14 Oct2020

Background luminance effects on pupil size associated with emotion and saccade preparation

Background luminance effects on pupil size associated with emotion and saccade preparation

Yih-Giun Cherng, Talia Baird, Jui-Tai Chen & Chin-An Wang

Pupillometry is becoming popular to be used as a promising index for cognitive and neural processes. It is known that pupil dilation is evoked by affective and cognitive processes. However, pupil dilation can be evoked by activation of the sympathetic nervous system, inhibition of the parasympathetic nervous system, or both. Using emotional sounds in the anti-saccade paradigm with varying background luminance level, we show that greater pupil dilation evoked by emotional sounds was observed with low background luminance than high background luminance. In contrast, pupil dilation responses associated with saccade preparation were larger with high background luminance. Together, our results suggest that emotion-induced pupil dilation is mainly mediated by sympathetic activation, but pupil dilation related to saccade preparation is primarily mediated by parasympathetic inhibition.

Published in Scientific Reports

Here is the link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-72954-z