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  • Cited by 6
  • Print publication year: 1995
  • Online publication date: August 2010

11 - Attention, startle eye-blink modification, and psychosis proneness

from Part V - Psychophysiology and psychopharmacology


This chapter discusses a review of startle eye-blink reflex in normal subjects, schizophrenic patients, and schizotypal patients and putatively psychosis-prone subjects. The startle reflex is elicited in a variety of species by any abrupt or unexpected stimulus change of sufficient intensity. The degree of inhibition of startle in a short lead-interval startle eye-blink modification (SEM) paradigm may be a useful index of the protective aspects of the automatic processing of the prestimulus. The degree and direction of modification of the startle response in a long lead-interval SEM paradigm may be a useful index of the degree and direction of allocation of controlled attentional resources. The chapter determines whether the relatively remitted patients and putatively at-risk students exhibit similar SEM deficits and determines whether these deficits qualify as impairments in automatic or controlled cognitive processes, or both.