Pupil response hazard rates predict perceived gaze durations.
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We investigated the mechanisms for evaluating perceived gaze-shift duration. Timing relies on the accumulation of endogenous physiological signals. Here we focused on arousal, measured through pupil dilation, as a candidate timing signal. Participants timed gaze-shifts performed by face stimuli in a Standard/Probe comparison task. Pupil responses were binned according to "Longer/Shorter" judgements in trials where Standard and Probe were identical. This ensured that pupil responses reflected endogenous arousal fluctuations opposed to differences in stimulus content. We found that pupil hazard rates predicted the classification of sub-second intervals (steeper dilation = "Longer" classifications). This shows that the accumulation of endogenous arousal signals informs gaze-shift timing judgements. We also found that participants relied exclusively on the 2(nd) stimulus to perform the classification, providing insights into timing strategies under conditions of maximum uncertainty. We observed no dissociation in pupil responses when timing equivalent neutral spatial displacements, indicating that a stimulus-dependent timer exploits arousal to time gaze-shifts.
AuthorsBinetti, N; Harrison, C; Mareschal, I; Johnston, A
- College Publications