This work was supported in part by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Grants MH37757, MH41950, and MH43975, and a National Institute of Aging Grant AG09779 to Peter J. Lang. The authors thank Brad Moulder, Ken Reagan, and Robert Bruner for their assistance in data collection and scoring. Thanks also to Lois Putnam for her helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper.
Pictures as prepulse: Attention and emotion in startle modification
Article first published online: 30 JAN 2007
Volume 30, Issue 5, pages 541–545, September 1993
How to Cite
BRADLEY, M. M., CUTHBERT, B. N. and LANG, P. J. (1993), Pictures as prepulse: Attention and emotion in startle modification. Psychophysiology, 30: 541–545. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1993.tb02079.x
Address reprint requests to: Center for Research in Psychophysiology, Box 100165 Health Sciences Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
- Issue published online: 30 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 30 JAN 2007
- (Received March 16, 1993; Accepted May 4, 1993)
- Reflex modulation;
- Prepulse inhibition;
The effects of an emotional stimulus prepulse on probe startle response were examined here. Pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures were viewed for 6 s, and an acoustic startle probe was presented either 300, 800, 1,300, or 3,800 ms after slide onset, or 300 or 3,800 ms after slide offset. Blink magnitude and onset latency demonstrated (a) an early (prepulse) inhibition effect in which reflexes elicited immediately after slide onset were smaller than reflexes elicited later in the viewing interval, and (b) affective modulation, in which unpleasant stimuli prompted larger reflexes than pleasant. Interactive effects of probe time and picture valence indicated attention/arousal effects early and pleasantness effects late in the picture interval. Effects of both attention and emotion can be simultaneously measured using this startle-probe paradigm, encouraging its use in both basic and clinical contexts.