This research was supported by grant 1 R29 MH50720 to C.G. and grants NIMH PO1 MH 25642, NIH MH-25624, and MH-47840, a grant from the AFOSR, and Research Scientist Development Award MH-00004 awarded to M.D.
Effects of stress and shock anticipation on prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex
Version of Record online: 30 JAN 2007
Volume 34, Issue 5, pages 511–517, September 1997
How to Cite
GRILLON, C. and DAVIS, M. (1997), Effects of stress and shock anticipation on prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex. Psychophysiology, 34: 511–517. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.1997.tb01737.x
- Issue online: 30 JAN 2007
- Version of Record online: 30 JAN 2007
- (Received December 5, 1994; Accepted January 6, 1997)
- Startle reflex;
- Prepulse inhibition;
- Anticipatory anxiety;
The effects of shock anticipation and attention to external stimuli on prepulse inhibition (PPI) were compared. In the threat-of-shock experiment, acoustic startle stimuli were presented with and without prepulses when aversive shocks were or were not anticipated. In the control experiment, startle and prepulse stimuli were delivered during periods with attended or ignored external stimuli. In the threat-of-shock experiment, startle was potentiated (fear-potentiated startle) and PPI was increased by shock anticipation. A gradual reduction in the overall PPI throughout the experiment was also found. In the control experiment, only PPI was increased in the attend condition. The PPI level remained constant throughout the experiment. The increase in PPI in the threat and attend conditions may have resulted from an increase in the general level of alertness that facilitated the processing of the prepulse. The gradual decrease in PPI in the threat experiment was hypothesized to result from a progressive deficit in sensory functioning due to the stressful nature of repeated shock anticipation.