The pupillary light response reflects encoding, but not maintenance, in visual working memory

The pupillary light response has been shown not to be a purely reflexive mechanism, but to be sensitive to higher order perceptual processes, such as covert visual attention. In a new study we examined whether the pupillary light response is modulated by stimuli which are not physically present, but maintained in visual working memory.

Writing with your mind's eye: Researchers develop a way to write text through changes in the size of the eye's pupil


Researchers from CNRS / Aix-Marseille University (France) and Utrecht University (Netherlands) have developed a way to—literally—write text by thinking of letters. In this technique, several letters are presented on a computer screen. The color of these letters continuously changes from white to black and back again, in different patterns.

Visual input signaling threat gains preferential access to awareness (new paper by Surya Gayet)

Visual input that signals threat is inherently relevant to behavior. Accordingly, it has been demonstrated that threatening stimuli elicit faster behavioral responses than non-threatening stimuli. Considering that awareness is a prerequisite for performing demanding tasks and guiding novel behavior, visual input can be more adequately acted upon once it reaches awareness.

The relative contributions of multisensory integration and crossmodal exogenous spatial attention to multisensory response enhancement (New paper)


The localization of multisensory information is generally faster than that of unisensory information when the unimodal components of a multisensory stimulus are spatially and temporally aligned. Two processes that can cause multisensory response enhancement are multisensory integration and crossmodal exogenous spatial attention.

Procedural learning and memory rehabilitation in Korsakoff’s syndrome (New Review)

Korsakoff’s syndrome is a severe neuropsychiatric syndrome that affects memory and executive functions after chronic alcoholism and vitamine B1 deficiency. Erik, together with Stefan, Tanja Nijboer, Jan Wijnia and Albert Postma published a review on procedural learning and memory rehabilitation in the June issue of Neuropsychology Review.

New review on the pupil

Together with Sebastiaan Mathot, Stefan has published a review on the pupil in Current Directions in Psychological Science. In this review, they argue that the pupillary light response depends not only on a stimulus’ brightness, but also on whether you are aware of the stimulus, whether you are paying attention to it, and even whether you are thinking about it