Objective pupillometry shows that perceptual styles covary with autistic-like personality traits

  1. Chiara Tortelli
  2. Marco turi
  3. David Charles Burr  Is a corresponding author
  4. Paola Binda
  1. University of Pisa, Italy
  2. University of Florence, Italy

Abstract

We measured the modulation of pupil-size (in constant lighting) elicited by observing transparent surfaces of black and white moving dots, perceived as a cylinder rotating about its vertical axis. The direction of rotation was swapped periodically by flipping stereo-depth of the two surfaces. Pupil size modulated in synchrony with the changes in front-surface color (dilating when black). The magnitude of pupillary modulation was larger for human participants with higher Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), consistent with a local perceptual style , with attention focused on the front surface. The modulation with surface color, and its correlation with AQ, was equally strong when participants passively viewed the stimulus. No other indicator, including involuntary pursuit eye-movements, covaried with AQ. These results reinforce our previous report with a similar bistable stimulus (Turi, Burr, & Binda, 2018), and go on to show that bistable illusory motion is not necessary for the effect, or its dependence on AQ.

Data availability

Experimental data have been uploaded to Zenodo at the following doi: 10.5281/zenodo.4486576

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Chiara Tortelli

    Department of Surgical, Medical, Molecular and Critical Area Pathology, University of Pisa, Italy, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Marco turi

    Department of Translational Research on New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-4495-0804
  3. David Charles Burr

    Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Pharmacology and Child Health, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
    For correspondence
    dave@in.cnr.it
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-1541-8832
  4. Paola Binda

    Department of Translational Research on New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-7200-353X

Funding

H2020 European Research Council (801715)

  • Paola Binda

H2020 European Research Council (832813)

  • David Charles Burr

Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca (MISMATCH)

  • Paola Binda

Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca (R182E5PNC7)

  • Paola Binda

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Richard B Ivry, University of California, Berkeley, United States

Ethics

Human subjects: Experimental procedures were approved by the regional ethics committee [Comitato Etico Pediatrico Regionale-Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Meyer-Firenze (FI)] and are in accordance with the declaration of Helsinki. Participants gave their written informed consent.

Version history

  1. Received: February 5, 2021
  2. Accepted: March 7, 2021
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: March 22, 2021 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: April 1, 2021 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2021, Tortelli et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Chiara Tortelli
  2. Marco turi
  3. David Charles Burr
  4. Paola Binda
(2021)
Objective pupillometry shows that perceptual styles covary with autistic-like personality traits
eLife 10:e67185.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.67185

Share this article

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.67185

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