University Of Tasmania

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Looking at remembering: eye movements, pupil size, and autobiographical memory

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 21:15 authored by Janssen, SMJ, Foo, A, Johnson, SN, Lim, A, Jason SatelJason Satel
To examine the relationship between visual imagery and autobiographical memory, eye position and pupil size were recorded while participants first searched for memories and then reconstructed the retrieved memories (Experiment 1), or only searched for memories (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, we observed that, although recollective experience was not associated with the number of fixations per minute, memories that took longer to retrieve were linked to increased pupil size. In Experiment 2, we observed that directly retrieved memories were recalled more quickly and were accompanied by smaller pupils than generatively retrieved memories. After correcting for response time, retrieval mode also produced an effect, showing that decreased pupil size is not simply due to directly retrieved memories being recalled more quickly. These findings provide compelling evidence that objective measures, such as pupil size, can be used alongside subjective measures, such as self-reports, to distinguish between directly retrieved and generatively retrieved memories.


Publication title

Consciousness and Cognition: An International Journal



Article number







School of Psychological Sciences


Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science

Place of publication

525 B St, Ste 1900, San Diego, USA, Ca, 92101-4495

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Copyright 2021 Elsevier Inc.

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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in psychology