The effects of increased central serotonergic activity on prepulse inhibition and habituation of the human startle response

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sensorimotor gating is critical to normal brain functioning, and disruptions are associated with certain mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. Prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex (ASR) (PPI) is an operational measure of sensorimotor gating, of which evidence for a serotonergic modulation is currently inconsistent. In a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design, 18 healthy male volunteers received either placebo or a dose of 10 mg of escitalopram (SSRI), after which they were tested in both PPI and habituation of the startle reflex paradigms. No significant differences between the two treatments were observed on PPI, although escitalopram was found to significantly delay habituation of the ASR. In the current study, escitalopram was found to delay habituation, but it did not affect PPI in healthy male volunteers. As escitalopram is a highly specific SSRI, the results suggest that an increased serotonergic activity disrupts habituation, but not PPI in healthy volunteers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuropsychopharmacology
Volume32
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2117-24
Number of pages8
ISSN0893-133X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007

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