Smartest Cities in the U.S. list is out: Ithaca tops the bill, is your city smart enough?

By Randell Suba , Jun 27, 2013 09:27 AM EDT

The college town of Ithaca in New York might be small in terms of size but it is quite mighty when it comes to brain prowess - Ithaca ranked first on Lumosity's ranking of the smartest cities in the United States.

Lumosity is a San Francisco-based company founded in 2007. It claims to have the biggest data with regard to cognitive performance of humans. The company is said to have collected data from 40 million people through its Human Cognition Project. So far, it has received over $70 million in financial support from Menlo Ventures, Discovery Communications and other believers of its methods.

In its latest study released Tuesday, Ithaca had an overall score of 105.76 followed closely by State College in Pennsylvania with 105.21. Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana (104.56), Iowa City (104.53), and Ames, Iowa (104.37) completes the top five of smartest cities in America.

Scanning the list of the smartest cities, it may not be coincidental that the topnotchers are also home to the best colleges in the country. Ithaca, for example, is home to Cornell University and Ithaca College. The city of State College is home of the Penn State while Lafayette in Indiana is the location of Purdue University.

Ann Arbor in Michigan, Bloomington in Indiana, Madison in Wisconsin, Lawrence in Kansas and Pullman in Washington rounded the top 10.

Lumosity based the findings of its report called "Lumosity's Smartest Cities 2013" on data collected from three million people between the age of 18 and 75 years who have played some of the company's brain-training games.

The games of Lumosity are specifically designed to measure one's problem solving skills, attention, flexibility, processing speed and memory.

"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, data expert at Lumosity and proponent of the research, in an interview with VentureBeat.

"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," Sternberg continued.

Lumosity's brain training program aims to enhance cognitive abilities of individuals and is based on the concept of neuroplasticity. The games of the company are available online or on the iPhone.

Here's the top 50 cities that made the cut:

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

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