NRC newspaper interview with Prof. de Koning-Tijssen about the startle response

What causes one to startle more easily or more intensely compared to another?  Prof. de Koning-Tijssen elaborates on the fascinating startle phenomenon in an interview with the Dutch newspaper NRC.

During the interview Prof. de Koning-Tijssen explains that when one encounters something unexpected, this will initiate two responses: an alarm response followed by a second, more coordinated response. Only after these two responses will our brain become a bit more aware of the startle response that was set to action. Everyone has encountered situations in their life where they experienced a startle response, yet the stimulus that makes one startle or the intensity of the startle response may differ from person to person. Culture plays a key role in differences in startle responses, but a neuropsychiatric component (such as high levels of anxiety) or a hereditary syndrome (hyperekplexia) can also be present. At Movement Disorders Groningen, hyperekplexia is one the fields of expertise within the group of hyperkinetic  movement disorders. Please find attached the full article of the NRC newspaper about the startle response (in Dutch).