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Pupil and arousal

Joana Carvalho, Raquel Pereira, Diana Barreto, Pedro J Nobre
The relationship between emotions and sexual functioning has been documented since early sex research. Among other effects, emotions are expected to impact sexual response by shaping individuals' attention to sexual cues; yet, this assumption has not been tested. This study aimed to investigate whether attentional processes to sexual cues are impacted by state emotions, and whether the processes impacted by emotions relate to subjective sexual arousal to a sex film clip. A total of 52 men and 73 women were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions: (1) a negative mood induction condition (sadness as dominant emotion), (2) a positive mood induction condition (amusement as dominant emotion), and a (3) neutral/control condition...
October 12, 2016: Archives of Sexual Behavior
Ronan McGarrigle, Piers Dawes, Andrew J Stewart, Stefanie E Kuchinsky, Kevin J Munro
Hearing loss is associated with anecdotal reports of fatigue during periods of sustained listening. However, few studies have attempted to measure changes in arousal, as a potential marker of fatigue, over the course of a sustained listening task. The present study aimed to examine subjective, behavioral, and physiological indices of listening-related fatigue. Twenty-four normal-hearing young adults performed a speech-picture verification task in different signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) while their pupil size was monitored and response times recorded...
October 12, 2016: Psychophysiology
Patrick Gomez, Armin von Gunten, Brigitta Danuser
In the present study, we examined how sex and age shape cardiovascular, electrodermal, and pupillary reactivity to picture series within the valence-arousal affective space in a sample of 176 healthy younger, middle-aged, and older men and women. Across participants, heart rate (HR) decelerated with increasing self-reported unpleasantness, whereas skin conductance level (SCL) and pupil size (PS) increased with increasing self-rated arousal. Systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure increased with increasing self-rated arousal when valence was pleasant but much less when valence was unpleasant...
October 6, 2016: International Journal of Psychophysiology
Olivier White, Robert M French
Non-luminance-mediated changes in pupil diameter have been used since the first studies by Darwin in 1872 as indicators of clinical, cognitive, and arousal states. However, the relation between processes involved in motor control and changes in pupil diameter remains largely unknown. Twenty participants attempted to compensate random walks of a cursor with a computer mouse to restrain its trajectory within a target circle while the authors recorded their pupil diameters. Two conditions allowed the authors to experimentally manipulate the motor and cognitive components of the task...
August 11, 2016: Journal of Motor Behavior
David M McCord, Margaret C Achee, Elissa M Cannon, Tiffany M Harrop, William D Poynter
The National Institute of Mental Health has proposed a paradigm shift in the conceptualization of psychopathology, abandoning the traditional categorical model in favor of one based on hierarchically organized dimensional constructs (Insel et al., 2010 ). One explicit goal of this initiative, the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project, is to facilitate the incorporation of newly available neurobiologic variables into research on psychopathology. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF; Ben-Porath & Tellegen, 2008/2011 ) represents a similar paradigm shift, also adopting a hierarchical arrangement of dimensional constructs...
October 7, 2016: Journal of Personality Assessment
Jennifer B Wagner, Rhiannon J Luyster, Helen Tager-Flusberg, Charles A Nelson
When scanning faces, individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have shown reduced visual attention (e.g., less time on eyes) and atypical autonomic responses (e.g., heightened arousal). To understand how these differences might explain sub-clinical variability in social functioning, 9-month-olds, with or without a family history of ASD, viewed emotionally-expressive faces, and gaze and pupil diameter (a measure of autonomic activation) were recorded using eye-tracking. Infants at high-risk for ASD with no subsequent clinical diagnosis (HRA-) and low-risk controls (LRC) showed similar face scanning and attention to eyes and mouth...
September 2016: Infancy: the Official Journal of the International Society on Infant Studies
Tuesday M Watts, Luke Holmes, Ritch C Savin-Williams, Gerulf Rieger
Pupil dilation to explicit sexual stimuli (footage of naked and aroused men or women) can elicit sex and sexual orientation differences in sexual response. If similar patterns were replicated with non-explicit sexual stimuli (footage of dressed men and women), then pupil dilation could be indicative of automatic sexual response in fully noninvasive designs. We examined this in 325 men and women with varied sexual orientations to determine whether dilation patterns to non-explicit sexual stimuli resembled those to explicit sexual stimuli depicting the same sex or other sex...
