UNIT 8.11B Fear-Potentiated Startle in Mice
Published Online: 1 AUG 2002
Copyright © 2003 by John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Lab Protocol Title
Current Protocols in Neuroscience
How to Cite
Falls, W. A. 2002. Fear-Potentiated Startle in Mice. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 19:8.11B:8.11B.1–8.11B.16.
- Published Online: 1 AUG 2002
- Published Print: APR 2002
Pavlovian fear conditioning is frequently used to assess the behavioral, physiological, genetic and molecular correlates of learning and memory. In the typical Pavlovian conditioned fear procedure a neutral stimulus, such as a tone, is paired with a mildly aversive stimulus such as a foot shock. The tone conditioned stimulus (CS) comes to elicit a variety of behaviors that are indicative of learned fear. One of the more prominent of these behaviors is a potentiated acoustic startle response. While fear-potentiated startle in mice is qualitatively similar to that in rats, the stimulus parameters and procedures for producing optimum fear-potentiated startle in mice differ considerably from those used in rats. Procedures outlined in this unit include initial assessment of startle, fear conditioning and fear-potentiated startle testing. Special attention is paid to the parameters that affect the magnitude of fear-potentiated startle and procedures designed to systematically examine these parameters are included.