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Brains! Bay Area Rank Among Brainiest Metros in Nation

New ranking measured brainiest metros by utilizing gaming software.

The Bay Area is brainy, so says a new study.

The Bay Area encompassing San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland came in at a solid No. 5 for brainiest metro region in the country, below the area of Madison, Wis., and above the Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City-Dubuque, Iowa, area.

But this ranking didn't look at expensive graduate degrees. It looked at "brain performance" using technology based around games.

The metrics were developed by Lumos Labs and are based on the company's cognitive training and tracking software, Lumosity. The soft covered something like 20 million members and 320 million individual game plays, according to a piece in The Atlantic Cities, a of from The Atlantic.

So, according to the piece, this software tracked cognitive performance of more than one million users in the U.S., mapping them through the country using IP geolocation software. Only areas with more than 500 observations were included, which shook out to be 169 metros.

It recorded memory, processing speed, flexibility, attention, and problem solving.

Here's the top five:

  1. Charlottesville, Virginia
  2. Lafayette, Indiana
  3. Anchorage Alaska
  4. Madison, Wisconsin
  5. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose

For a little additional info, AC editor-at-large and author of the piece Richard Florida (of Creative Class fame for all you social scientists out there) took the data and matched it up to more conventional data such as educational attainment, knowledge workers and "other factors" to create a visual component to the ranking.

So, pat yourself on the back Bay Area for being so brainy.

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