Analysis of the Startle Response to Flashbang Grenades

June, 2018
IDA document: D-8945
FFRDC: Systems and Analyses Center
Type: Documents
Division: Science and Technology Division , Science, Systems and Sustainment Division
Poornima Madhavan, Ruhi Srinivasan See more authors
The surprise or “startle” element associated with flashbang grenades may trigger varying degrees of psychological and physiological distress that could have implications for the design of effective flashbang grenades. The startle response is the fastest known generalized motor reaction of humans and animals to unexpected or surprising stimuli. IDA was tasked with examining the neural, physiological and psychological components of the startle response associated with flashbang grenades in order to fully understand the processes driving human responses to flashbangs. This report provides a detailed review and analysis of the startle response in humans and its implications for the design of flashbang grenades.