Startle Response

J. R. Fetcho*, D. L. McLean

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


The startle response is a fundamental sensorimotor response in animals that is a fast, protective response often used to avoid predators. The circuits are simple and fast, with large neurons, which has allowed studies of neurons in startle networks to provide fundamental insights into the cellular and synaptic biology of the nervous system. The plasticity of the startle response and its disruption in disease states with broad neuropsychiatric consequences have made it a model system for studies of the neuronal generation of behavior and its disruption and treatment during disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Neuroscience
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780080450469
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Caudal pontine reticular nucleus
  • Crayfish
  • Escape
  • Giant neuron
  • Goldfish
  • Hyperekplexia
  • Mauthner cell
  • Neuromodulatory systems
  • Prepulse inhibition
  • Sensorimotor processing
  • Squid giant axon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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