The psychological significance of human startle eyeblink modification: a review.

University of Kansas Medical Center, Department of Occupational Therapy Edu., Kansas City 66160-7602, USA,
Biological Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.47). 01/1998; 47(1):1-43. DOI: 10.1016/S0301-0511(97)00020-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The human startle eyeblink reflex is reliably modified by both cognitive and emotional processes. This review provides a comprehensive survey of the current literature on human startle modification and its psychological significance. Issues raised for short lead interval startle inhibition include its interpretation as a measure of protection of processing, sensorimotor gating and early attentional processing. For long lead interval effects, interpretations related to attentional and emotional processing are discussed. Also reviewed are clinical applications to information processing dysfunctions in the schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and to emotional processing disorders. Finally, an integrative summary that incorporates most of the cognitive findings is presented and directions for future research are identified regarding both cognitive and emotional modification of startle.


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