Grandchamp R, Braboszcz C, Hupé J-M, Delorme A, 2011, "Pupil dilation and blink rate increase during mind-wandering" Perception 40 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 144
Pupil dilation and blink rate increase during mind-wandering
R Grandchamp, C Braboszcz, J-M Hupé, A Delorme
Over the past 50 years, a significant body of literature supports the contention that pupil size vary depending on mental states such as cognitive load, affective state, or level of drowsiness. Here we assessed whether pupil size was correlated with occurrence and time course of mind-wandering episodes. We recorded pupil size of two subjects engaged in a monotonous breath counting task conducive to mind-wandering. Subjects were instructed to report spontaneous mind-wandering episodes by pressing a button when they lost count of their breath. Each subject performed 11 sessions of 20 minutes. Results show a significant increase in average pupil size during mind-wandering episodes compared to periods when subjects focused on the breath counting task. In addition, we observed that subjects’ blink rate was significantly higher during the mind-wandering. These results provide conclusive evidence that pupil size and blink rate are useful neurocognitive markers of mind-wandering episodes.
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