Stockton University Seeks Volunteers for Research Exploring Effects of Lifestyle on Brain Activity

For Immediate Release


Contact:         Maryjane Briant
                        News and Media Relations Director|
                        Galloway, N.J. 08205
                        (609) 652-4593

Galloway, N.J. - Stockton University is seeking volunteers for a research project which will explore which lifestyle factors have the most significant impact on the degree of connectivity among different regions of the brain. Prior research has shown that greater connectivity among brain areas was associated with the strongest thinking and memory performance in older adults.

“As we age, we routinely participate in screenings of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar,” noted Jessica Fleck, associate professor of Psychology. “However, many individuals have never participated in a screening of brain health and function. The National Institute on Aging suggests that changes in the physical brain may occur a decade or more before changes in memory and thinking are observed. However, research has suggested that lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and education can influence how the brain changes during aging.”

Fleck has been a member of Stockton’s Psychology program since 2006. In addition to researching brain health throughout the lifespan, she is also an active researcher of creativity and the creative brain.  

The research project, “The Relationship between Brain Activity and Cognitive Reserve,” will be conducted on Stockton’s main campus at 101 Vera King Farris Drive in Galloway.

The study is comprised of two sessions which will begin in early July, with each session lasting about an hour. Participants will be compensated for their time. 

“We are looking for healthy participants who are between 45 and 64 years of age, but are particularly interested in participants who are African American or Hispanic,” Fleck said. Rates of dementia and cognitive decline are significantly higher in African American and Hispanic older adults than they are for Caucasian older adults, so it is vital to learn more about brain connectivity in diverse participant groups, Fleck said.


Participants must be right-handed and have no prior diagnosis of dementia, neurological disorder or traumatic brain injury. Latino participants will need to be able to read and write in English. The project involves the use of EEG, which measures electrical activity in the brain. Tests of memory and thinking will also be administered in a second session.

Those who are interested in participating should feel free to contact Fleck and the Healthy Brain, Healthy Mind Research Team at 609-626-3444 or to learn more.