August 15, 2016: Archives of Sexual Behavior
Nicola Binetti, Charlotte Harrison, Antoine Coutrot, Alan Johnston, Isabelle Mareschal
Most animals look at each other to signal threat or interest. In humans, this social interaction is usually punctuated with brief periods of mutual eye contact. Deviations from this pattern of gazing behaviour generally make us feel uncomfortable and are a defining characteristic of clinical conditions such as autism or schizophrenia, yet it is unclear what constitutes normal eye contact. Here, we measured, across a wide range of ages, cultures and personality types, the period of direct gaze that feels comfortable and examined whether autonomic factors linked to arousal were indicative of people's preferred amount of eye contact...
July 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Teresa Sylvester, Mario Braun, David Schmidtke, Arthur M Jacobs
While research on affective word processing in adults witnesses increasing interest, the present paper looks at another group of participants that have been neglected so far: pupils (age range: 6-12 years). Introducing a variant of the Berlin Affective Wordlist (BAWL) especially adapted for children of that age group, the "kidBAWL," we examined to what extent pupils process affective lexical semantics similarly to adults. In three experiments using rating and valence decision tasks in both the visual and auditory modality, it was established that children show the two ubiquitous phenomena observed in adults with emotional word material: the asymmetric U-shaped function relating valence to arousal ratings, and the inversely U-shaped function relating response times to valence decision latencies...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Nina Milosavljevic, Jasmina Cehajic-Kapetanovic, Christopher A Procyk, Robert J Lucas
Functional imaging and psychometric assessments indicate that bright light can enhance mood, attention, and cognitive performance in humans. Indirect evidence links these events to light detection by intrinsically photosensitive melanopsin-expressing retinal ganglion cells (mRGCs) [1-9]. However, there is currently no direct demonstration that mRGCs can have such an immediate effect on mood or behavioral state in any species. We addressed this deficit by using chemogenetics to selectively activate mRGCs, simulating the excitatory effects of bright light on this cell type in dark-housed mice...
September 12, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Wesley C Smith, Matthew H Rosenberg, Leslie D Claar, Victoria Chang, Sagar N Shah, Wendy M Walwyn, Christopher J Evans, Sotiris C Masmanidis
It is thought that frontostriatal circuits play an important role in mediating conditioned behavioral responses to environmental stimuli that were previously encountered during drug administration. However, the neural correlates of conditioned responses to drug-associated cues are not well understood at the level of large populations of simultaneously recorded neurons, or at the level of local field potential (LFP) synchrony in the frontostriatal network. Here we introduce a behavioral assay of conditioned arousal to cocaine cues involving pupillometry in awake head-restrained mice...
May 2016: ENeuro
Max Schneider, Pamela Hathway, Laura Leuchs, Philipp G Sämann, Michael Czisch, Victor I Spoormaker
Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) is increasingly applied for the development of functional biomarkers in brain disorders. Recent studies have revealed spontaneous vigilance drifts during the resting state, involving changes in brain activity and connectivity that challenge the validity of uncontrolled rs-fMRI findings. In a combined rs-fMRI/eye tracking study, the pupil size of 32 healthy subjects after 2h of sleep restriction was recorded as an indirect index for activity of the locus coeruleus, the brainstem's noradrenergic arousal center...
June 9, 2016: NeuroImage
Lycia D de Voogd, Guillén Fernández, Erno J Hermans
A large body of evidence in animals and humans implicates the amygdala in promoting memory for arousing experiences. Although the amygdala can trigger threat-related noradrenergic-sympathetic arousal, in humans amygdala activation and noradrenergic-sympathetic arousal do not always concur. This raises the question how these two processes play a role in enhancing emotional declarative memory. This study was designed to disentangle these processes in a combined subsequent-memory/fear-conditioning paradigm with neutral items belonging to two conceptual categories as conditioned stimuli...
