Startle response

startle-responseEvaluation of sensorimotor function

Rodents and humans show a startle reflex in response to a loud acoustic stimulus. The intensity of the startle response can be affected by sensory-motor dysfunction, as well as hearing deficits. By providing a wide range of acoustic stimuli of varying loudness, and plotting the intensity of the startle response, a startle threshold can be determined that is indicative of hearing abilities of rodents1.

A more detailed protocol for the startle response test can be found here.

1Independent genetic loci for sensorimotor gating and attentional performance in BXD recombinant inbred strains. Loos et al., Genes Brain Behav. 2012; 11:147