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Proceedings Paper

The pupil dilation response to visual detection
Author(s): Claudio M. Privitera; Laura W. Renninger; Thom Carney; Stanley Klein; Mario Aguilar
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Paper Abstract

The pupil dilation reflex is mediated by inhibition of the parasympathetic Edinger-Westphal oculomotor complex and sympathetic activity. It has long been documented that emotional and sensory events elicit a pupillary reflex dilation. Is the pupil response a reliable marker of a visual detection event? In two experiments where viewers were asked to report the presence of a visual target during rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), pupil dilation was significantly associated with target detection. The amplitude of the dilation depended on the frequency of targets and the time of the detection. Larger dilations were associated with trials having fewer targets and with targets viewed earlier during the trial. We also found that dilation was strongly influenced by the visual task.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 February 2008
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6806, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIII, 68060T (14 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.772844
Show Author Affiliations
Claudio M. Privitera, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Laura W. Renninger, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute (United States)
Thom Carney, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Stanley Klein, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Mario Aguilar, Teledyne Scientific Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6806:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIII
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas, Editor(s)

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