Dissociable mappings of tonic and phasic pupillary features onto cognitive processes involved in mental arithmetic.

08:00 EDT 23rd March 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Dissociable mappings of tonic and phasic pupillary features onto cognitive processes involved in mental arithmetic."

Pupil size modulations have been used for decades as a window into the mind, and several pupillary features have been implicated in a variety of cognitive processes. Thus, a general challenge facing the field of pupillometry has been understanding which pupil features should be most relevant for explaining behavior in a given task domain. In the present study, a longitudinal design was employed where participants completed 8 biweekly sessions of a classic mental arithmetic task for the purposes of teasing apart the relationships between tonic/phasic pupil features (baseline, peak amplitude, peak latency) and two task-related cognitive processes including mental processing load (indexed by math question difficulty) and decision making (indexed by response times). We used multi-level modeling to account for individual variation while identifying pupil-to-behavior relationships at the single-trial and between-session levels. We show a dissociation between phasic and tonic features with peak amplitude and latency (but not baseline) driven by ongoing task-related processing, whereas baseline was driven by state-level effects that changed over a longer time period (i.e. weeks). Finally, we report a dissociation between peak amplitude and latency whereby amplitude reflected surprise and processing load, and latency reflected decision making times.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: PloS one
ISSN: 1932-6203
Pages: e0230517


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A pupillary abnormality characterized by a poor pupillary light reaction, reduced accommodation, iris sector palsies, an enhanced pupillary response to near effort that results in a prolonged, "tonic" constriction, and slow pupillary redilation. This condition is associated with injury to the postganglionic parasympathetic innervation to the pupil. (From Miller et al., Clinical Neuro-Ophthalmology, 4th ed, pp492-500)

A syndrome characterized by a TONIC PUPIL that occurs in combination with decreased lower extremity reflexes. The affected pupil will respond more briskly to accommodation than to light (light-near dissociation) and is supersensitive to dilute pilocarpine eye drops, which induce pupillary constriction. Pathologic features include degeneration of the ciliary ganglion and postganglionic parasympathetic fibers that innervate the pupillary constrictor muscle. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p279)

A generalized seizure disorder characterized by recurrent major motor seizures. The initial brief tonic phase is marked by trunk flexion followed by diffuse extension of the trunk and extremities. The clonic phase features rhythmic flexor contractions of the trunk and limbs, pupillary dilation, elevations of blood pressure and pulse, urinary incontinence, and tongue biting. This is followed by a profound state of depressed consciousness (post-ictal state) which gradually improves over minutes to hours. The disorder may be cryptogenic, familial, or symptomatic (caused by an identified disease process). (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p329)

Pupillary constriction. This may result from congenital absence of the dilatator pupillary muscle, defective sympathetic innervation, or irritation of the CONJUNCTIVA or CORNEA.

Conditions which affect the structure or function of the pupil of the eye, including disorders of innervation to the pupillary constrictor or dilator muscles, and disorders of pupillary reflexes.

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