“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,” Fleck said. “However, research has suggested that lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and education can influence how the brain changes during aging."
The study will include two sessions beginning in early September, 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.