Gaze and the Eye Pupil Adjust to Imagined Size and Distance

Cognitive Science 42 (8):3159-3176 (2018)
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Pupillary responses and associated vergence eye movements were monitored during imagery of objects of differing sizes (“large” or “small”) from varying distances (“near” or “far”). Objects’ imagined size and distance affected oculomotor behavior. Objects visualized as “far” resulted in the larger pupil dilations and smaller visual angle, while small objects imagined “near” were associated with smaller pupils in contrast to relatively larger pupils when imagined as “far” away. Furthermore, near objects resulted in larger visual angle, and particularly, vergence adjustments were observed that were dependent on imagined size and distance of the small objects. The findings are consistent with the idea that imagery emulates perception, also at the embodied level of oculomotor behaviors.



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