Prepulse inhibition

What is prepulse inhibition?

The startle response involves reflex behaviour intended to prepare an organism to attend to potentially relevant stimuli. The startle response can be reduced by previous presentation of a weak stimulus, and this is known as prepulse inhibition. When prepulse inhibition is high, the corresponding one-time startle response is reduced. When prepulse inhibition is low, an inability to filter out unnecessary information may occur.

Prepulse inhibition is regulated by the limbic-cortical-striatal-pallidal-thalamic neural circuit, the dopaminergic system, and by cognitive processes such as attention and emotion. Some of these processes may be dysfunctional in people with bipolar disorder.

What is the evidence for prepulse inhibition in people with bipolar disorder?

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests a small effect of reduced prepulse inhibition in people with bipolar disorder during euthymia compared to controls.

December 2021

Image: ©piter2121 –

Last updated at: 5:41 pm, 12th December 2021
To view documentation related to this topic download the files below
Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.