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Measurement of Startle Response, Prepulse Inhibition and Habituation

Friday, September 4, 2009

Geyer MA, Swerdlow NR.
The startle response is comprised of a constellation of reflexes elicited by sudden, relatively intense stimuli. The startle reflex is useful for studying fundamental properties of nervous function ranging from neurophysiological and anatomical relationships within the pons and reticular formation to forebrain regulation of complex behavioral states and cognitive processes. This unit presents protocols for measurement of the startle response in rats to acoustic stimuli, along with modifications encompassing an experimental manipulation such as drug treatment and measures of habituation of startle; a method for measuring prepulse inhibition (PPI) of startle; and specialized rat handling and calming techniques that supplement the startle protocols.
For more information on this study, please refer to:

Current Protocols Neuroscience, 2001 May; Chapter 8:Unit 8.7.

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