Autobiographical Retrieval Revealed in the Eyes of the Narrator: Dynamic Changes in Pupillometry Open Access

Xu, Aoxiang (2016)

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Autobiographical memory (AM) refers to memory for personally significant events and experiences. Though the retrieved outcome of autobiographical memory (e.g., narratives) have been well researched, the dynamic processes involved in search and access and subsequent elaboration of autobiographical memories are only beginning to be explored. Moreover, it is unclear how factors such as gender and emotion influence the AM retrieval process. In the present study, we developed a novel application of pupillometry to study effects of gender and emotion as participants retrieved and typed narratives of emotional autobiographical events. Participants produced more words and had a longer duration of typing for emotional narratives than non-emotional narratives; females used more words and typed for longer relative to males. A longitudinal analysis applied to the pupillary dilation revealed a curvilinear trend of pupil dilation. The effects of gender emerged over time. For males only, pupil size was negatively correlated to the number of emotional words in their narratives. This study confirmed the promising application of pupillometry to the study of AM retrieval, and further explored the temporal process of the effects of gender and emotion on AM retrieval.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Method 6

Participants 6

Procedure 6

Eye Tracking 8

Coding 8

Results 9

Narrative Production Performance 9

Multilevel Model of Pupillometry 12

Analysis of Relations between Pupillary Response and Internal States Term 14

Possible Effects of Fatigue on Performance 14

Discussion 16

References 20

Appendix A 24

Tables 25

Figures 29

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