Keeping an eye on the truth? Pupil size changes associated with recognition memory

Heaver, Becky and Hutton, Sam B. (2011) Keeping an eye on the truth? Pupil size changes associated with recognition memory Memory, 19 (4). pp. 398-405. ISSN 0965-8211

Heaver_&_Hutton_memory_web_version.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (167kB) | Preview


During recognition memory tests participants' pupils dilate more when they view old items compared to novel items. We sought to replicate this "pupil old/new effect" and to determine its relationship to participants' responses. We compared changes in pupil size during recognition when participants were given standard recognition memory instructions, instructions to feign amnesia, and instructions to report all items as new. Participants' pupils dilated more to old items compared to new items under all three instruction conditions. This finding suggests that the increase in pupil size that occurs when participants encounter previously studied items is not under conscious control. Given that pupil size can be reliably and simply measured, the pupil old/new effect may have potential in clinical settings as a means for determining whether patients are feigning memory loss.

Item Type: Journal article
Additional Information: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Memory, 19, 4, 2011, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at:
Subjects: C000 Biological and Biomedical Sciences > C800 Psychology
B000 Health Professions > B700 Nursing and Midwifery
DOI (a stable link to the resource): 10.1080/09658211.2011.575788
Faculties: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Depositing User: Becky Heaver
Date Deposited: 21 May 2012 10:13
Last Modified: 21 May 2014 11:01

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year