Assessing the relationship between pupil diameter and visuocortical activity release_7fpufbz7eveklovbysefbqecvq

by Nina N. Thigpen, Margaret M. Bradley, Andreas Keil

Published in Journal of Vision by Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).

2018   Volume 18, Issue 6, p7

Abstract

Visuocortical activity and pupil diameter both increase in tasks involving memory, attention, and physiological arousal. Thus, the question arises whether pupil dilation prompts a subsequent increase in visuocortical activity. In this study, we investigated the extent to which changes in visuocortical activity relate to changes in pupil diameter. The amplitude of the sustained visuocortical response to a flickering stimulus (i.e., steady-state visually evoked potential [ssVEP] power) was examined in 39 participants while pupil diameter was measured. To generalize across stimulus conditions, Gabor stimuli varied in brightness and ssVEP driving frequency. As expected, brighter stimuli prompted pupil constriction and larger ssVEP power. To determine whether momentary fluctuations in pupil size contribute to the ssVEP amplitude under conditions of constant luminance and frequency, the single-trial means from each measure were correlated and the shape of the pupil-diameter waveform related to the ssVEP amplitude time course, both within and between participants. Under constant conditions, changes in pupil diameter were not related to changes in ssVEP amplitude, at any luminance level or driving frequency. Findings suggest that pupil dilation does not systematically prompt subsequent changes in visuocortical activity, and thus is not a sufficient cause of visuocortical modulation in cognitive or affective tasks.
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Type  article-journal
Stage   published
Date   2018-06-21
Language   en ?
DOI  10.1167/18.6.7
PubMed  30029218
PMC  PMC6012182
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