startle pattern

variants: or startle reaction or startle response

Definition of startle pattern

: the complex of psychophysiological changes that is elicited in an organism by an unexpected sudden stimulus (such as a loud noise) and includes tremor, sweating, palpitation, dry mouth, and a feeling of fear or panic sometimes followed by escape or avoidance reactions

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Cite this Entry

“Startle pattern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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