 9:25:52 AM , Rating: 2
Education also helps one do well on IQ-type tests (can't say if Luminosity's Smart Thinking falls into that category).

Also, keep in mind that what we're actually seeing here is nothing as conclusive as "smartest and dumbest", we're seeing how well people in different cities do at this particular "brain training" game, and that's it.

RE: Not surprising
By Ammohunt on 7/3/2013 11:57:49 AM , Rating: 2
It helps to make you good at taking tests for sure.

RE: Not surprising
By 91TTZ on 7/7/2013 8:04:39 PM , Rating: 2
You're overlooking the obvious fact that education doesn't have much of an effect on IQ-type tests. While education would certainly help a person get a job in their field of study, it isn't going to raise IQ scores by any appreciable amount.

I think the more important fact here is that college towns have populations that have been filtered for intelligence. For instance, I'm sure that the areas surrounding Yale and Harvard will contain a higher percentage of people with high IQs than a factory town. It all comes down to demographics and probability.

RE: Not surprising
By sixteenornumber on 7/3/2013 2:54:13 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder how many people, even readers of DT understand you syntax.

RE: Not surprising
By DrApop on 7/2/2013 5:49:44 PM , Rating: 3
Not just college town but towns where the bulk of the population are the college students.

Other places like LA, while not "college towns" do boast large universities. But the university population is dwarfed by the overall city population.

All this study shows is that college students likely spend more time playing games on their computers and cell phones than the average person who is out there in the working world

RE: Not surprising
By Donkey2008 on 7/4/2013 3:20:58 PM , Rating: 2
Very sound logic.

RE: Not surprising
By BRB29 on 7/5/2013 3:29:20 PM , Rating: 2
All this study shows is that college students likely spend more time playing games on their computers and cell phones than the average person who is out there in the working world

More like they're in school so all that stuff is fresh in their mind. You can't expect a Psychologist with a PhD working for 10+ years to remember everything in trig and calc.

RE: Not surprising
By marvdmartian on 7/3/2013 8:16:35 AM , Rating: 2
Yet, wouldn't the results expressed by Lumosity also be a measure of how many people use their service in a given area?

Being a college town could actually skew the results, if the majority of the users there are the young adults going to college.

On the other hand, is it fair to label another town "less smart", if they have 3 users, all of which were pretty dumb??

This sounds more to me a marketing strategy for more business, than a scientific study's results.

RE: Not surprising
By Devilpapaya on 7/3/2013 1:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
You should read the white paper. The study was normalized to account for things like age/gender distribution and no area/city was included that didn't have over 500 users.

RE: Not surprising
By ProZach on 7/3/2013 4:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
And yet, a certain university's football team doesn't quite measure up to the overall academe. *cough*wazzu*clears throat*

RE: Not surprising
By AntDX316 on 7/5/2013 6:46:39 AM , Rating: 2
lol.. the country people are really dumb

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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