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      Preprocessing pupil size data: Guidelines and code

      research-article
      1 , 2 , , 3
      Behavior Research Methods
      Springer US
      Pupil size, Psychophysiology, Instructions, Manual, Open source code

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          Abstract

          Pupillometry has been one of the most widely used response systems in psychophysiology. Changes in pupil size can reflect diverse cognitive and emotional states, ranging from arousal, interest and effort to social decisions, but they are also widely used in clinical practice to assess patients’ brain functioning. As a result, research involving pupil size measurements has been reported in practically all psychology, psychiatry, and psychophysiological research journals, and now it has found its way into the primatology literature as well as into more practical applications, such as using pupil size as a measure of fatigue or a safety index during driving. The different systems used for recording pupil size are almost as variable as its applications, and all yield, as with many measurement techniques, a substantial amount of noise in addition to the real pupillometry data. Before analyzing pupil size, it is therefore of crucial importance first to detect this noise and deal with it appropriately, even prior to (if need be) resampling and baseline-correcting the data. In this article we first provide a short review of the literature on pupil size measurements, then we highlight the most important sources of noise and show how these can be detected. Finally, we provide step-by-step guidelines that will help those interested in pupil size to preprocess their data correctly. These guidelines are accompanied by an open source MATLAB script (available at https://github.com/ElioS-S/pupil-size). Given that pupil diameter is easily measured by standard eyetracking technologies and can provide fundamental insights into cognitive and emotional processes, it is hoped that this article will further motivate scholars from different disciplines to study pupil size.

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          Most cited references41

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          Detecting outliers: Do not use standard deviation around the mean, use absolute deviation around the median

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            The pupil as a measure of emotional arousal and autonomic activation.

            Pupil diameter was monitored during picture viewing to assess effects of hedonic valence and emotional arousal on pupillary responses. Autonomic activity (heart rate and skin conductance) was concurrently measured to determine whether pupillary changes are mediated by parasympathetic or sympathetic activation. Following an initial light reflex, pupillary changes were larger when viewing emotionally arousing pictures, regardless of whether these were pleasant or unpleasant. Pupillary changes during picture viewing covaried with skin conductance change, supporting the interpretation that sympathetic nervous system activity modulates these changes in the context of affective picture viewing. Taken together, the data provide strong support for the hypothesis that the pupil's response during affective picture viewing reflects emotional arousal associated with increased sympathetic activity.
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              Decision making, the P3, and the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system.

              Psychologists and neuroscientists have had a long-standing interest in the P3, a prominent component of the event-related brain potential. This review aims to integrate knowledge regarding the neural basis of the P3 and to elucidate its functional role in information processing. The authors review evidence suggesting that the P3 reflects phasic activity of the neuromodulatory locus coeruleus-norepinephrine (LC-NE) system. They discuss the P3 literature in the light of empirical findings and a recent theory regarding the information-processing function of the LC-NE phasic response. The theoretical framework emerging from this research synthesis suggests that the P3 reflects the response of the LC-NE system to the outcome of internal decision-making processes and the consequent effects of noradrenergic potentiation of information processing. Copyright 2005 APA, all rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                m.e.kret@fsw.leidenuniv.nl , http://www.mariskakret.com
                Journal
                Behav Res Methods
                Behav Res Methods
                Behavior Research Methods
                Springer US (New York )
                1554-351X
                1554-3528
                10 July 2018
                10 July 2018
                2019
                : 51
                : 3
                : 1336-1342
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2312 1970, GRID grid.5132.5, Cognitive Psychology Department, , Leiden University, ; Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, The Netherlands
                [2 ]Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC), Leiden, the Netherlands
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2312 1970, GRID grid.5132.5, Leiden Institute of Psychology, , Leiden University, ; Leiden, the Netherlands
                Article
                1075
                10.3758/s13428-018-1075-y
                6538573
                29992408
                a3dc9ce4-1619-473d-b5b0-a5b663febcb0
                © The Author(s) 2018

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

                History
                Funding
                Funded by: Netherlands Science Foundation
                Award ID: VENI # 016-155- 082
                Categories
                Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2019

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                pupil size,psychophysiology,instructions,manual,open source code
                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                pupil size, psychophysiology, instructions, manual, open source code

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