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Which cognitive processes are reflected by pupil size: a model-based analysis

Koelewijn, Roelof Lex (2019) Which cognitive processes are reflected by pupil size: a model-based analysis. Bachelor's Thesis, Artificial Intelligence.


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Pupil dilation as a reflection of cognitive effort is a known and well researched phenomenon. In this paper the exact cognitive processes underlying the pupil dilation effect are investigated. For this study an eye tracking experiment was conducted where participants performed a complex information processing task. As expected, the pupil dilation increased in the more difficult conditions. Using the ACT-R architecture a cognitive model was built that predicts which cognitive processes are involved in performing the task of the experiment. The architecture is composed of a number of modules which are each associated with a specific function and brain region. The activity patterns of the separate modules of the model were transformed into simulated pupil dilation data. The combination of the modules’ pupil dilation that best explains the human data gives insight into which cognitive processes are of interest for the pupil dilation response. The linear model that best explained the subjects pupil data consisted of the cognitive processes representing declarative memory, procedural memory and problem representation. The modules that were of greatest influence were the declarative, procedural and imaginal module.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Degree programme: Artificial Intelligence
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2019
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2019 13:38

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