FURI | Fall 2019

Effects of Startle-Evoked Movement Associated with Learning a Novel Motor Task

Health icon, disabled. A red heart with a cardiac rhythm running through it.

Startle-evoked movement (SEM) is shown to trigger a fast and accurate motor task. The learning process and the startle response are involved with the same circuitry within the brain, yet there is still a question of whether a startle response can affect the learning of a novel motor task. In order to evaluate the association and effect, subjects will perform a novel motor task within a training period where one-third of the trials will try to evoke a startle response. The results will be statistically tested in order to give evidence of the association between SEM and learning a motor task. Future work would include the population of individuals with impaired mobility in the same motor task.

Student researcher

Cassie Rebekah Riggs

Biomedical engineering

Hometown: Pheonix, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2021