Pupil Size in Relation to Mental Activity during Simple Problem-Solving

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Science  13 Mar 1964:
Vol. 143, Issue 3611, pp. 1190-1192
DOI: 10.1126/science.143.3611.1190


Changes in pupil size during the solving of simple multiplication problems can be used as a direct measure of mental activity. The pupil response not only indicates mental activity in itself but shows that mental activity is closely correlated with problem difficulty, and that the size of the pupil increases with the difficulty of the problem. These findings relate to recent Russian research on the pupillary reflex in connection with orienting and brain stimulation.

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