Auditory startle response in blind subjects.

E. Bachar*, T. Peri, R. Halamish, A. Y. Shalev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Blindness is often associated with hypervigilance and arousal. The auditory startle response has been suggested as a measure of arousal. This study evaluated the auditory startle response of 10 blind individuals and 10 sighted controls who were exposed to a series of 15 1000-Hz, 95-db, 0-rise-time pure-tone stimuli, administered to both ears. The subjects' heart-rate, skin-conductance, and orbicularis-oculi-electromyogram responses to the tones were measured. Blind subjects did not differ from controls in the magnitude and in the habituation-rate of their responses. Results were interpreted as showing that blind persons' capacity for discriminative learning and for regulation of arousal is unimpaired. Task-related anxiety of blind persons should be differentiated from stimulus-related anxiety.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1251-1256
Number of pages6
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number3 Pt 2
StatePublished - Jun 1993
Externally publishedYes


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