Senior Receives Grant To Research Relationship Between Memory And Music

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 29, 2011 – Jessica Stark, a senior double majoring in psychology and music at High Point University, recently received a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) grant from the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities for her experimental psychology research.

Stark, who is from Finksburg, Md., is currently researching the relationship between music and memory, and the ways in which the human brain processes music.

“My study takes a look at the differences between tonal and atonal music, and regular and irregular meters to determine which type of music is easier to commit to memory,” says Stark. “By knowing which types of music are easier to remember, it can give us an idea of how the music is processed in the brain.”

Originally part of a project in her Advanced Research Methods class, Stark was advised to continue her research and has worked closely with HPU’s cognitive psychologist and associate professor of psychology, Dr. Kimberly Wear.

“The Psychology Department at HPU is very supportive of undergraduate research and their constant encouragement is making this project an enjoyable experience,” says Stark.

As part of her grant, Stark is required to present her research at the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creative Symposium in November. Additionally, she will present her findings to The Psychonomic Society, which is an organization that supports experimental psychology.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.℠ HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students from 51 countries and 46 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. ranks HPU in the top 7 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. HPU was selected in the 2010-2011 list of “Colleges of Distinction,” as well as one of the top green schools in the country by the Sierra Club. The university offers 50 undergraduate majors, 43 undergraduate minors and 10 graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at

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Pam Haynes

Communication Specialist


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