Elena Aggius-Vella, Monica Gori, Silvia Animali, Claudio Campus, Paola Binda

Non-spatial skills differ in the front and rear peri-personal space

Neuropsychologia Volume 147, October 2020, 107619

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2020.107619 Download

In measuring behavioural and pupillary responses to auditory oddball stimuli delivered in the front and rear peri-personal space, we find that pupils dilate in response to rare stimuli, both target and distracters. Dilation in response to targets is stronger than the response to distracters, implying a task relevance effect on pupil responses. Crucially, pupil dilation in response to targets is also selectively modulated by the location of sound sources: stronger in the front than in the rear peri-personal space, in spite of matching behavioural performance. This supports the concept that even non-spatial skills, such as the ability to alert in response to behaviourally relevant events, are differentially engaged across subregions of the peri-personal space.