FURI | Fall 2019

The Impact of a Startling Acoustic Stimulus and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Reaction Times in Unimpaired Older Adults

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An unexpected loud noise known as a Startling Acoustic Stimulus (SAS) can cause a startle reflex response, which has been shown to enhance movement in stroke patients [1, 2, 3]. The use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation along with an SAS results in a significant delay in the onset of SAS-released movements [4, 5]. This leads to the issue of determining the characteristics of the startle reflex in movements that are governed by the reticulospinal tract (RST) and corticospinal tract (CST). Single-pulse TMS was used to stimulate the left hemisphere and participants were exposed to 5 loud startling acoustic stimuli of 120 dB at random intervals.

Student researcher

Vishvak Rangarajan

Biomedical engineering

Hometown: Sunnyvale, California, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2020