[en] Respiratory interoception may play an important role in the perception of respiratory symptoms in pulmonary diseases. As the respiratory cycle affects startle eye blink responses, startle modulation may be used to assess visceral-afferent signals from the respiratory system. To ascertain the potential impact of brainstem-relayed signals on cortical processes, we investigated whether this pre-attentive respiratory modulation of startle (RMS) effect is also reflected in the modulation of higher cognitive, evaluative processing of the startle stimulus. Twenty-nine healthy volunteers received 80 acoustic startle stimuli (100 or 105 dB(A); 50 ms), which were presented at end and mid inspiration and expiration, while performing a paced breathing task (0.25 Hz). Participants first responded to the startle probes by 'as fast as possible' button pushes and then rated the perceived intensity of the stimuli. Psychomotor response time was divided into 'reaction time' (RT; from stimulus onset to home button release; represents stimulus evaluation) and 'movement time' time (MT; from home button release to target button press). Intensity judgements were higher and RTs accelerated during mid expiration. No effect of respiratory cycle phase was found on eye blink responses and MTs. We conclude that respiratory cycle phase affects higher cognitive, attentional processing of startle stimuli.