Sunday, July 22, 2012

I Thought We Seattleites Were Smarter

Lumosity data scientist Daniel Sternberg, PhD looked only at the very first Brain Performance Index Lumosity members receive after playing at least one game in each of the five brain areas—this eliminated any practice effects, controlled for age and gender, thus removing as many confounding variables as possible.

He then converted BPI into a normalized IQ-like scale, in which 100 points represents an average "BPI" score out of all the site's US users. Scoring users based on other users—in other words, by percentile—allowed him to directly compare and combine the five brain area scores into a composite measure of overall performance.

We then tagged these normalized BPI scores to US metro areas, culling out those areas with fewer than 500 BPI scores (to ensure meaningful results) he has located what he thinks may be the smartest cities in America—and we’ve done so by measuring the cognition of the people who live there.  (click to read all about it, including his rankings of 188 cities)

Ranking #1: Charlottesville VA.  If you live in Albany GA., you may not want to tell your friends about this blog post.

Lumosity’s "smartest cities" ranking was picked up by many publications and news channels, including the Atlantic (which you can read here), so keeping your town's rank hush-hust may not be that easy.

It must have been a slow news day.

I do take heart in his statement and I'm working to bring Seattle's scores up:  "...if there’s one thing we’ve learned about cognitive performance, it’s this: no matter where your city is on our list, you have personal control over your brain’s abilities."

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