Aug 29, 2006

The monotonic dependency of prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex on the intensity of the startle-eliciting stimulus

Behavioural Brain Research
Philipp A CsomorFranz X Vollenweider


Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle reflex is a translational behavioural paradigm for the assessment of sensorimotor gating deficit which has been demonstrated in a number of neuropsychiatric conditions. PPI refers to the reduction of the reflexive startle response to a 'pulse' stimulus when its presentation is shortly preceded by a weak 'prepulse' stimulus. We have recently examined the expression of PPI as a function of the startle-eliciting 'pulse' stimulus intensity in mice and in humans. One major discrepancy that emerged was the finding that healthy human subjects, unlike normal mice, did not show a clear monotonic reduction of PPI magnitude (as indexed by % reduction in startle reactivity) with increasingly intense pulse stimulus. This lack of correspondence between species may potentially weaken the translational power of the PPI paradigm. Here, we re-examined this issue in 31 healthy subjects across three levels of pulse stimulus intensity (95, 105 and 115 dB). A clear linear reduction of PPI as a function of pulse intensity was revealed when subjects failing to respond to the lowest pulse stimulus were excluded. Inclusion of such non-responders, on the other hand, resulted in a trend towards an inverted...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Surface Electromyography
Neuro-Oncological Ventral Antigen 2
Physiologic Pulse
Reflex, Acoustic
Reaction Time
Neural Inhibition
Jumping Frenchmen of Maine
Startle Reaction
Prepulse Inhibition Activity
Acoustic Stimulation

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