The eyes reveal more than we might think — research findings from Psychological Science

Anna Mikulak
EurekAlert

Our eyes don’t just take in the world around us, they can also reflect our emotional state, influence our memories, and provide clues about the way we think. Here is some of the latest research from the journals Psychological Science and Current Directions in Psychological Science in which scientists show there’s much more to the eyes than people might think.

Pupil Dilation Reflects the Creation and Retrieval of Memories

Many people know that our pupils shrink when our eyes adjust to bright light, but the size and movement of our pupils can also reflect what’s going on inside our brains. Psychological scientists use pupillometry to measure cognitive processes such as attention and memory. Recently, pupillometry has been used in studies to examine long-term memory, and the authors of this review argue that pupillometry could be a cheap and efficient means for studying memory creation and retrieval. Pupillometry, they point out, can also be used to study individuals who are difficult to study otherwise, such as amnesiacs and infants who haven’t learned to talk yet.

Lead Author: Stephen D. Goldinger—Arizona State University— stephen.goldinger@asu.edu . Published in the April 2012 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science

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