Differential effects of startle on reaction time for finger and arm movements

Carlsen, Anthony N., Chua, Romeo, Inglis, J. Timothy, Sanderson, David J. and Franks, Ian M. (2009) Differential effects of startle on reaction time for finger and arm movements. Journal of neurophysiology, 101 1: 306-314. doi:10.1152/jn.00878.2007

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Author Carlsen, Anthony N.
Chua, Romeo
Inglis, J. Timothy
Sanderson, David J.
Franks, Ian M.
Title Differential effects of startle on reaction time for finger and arm movements
Journal name Journal of neurophysiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-3077
Publication date 2009-11
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1152/jn.00878.2007
Open Access Status
Volume 101
Issue 1
Start page 306
End page 314
Total pages 9
Place of publication Bethesda, MD United States
Publisher American Physiological Society
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Recent studies using a reaction time (RT) task have reported that a preprogrammed response could be triggered directly by a startling acoustic stimulus (115–124 dB) presented along with the usual “go” signal. It has been suggested that details of the upcoming response could be stored subcortically and are accessible by the startle volley, directly eliciting the correct movement. However, certain muscles (e.g., intrinsic hand) are heavily dependent on cortico-motoneuronal connections and thus would not be directly subject to the subcortical startle volley in a similar way to muscles whose innervations include extensive reticular connections. In this study, 14 participants performed 75 trials in each of two tasks within a RT paradigm: an arm extension task and an index finger abduction task. In 12 trials within each task, the regular go stimulus (82 dB) was replaced with a 115-dB startling stimulus. Results showed that, in the arm task, the presence of a startle reaction led to significantly shorter latency arm movements compared with the effect of the increased stimulus intensity alone. In contrast, for the finger task, no additional decrease in RT caused by startle was observed. Taken together, these results suggest that only movements that involve muscles more strongly innervated by subcortical pathways are susceptible to response advancement by startle.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 20 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 02 Dec 2014, 10:40:34 EST by Sandrine Ducrot on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences