Psychopharmacology

, Volume 146, Issue 2, pp 228–232 | Cite as

Sex differences in sensorimotor gating of the human startle reflex: all smoke?

  • N. R. Swerdlow
  • M. A. Geyer
  • P. L. Hartman
  • J. Sprock
  • P. P. Auerbach
  • K. Cadenhead
  • W. Perry
  • D. L. Braff
Rapid Communication

Abstract 

Rationale: A recent report described sex differences in the effects of nicotine use and withdrawal on prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle (PPI), but no sex differences in PPI in non-smokers. Objective: To determine whether previously reported male>female acoustic PPI reflect sex differences in smoking effects on PPI, rather than simple sex differences in the regulation of PPI. A retrospective analyses of >600 carefully screened normals tested over the past 12 years was completed. Results: Male>female acoustic PPI was detected in analyses that included: 1) all subjects; or 2) self-declared non-smokers. Conclusions: Sex differences in PPI cannot be accounted for by smoking history, because they are present across a large sample of non-smoking normal controls.

Key words Nicotine Prepulse inhibition Schizophrenia Sensorimotor gating Startle 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. R. Swerdlow
    • 1
  • M. A. Geyer
    • 1
  • P. L. Hartman
    • 1
  • J. Sprock
    • 1
  • P. P. Auerbach
    • 1
  • K. Cadenhead
    • 1
  • W. Perry
    • 1
  • D. L. Braff
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0804, USA e-mail: nswerdlow@ucsd.eduUS

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