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The effects of change in lead stimulus modality on the modulation of acoustic blink startle

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 December 2000

OTTMAR V. LIPP
Affiliation:
School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
DAVID A.T. SIDDLE
Affiliation:
School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
PATRICIA J. DALL
Affiliation:
School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
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Abstract

In two experiments we investigated the effect of generalized orienting induced by changing the modality of the lead stimulus on the modulation of blink reflexes elicited by acoustic stimuli. In Experiment 1 (n = 32), participants were presented with acoustic or visual change stimuli after habituation training with tactile lead stimuli. In Experiment 2 (n = 64), modality of the lead stimulus (acoustic vs. visual) was crossed with experimental condition (change vs. no change). Lead stimulus change resulted in increased electrodermal orienting in both experiments. Blink latency shortening and blink magnitude facilitation increased from habituation to change trials regardless of whether the change stimulus was presented in the same or in a different modality as the reflex-eliciting stimulus. These results are not consistent with modality-specific accounts of attentional startle modulation.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2000 Society for Psychophysiological Research

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