Date of Conferral







Patricia Costello


There is a limited research base on low voltage brain conditions, which are characterized by electrical activity being measured at below 20 microvolts. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between saliva cortisol levels and voltage using an EGG in a college student population. Illuminating this relationship is important to inform how low voltage conditions can affect daily memory and cognitive functioning of undergraduate college students that may be a result of stress. The college student population may be vulnerable to the low voltage condition because of stress from the transition between teenage and adult life and related social and academic pressures. Sapolsky's theory of stress, which hypothesized that high cortisol levels will manifest as a low voltage condition, guided this study. The sample included 60 undergraduate students recruited by flyers distributed on the campus of a liberal arts college. A multiple regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between explain the variables. Although no low voltage was found in this study sample, the study results contribute to positive social change by providing a better understanding for students and staff of brain functioning when exposed to chronic stress and encourage the implementation of programs for managing stress and prevention of stress before it reaches a chronic state and negatively impacts brain functioning.