Arousal exerts an unconscious influence on what we see

A new study from UCL researchers finds that subtle, unconscious increases in arousal – indicated by a faster heartbeat and dilated pupils – shape our confidence for visual experiences.

The study, published in eLife, investigated the effect of unconscious arousal on how confident participants felt about what they were seeing when completing a simple task.  “Typically when we see something, we have insight not only into what it is that we’ve seen, but also how clearly we’ve seen it,” explains lead author Micah Allen (UCL Institute of Neurology).  Read more

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