Startle Response System

Sensorimotor Gating


  • Force platforms for rats and mice with species-specific maximum load
  • Rats and mouse cages with integrated floor grid and feces tray
  • Combination system for rats and mice available
  • Sine sound/noise with up to 130dB, software-controlled amplitude and frequency setting
  • High-performance loudspeakers – unique on the market
  • Suitable for fear-potentiated startle with optional foot shocker (alternatively air puff)
  • Optional high-intensity lamp for light-enhanced startle


The fully computerized TSE Startle Response/PPI test system is designed for accurate and reliable determination of the startle reflex and investigation of sensorimotor gating in rodents. “PPI” or pre-pulse inhibition is a type of sensorimotor gating that is disrupted in some neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. In pre-pulse inhibition experiments a weak pre-pulse precedes the startle stimulus - deficits in sensorimotor gating will lead to excitatory or inhibitory effects on the startle response.

Animals are restrained in small cages restricting major movements and exploratory behavior. These cages are placed on species-specific measuring platforms with integrated high-precision sensors in sound-attenuating cabinets. Up to 8 measuring units can be controlled by a single computer. The flexible software package for Windows allows the creation of user-defined protocols including complex "pre-pulse" designs. Graphs allow the comparison between the performances of several animals. Reaction time, i.e. response latency, and startle amplitude for each trial are presented in results tables.