Affective modulation of tactile startle

Academic Article


  • Two studies were conducted to investigate affective modulation of startle responses to unilateral tactile probes and to determine whether such modulation is lateralized. Right-handed undergraduates received airpuffs to the left or right temple while viewing pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures. Side of probe presentation was varied between the two trial blocks of the experiment in Study 1 (n = 48) but varied randomly within trial blocks in Study 2 (n = 48). Primary results were consistent across studies. Replicating and extending the findings for acoustic probes, eyeblink responses to tactile probes were larger during unpleasant than during pleasant pictures. However, affective modulation of startle did not differ reliably between the two sides of probe presentation (sensory laterality) or the two sides of the response (motor laterality) in either study or in a combined analysis.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Psychophysiology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hawk LW; Cook EW
  • Start Page

  • 23
  • End Page

  • 31
  • Volume

  • 34
  • Issue

  • 1