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ERIC Number: EJ860848
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0278-2626
Cardiac Modulation of Startle: Effects on Eye Blink and Higher Cognitive Processing
Schulz, Andre; Reichert, Carolin F.; Richter, Steffen; Lass-Hennemann, Johanna; Blumenthal, Terry D.; Schachinger, Hartmut
Brain and Cognition, v71 n3 p265-271 Dec 2009
Cardiac cycle time has been shown to affect pre-attentive brainstem startle processes, such as the magnitude of acoustically evoked reflexive startle eye blinks. These effects were attributed to baro-afferent feedback mechanisms. However, it remains unclear whether cardiac cycle time plays a role in higher startle-related cognitive processes, as well. Twenty-five volunteers responded first by "fast as possible" button pushes (reaction time, RT), and second, rated perceived intensity of 60 acoustic startle stimuli (85, 95, or 105 dB; 50 ms duration; binaural; instantaneous rise time), which were presented either 230 or 530 ms after the R-wave, and eye blink responses were measured by EMG. RT was divided into evaluation and motor response time according to previous research. Increasing stimulus intensity enhanced startle eye blink, intensity ratings, and RT components. Eye blinks and intensity judgments were lower when startle was elicited at a latency of R + 230 ms, but RT components were differentially affected: the evaluative component was attenuated, and the motor component was accelerated when stimuli were presented 230 ms after the R-wave. We conclude that the cardiac cycle affects the attentive processing of acoustic startle stimuli. (Contains 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A