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Science. 1963 Sep 6;141(3584):928-30.

STARTLE REACTION: MODIFICATION BY BACKGROUND ACOUSTIC STIMULATION.

Abstract

Six rats were exposed to a sequence of gunshot-like acoustical bursts during silence, during steady noise, and during pulsed noise. Assessment of their startle reactions to the bursts revealed that a background of steady noise enhanced the response, whereas a background of pulsed noise produced suppression of response. It is hypothesized that pulsed noise causes a relative refractory state in the mechanisms responsible for startle and that steady noise may enhance startle by masking uncontrolled punctiform acoustic stimuli.

PMID:
14043340
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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