The minds eye

The current issue of PLOS One includes a recent paper by myself and my co-authors from UCSB which demonstrates that situations under which mind wandering is likely to occur are associated with increases in pupil diameter (see These changes are distinct from the changes that take place when the mind processes external information. This study suggests that pupilometry maybe a useful covert marker for internal focus and provides further evidence that internally maintained thoughts (such as mind wandering or daydreaming) are often associated with a state of increased arousal (such as strong emotion or important personal concerns).

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