Let Your Eyes Predict: Prediction Accuracy of Pupillary Responses to Random Alerting and Neutral Sounds

8 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2012 Last revised: 17 Jan 2014

See all articles by Patrizio E. Tressoldi

Patrizio E. Tressoldi

Università di Padova

Massimiliano Martinelli

University of Padua - Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale

Luca Semenzato

University of Padua - Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale

Sara Cappato

University of Padua

Date Written: March 29, 2012

Abstract

This study investigates the prediction accuracy of anticipatory pupil dilation responses in humans prior to the random presentation of alerting or neutral sounds. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the autonomous nervous system may react prior to the presentation of random stimuli. A total of 80 participants, who were matched according to gender to take into account individual differences, were asked to listen to a random sequence of 10 neutral and 10 alerting sounds. Their pupil dilation was continuously recorded and the diameter of their pupils was used to predict the category of sound, alerting, or neutral. The pupil dilation of both males and females predicted alerting sounds approximately 10% more accurately than would be expected by chance, whereas neutral sounds were predicted at the chance level. This result was confirmed using a frequentist and a Bayesian statistical approach. Following the results of the study, practical and theoretical implications of these results are discussed.

Keywords: anticipatory responses, pupil dilation, anticipation, random

Suggested Citation

Tressoldi, Patrizio E. and Martinelli, Massimiliano and Semenzato, Luca and Cappato, Sara, Let Your Eyes Predict: Prediction Accuracy of Pupillary Responses to Random Alerting and Neutral Sounds (March 29, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2030834 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2030834

Patrizio E. Tressoldi (Contact Author)

Università di Padova ( email )

via Venezia 8
Padova, 35131
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.patriziotressoldi.it

Massimiliano Martinelli

University of Padua - Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale ( email )

Padua
Italy

Luca Semenzato

University of Padua - Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale

Padua
Italy

Sara Cappato

University of Padua

Via 8 Febbraio 1848, 2
Padova, 35122
Italy

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