startle reaction

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Noun1.startle reaction - a complicated involuntary reaction to a sudden unexpected stimulus (especially a loud noise); involves flexion of most skeletal muscles and a variety of visceral reactions
startle, jump, start - a sudden involuntary movement; "he awoke with a start"
References in periodicals archive ?
If diagnosed correctly, babies can be treated with drugs that help reduce the unwanted startle reaction and also reduce muscle stiffness.
The startle reaction can be detected as an abnormal increase in muscle tension causing rigidity and the inability to move.
All this is involved in modifying the startle reaction at the same point--before motor action.