The effects of reflex stimulus intensity and stimulus onset asynchrony on prepulse inhibition and perceived intensity of the blink-eliciting stimulus.
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Prepulse inhibition of the blink reflex is widely applied to investigate information processing deficits in schizophrenia and other psychiatric patient groups. The present experiment investigated the hypothesis that prepulse inhibition reflects a transient process that protects preattentive processing of the prepulse. Participants were presented with pairs of blink-eliciting noises, some preceded by a prepulse at a variable stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA), and were asked to rate the intensity of the second noise relative to the first. Inhibition of blink amplitude was greater for a 110 dB(A) noise than for a 95 dB(A) noise with a 120 ms SOA, whereas there was no difference with a 30 ms SOA. The perceived intensity was also lower for the 110 dB(A) noise than for the 95 dB(A) noise with the 120 ms SOA, but not with the 30 ms SOA. The parallel results support a relationship between prepulse inhibition of response amplitude and perceived intensity. However, the prepulse did not reduce intensity ratings relative to control trials in some conditions, suggesting that prepulse inhibition is not
Australian Journal of Psychology
© 2006 Taylor & Francis. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.