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Poster A26

Subjective and pupillometric markers of arousal during movie viewing

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Agnieszka Zuberer1,2 (, Melanni Nanni-Zepeda1,2, Flavio Frohlich3, Thomas Liebe4,2,6, Peter Vavra6, Jörn Kaufmann7, Tino Zaehle7, Michael Esterman8,9,10; 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, 2Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Jena, Germany, 3Carolina Center for Neurostimulation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, United States, 4Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Magdeburg, Germany, 5Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, 6Department of Biological Psychology, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany, 7Department of Neurology, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany, 8National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, United States, 9Boston Attention and Learning Laboratory, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA, 10Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA

Introduction: The relationship between subjective and physiological measures of arousal during naturalistic experiences is poorly understood. This study aimed to bridge this gap by combining subjective arousal annotations and objective pupillometry measurements during movie watching of varying arousal levels. Methods: Participants (n=21; mean age 28.1 ± 6.5) viewed 5-minute clips from "21 Grams" (negative) and "Son's Room" (neutral) in counterbalanced order, undergoing Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and pupillometry. Post-scanning, participants re-watched both clips, providing continuous arousal annotations. Linear mixed effects modeling was used to assess the emotional context's influence on inter-individual alignment. Results: Inter-individual synchronization of both pupil size and subjective annotations was significantly higher during the emotionally charged clip compared to the neutral clip. However, a notable mismatch occurred between synchronization peaks of pupil size and subjective measures during both movies, as no significant association was observed between inter-individual synchronization of pupil size and subjective annotations. Discussion: This study reveals that emotionally evocative movies induce cross-participant synchronization of objective and subjective measures of arousal, although each has unique temporal dynamics. This suggests there is a complex relationship between objective and subjective. The study unveils shared emotional experiences across participants watching the same movie. Conclusion: Analyzing emotional experiences through both lenses contributes to integrating subjective and objective measures in emotional arousal research.

Topic Area: ATTENTION: Nonspatial


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April 13–16  |  2024