Methods to measure damage to sensory systems following toxicant exposure vary from rapid and subjective tests (e.g., pinna reflex) to time-consuming and objective tests (e.g., psychophysical tests). Reflex modification of the startle response represents an alternative technique in the assessment of sensory function. Advantages of this procedure include: no prior training requirements, rapid and objective measurement of sensory thresholds, ability to differentiate sensory from non-sensory damage, and potential for predictive validity. This procedure has also been shown to be sensitive to a variety of neurotoxic compounds. Future research should concentrate on demonstrating the research potential of this technique for use in neurotoxicology.