Startle and Pre-Pulse Inhibition

The startle task is used to measure a number of behaviors, including basic startle, pre-pulse inhibition, and fear potentiation of the startle response.  The apparatus can be used to measure basic physiology as well as learning and memory.


Subjects are placed in a restraint tube mounted on a startle measuring platform.  The startle response to a stimulus of loud noise is recorded.

Basic Startle Response

In basic startle, startle stimuli of various intensities are presented unexpectedly. Varying startle response and habituation are recorded.

Pre-Pulse Inhibition

In Pre-Pulse Inhibition (PPI), the startle stimulus is paired with a predictive cue. In normal subjects, the "pre-pulse" cue reduces the startle amplitude.  This inhibition of the startle response is known as PPI.  Humans and animal models of several disease states are known to have pre-pulse inhibition deficits, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, and PTSD.

Fear-Potentiated Startle

In Fear-Potentiated Startle, the subjects are trained to associate a neutral stimulus, such as a light cue, with an aversive stimulus.  When the startle response is tested in the presence of the light cue, the startle amplitude should be potentiated, or increased.

Behavioral Tasks

Startle Response

Rat Services
Fear Conditioning
Morris Water Maze
Radial Arm Maze
T Maze
Social Interaction
Ultrasonic Vocalization
Conditioned Taste Aversion
Conditioned Place Preference
Novel Object Recognition
Open Field
SHIRPA Primary Screen
Elevated Plus Maze
Light-Dark Box
Social Recognition
Social Transmission
    of Food Preference
Basic Neurological Screens
      ° Vision Penlight
      ° Hot Plate
      ° Tail Immersion
      ° Grip Strength
      ° Gait Analysis
      ° Balance Beam
      ° Forced Swim
      ° Tail Suspension

AND many more
available tests...

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