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The pupil's response to affective pictures: Role of image duration, habituation, and viewing mode

Snowden, Robert J., O'Farrell, Katherine R., Burley, Daniel, Erichsen, Jonathan T., Newton, Naomi V. and Gray, Nicola S. 2016. The pupil's response to affective pictures: Role of image duration, habituation, and viewing mode. Psychophysiology 53 (8) , pp. 1217-1223. 10.1111/psyp.12668

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The pupil has been shown to be sensitive to the emotional content of stimuli. We examined this phenomenon by comparing fearful and neutral images carefully matched in the domains of luminance, image contrast, image color, and complexity of content. The pupil was more dilated after viewing affective pictures, and this effect was (a) shown to be independent of the presentation time of the images (from 100–3,000 ms), (b) not diminished by repeated presentations of the images, and (c) not affected by actively naming the emotion of the stimuli in comparison to passive viewing. Our results show that the emotional modulation of the pupil is present over a range of variables that typically vary from study to study (image duration, number of trials, free viewing vs. task), and encourages the use of pupillometry as a measure of emotional processing in populations where alternative techniques may not be appropriate.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0048-5772
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 June 2016
Date of Acceptance: 31 March 2016
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2021 02:26

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