Wilkes University

Campus Directory


Dr.  Edward  J.  Schicatano


MA, PhD Wake Forest

Associate Professor, Coordinator of Neuroscience Program - Behavioral Neuroscience, Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Behavioral Medicine, Sensation and Perception, General Psychology; Sensorimotor Processing in the Brainstem, Caffeine's Effects Research

        1982-1986    B.A., Psychology,
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania,
Bloomsburg, PA

        1987-1989    M.A. Psychology
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC
Advisor: Dr. Terry D. Blumenthal

        1990-1994    Ph.D., Neuroscience
Wake Forest University Medical Center
Advisor: Dr. Terry D. Blumenthal

Research Interests:
        Neurophysiology of Information Processing in Humans
        Plasticity of a Brainstem Reflex

Professional Societies:

Society for Neurosciences, 1990-present
Society for Psychophysiological Research, 1993-present
International Brain Research Organization, 1990-present
Eastern Psychological Association, 1999-present


Schicatano, E.J. Effects of Caffeine on the Trigeminal Blink Reflex. Perceptual and Motor Skills (2005), 100, 493-496..

Schicatano, E.J., Mantzouranis, J., Peshori, K.R., Partin, J., & Evinger, C.:  Lid Restraint Evokes Two Types of Motor Adaptation. Journal of Neuroscience (2002), 22, 569-576.

Schicatano, E.J., Peshori, K.R., Gopalaswamy, R., Sahay, E., & Evinger, C.: Reflex Excitability Regulates Prepulse Inhibition.  Journal of Neuroscience, (2000), 20, 4240-4247.

Schicatano, E.J., & Blumenthal, T.D.: The Effects of Caffeine and Directed Attention on Acoustic Startle Habituation. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, (1998), 59, 145-150.

Schicatano, E.J., Basso, M.A., & Evinger, C.: Animal Model Explains the Origins of the Cranial Dystonia Benign Essential Blepharospasm. Journal of  Neurophysiology, (1997), 77, 2842-2846.

Schicatano, E.J., & Blumenthal, T.D.: The Effects of a Low and High Dose of Caffeine on Habituation of the Acoustic Startle Reflex. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, (1995), 52, 231-236.

Schicatano, E.J. & Blumenthal, T.D.:  Caffeine Delays Habituation of Acoustic Reflex in Humans. Psychobiology, (1994), 22, 117-122.

Evinger, C., Mao, J.B., Powers, A.S., Kassem, I.S., Schicatano, E.J., Henriquez, V.M., & Peshori, K.R.  Dry Eye, Blinking and Blepharospasm.  (2001).  Movement Disorders.

Peshori, K.R., Schicatano, E.J., Gopalaswamy, R., & Evinger, C.: Aging of the Blink System. Experimental Brain Research (2000), 136, 351-363.

Powers, A.S., Schicatano, E.J., Basso, M.A., & Evinger, C.: To Blink or not to Blink: Inhibition and Facilitation of Reflex Blinks. Experimental Brain Research, (1997), 113, 283-290.

Blumenthal, T.D., Schicatano, E.J., Chapman, J.G., Norris, C.M., & Ergenzinger, E.R.: Prepulse Effects on Magnitude Estimation of Startle-Eliciting Stimuli and Startle Responses.  Perception & Psychophysics, (1996), 58, 73-80.

My research in general has studied and focused on information processing specifically attention, in humans.  My goal is to better understand the role that “filtering” plays on normal attentional processing.  In order to accomplish this, I have used the acoustic startle reflex paradigm as a window into the human brain.  The startle reflex is an ideal system for probing specific attentional systems, as it exhibits a form of behavioral plasticity known as habituation.  Startle habituation has proven to be a viable model for assessing sensory filtering as it relates to overall attention.  Previous investigations in my laboratory have examined the effects of changing startle stimulus parameters, the effects of caffeine, and the effects of learning styles on sensory filtering.  Future studies will consider sensory filtering as it relates to personality variables such as sensation-seeking and impulsivity.

The Function of Startle as a Sensorimotor Interrupt:

A second set of research projects have investigated the role of startle as a sensory interrupt.  Research in my laboratory clearly shows that startle acts to sensitize individuals to sensory stimuli.   However, as time elapses, startle appears to produce a state of analgesia.  These findings are not contradictory, but instead indicate that startle’s effects on information processing are time dependent.


Carpenter Award for teaching excellence: 2006

Outstanding Faculty Award: 2002-2003

NIH postdoctoral fellowship award: 1996-1999