September 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Christine Fawcett, Victoria Wesevich, Gustaf Gredebäck
Pupillary contagion-responding to pupil size observed in other people with changes in one's own pupil-has been found in adults and suggests that arousal and other internal states could be transferred across individuals using a subtle physiological cue. Examining this phenomenon developmentally gives insight into its origins and underlying mechanisms, such as whether it is an automatic adaptation already present in infancy. In the current study, 6- and 9-month-olds viewed schematic depictions of eyes with smaller and larger pupils-pairs of concentric circles with smaller and larger black centers-while their own pupil sizes were recorded...
July 2016: Psychological Science
Michael W Weiss, Sandra E Trehub, E Glenn Schellenberg, Peter Habashi
Previous research reveals that vocal melodies are remembered better than instrumental renditions. Here we explored the possibility that the voice, as a highly salient stimulus, elicits greater arousal than nonvocal stimuli, resulting in greater pupil dilation for vocal than for instrumental melodies. We also explored the possibility that pupil dilation indexes memory for melodies. We tracked pupil dilation during a single exposure to 24 unfamiliar folk melodies (half sung to la la, half piano) and during a subsequent recognition test in which the previously heard melodies were intermixed with 24 novel melodies (half sung, half piano) from the same corpus...
August 2016: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance
Nada Attar, Matthew H Schneps, Marc Pomplun
An observer's pupil dilates and constricts in response to variables such as ambient and focal luminance, cognitive effort, the emotional stimulus content, and working memory load. The pupil's memory load response is of particular interest, as it might be used for estimating observers' memory load while they are performing a complex task, without adding an interruptive and confounding memory test to the protocol. One important task in which working memory's involvement is still being debated is visual search, and indeed a previous experiment by Porter, Troscianko, and Gilchrist (Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60, 211-229, 2007) analyzed observers' pupil sizes during search to study this issue...
October 2016: Memory & Cognition
Jan Ehlers, Christoph Strauch, Juliane Georgi, Anke Huckauf
Pupil size is usually regarded as a passive information channel that provides insight into cognitive and affective states but defies any further control. However, in a recent study (Ehlers et al. 2015) we demonstrate that sympathetic activity indexed by pupil dynamics allows strategic interference by means of simple cognitive techniques. Utilizing positive/negative imaginings, subjects were able to expand pupil diameter beyond baseline variations; albeit with varying degrees of success and only over brief periods...
September 2016: Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback
Lycia D de Voogd, Guillén Fernández, Erno J Hermans
Emotionally arousing experiences are typically well remembered not only due to immediate effects at encoding, but also through further strengthening of subsequent consolidation processes. A large body of research shows how neuromodulatory systems promote synaptic consolidation. However, how emotionally arousing experiences alter systems-level interactions, presumably a consequence of modifications at a synaptic level, remains unclear. Animal models predict that memory traces are maintained by spontaneous reactivations across hippocampal-neocortical circuits during "offline" periods such as post-learning rest, and suggest this might be stronger for emotional memories...
July 1, 2016: NeuroImage
Klodiana-Daphne Tona, Peter R Murphy, Stephen B R E Brown, Sander Nieuwenhuis
People usually respond faster to a visual stimulus when it is immediately preceded by a task-irrelevant, auditory accessory stimulus (AS). This AS effect occurs even in choice reaction time tasks, despite the fact that the AS carries no information about the correct response. Researchers often assume that the AS effect is mediated by a phasic arousal burst evoked by the AS, but direct evidence for that assumption is lacking. We conducted a pupillometry study to directly test the phasic arousal hypothesis. Participants carried out a demanding choice reaction time task with accessory stimuli occurring on 25% of the trials...
July 2016: Psychophysiology
Sebastian J Lehmann, Brian D Corneil
UNLABELLED: Pupillometry provides a simple and noninvasive index for a variety of cognitive processes, including perception, attention, task consolidation, learning, and memory. The neural substrates by which such cognitive processes influence pupil diameter remain somewhat unclear, although cortical inputs to the locus coeruleus mediating arousal are likely involved. Changes in pupil diameter also accompany covert orienting; hence the oculomotor system may provide an alternative substrate for cognitive influences on pupil diameter...
March 30, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
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