Blindness is often associated with hypervigilance and arousal. The auditory startle response has been suggested as a measure of arousal. This study evaluated the auditory startle response of 10 blind individuals and 10 sighted controls who were exposed to a series of 15 1000-Hz, 95-db, 0-rise-time pure-tone stimuli, administered to both ears. The subjects' heart-rate, skin-conductance, and orbicularis-oculi-electromyogram responses to the tones were measured. Blind subjects did not differ from controls in the magnitude and in the habituation-rate of their responses. Results were interpreted as showing that blind persons' capacity for discriminative learning and for regulation of arousal is unimpaired. Task-related anxiety of blind persons should be differentiated from stimulus-related anxiety.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Perceptual and Motor Skills|
|Issue number||3 Pt 2|
|State||Published - Jun 1993|