Variables involved in the cue modulation of the startle reflex in alcohol-dependent patients.

Journal article


Research Areas

No matching items found.

Publication Details

Author list: Jurado Barba R
Publisher: Wiley: 12 months
Publication year: 2013
Journal: Addiction Biology (1355-6215)
Volume number: 18
Issue number: 1
Start page: 170
End page: 180
Number of pages: 11
ISSN: 1355-6215
eISSN: 1369-1600
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Cue modulation of the startle reflex is a paradigm that has been used to
understand the emotional mechanisms involved in alcohol dependence.
Attenuation of the startle reflex has been demonstrated when
alcohol-dependent subjects are exposed to alcohol-related stimuli.
However, the role of clinical variables on the magnitude of this
response is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the
relationship between a number of clinical variables-severity of
alcoholism, family history of alcoholism (FHA+), personality traits
related to the sensitivity to reward-and the startle reflex response
when subjects with alcohol dependence were viewing alcohol-related cues.
After detoxification, 98 participants completed self-report instruments
and had eye blink electromyograms measured to acoustic startle probes
[100-millisecond burst of white noise at 95 dB(A)] while viewing
alcohol-related pictures, and standardised appetitive, aversive and
neutral control scenes. Ninety-eight healthy controls were also assessed
with the same instruments. There were significant differences on
alcohol-startle magnitude between patients and controls. Comparisons by
gender showed that women perceived alcohol cues and appetitive cues more
appetitive than men. Male and female patients showed more appetitive
responses to alcohol cues when compared with their respective controls.
Our patients showed an appetitive effect of alcohol cues that was
positively related to severity of alcohol dependence, sensitivity to
reward and a FHA+. The data confirmed that the pattern of the modulation
of the acoustic startle reflex reveals appetitive effects of the
alcohol cues and extended it to a variety of clinical variables.


No matching items found.


No matching items found.

Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:45