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Pupillometry: The Eye as a Window Into the Mind

Examine the science of pupillometry and explore the eye as a window into the mind with the University of Oslo.

985 enrolled on this course


Pupillometry: The Eye as a Window Into the Mind

985 enrolled on this course

  • 6 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Advanced level

Find out more about how to join this course

Discover the applications of pupillometry research

Whilst a fairly new research method within the sciences, pupillometry has wide ranging applications within psychology, neuroscience, and beyond.

On this six-week course, you’ll explore both pupillometry and eye tracking methods in depth, before investigating some interesting and unusual applications of this far-reaching research method.

Explore eye anatomy and physiology

Examining what can be learned from measuring pupil dilations, you’ll reflect on what pupil dilation can tell us about our emotions, our mental efforts, and more.

You’ll then move on to the anatomy and physiology of the eye, delving into eye structure and the neuroscience of pupils.

With this introductory knowledge, you’ll be confident in eye control and reactions, and begin to identify some of the insights that pupillometry can deliver about the human body.

Identify methods of pupillometry and eye tracking

For over a century, eye tracking has been used to measure gaze and monitor behaviour.

You’ll discover how technology has advanced eye tracking and gaze analysis. You’ll then move on to methods in pupillometry, learning how to gather quality data and gaining an overview of baselines and statistics.

Investigate the use of pupillometry in different disciplines

Having explored both eye tracking and pupillometry in isolation, you’ll then examine multidisciplinary pupillometry research approaches and their varied applications.

You’ll discover its use in musicology, developmental psychology, and psycholinguistics, and reflect on the ethical and legal implications of such research.

By the end of this course, you’ll have an overview of pupillometry and eye tracking. You’ll have the skills to plan your own research, considering the technical, ethical, and managerial aspects of gathering pupillometry data.

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  • Week 1

    Welcome to the course

    • Introduction

      Learn about the course and its learning outcomes.

    • Pupillometry

      Learn about the pupil and the historical backdrop of pupillometry.

    • The pupil and mental effort

      Learn about how pupillometry can give valuable insight into the human mind and mental effort.

    • Reflection

      Reflect on your own interests in pupillometry.

  • Week 2

    Biology, anatomy and physiology of the eye

    • Eye anatomy

      Learn about the anatomy of the human eye

    • Eye control

      Learn about the neural control of pupil and eye movements.

    • The neuroscience of pupils

      Learn about the neuroscience of pupils.

    • Reflection

      Summarize your thoughts on this week's course activities.

  • Week 3

    The eye-tracking method

    • Introduction

      Learn about the basics of the eye-tracking method.

    • Calibration

      Learn the basics of how to calibrate stationary and mobile eye-tracking systems.

    • Gaze analysis

      Learn about gaze analysis and visualization.

    • Reflection

      Reflect on some of the challenges you may face when working with eye tracking and pupillometry.

  • Week 4

    The pupillometry method

    • Introduction

      Start reflecting on how to design your pupillometry experiment.

    • Pre-processing

      How can you use pre-processing to improve data quality.

    • Baselines

      Learn why baselines are important.

    • Statistics

      Learn the basics of statistical analysis.

    • Reflection

      Reflect on some of the challenges you may face when using the pupillometry method.

  • Week 5

    Multidisciplinary pupillometry research

    • Introduction

      Learn about how the researchers at RITMO and MultiLing use pupillometry in their different fields.

    • Pupillometry of musicians

      Learn about how music researchers use pupillometry in real-world concert settings.

    • Pupillometry of music listeners

      Learn how researchers use pupillometry to study musical experiences.

    • Pupillometry in developmental psychology

      Learn about pupillometry in developmental psychology.

    • Pupillometry in psycholinguistics

      Learn about pupillometry in psycholinguistics.

    • Reflection

      Reflect on the various fields that use the pupillometry method.

  • Week 6

    Data management and ethical aspects

    • Introduction

      Learn about how to get started with project planning and the principles of open research.

    • Data management

      Learn about the different steps involved in managing research data.

    • Ethics

      Understand the importance of considering ethical and legal concerns when planning a project.

    • Intellectual property rights

      Learn about how to consider copyright and apply the right license to your data.

    • Reflection

      Reflect on how you should consider data management, ethics, and copyright in your own project.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the neural system behind the pupil response to light
  • Reflect on the relevance of using pupillometry in different fields of research
  • Compare stationary versus mobile eye-tracking systems in relation to pupillometry
  • Identify some of the challenges in working with pupillometry
  • Explain possible ethical issues that are related to pupillometry in human participants
  • Design a simple pupillometry experiment related to psychological research
  • Calculate the most relevant measures in different pupillometry applications
  • Contribute with a unique pupillometry study project
  • Explore the way the pupillary response has influenced scientific theories and the arts
  • Explain the meaning of the pupil as an index of mental activity or effort

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for students and researchers who want to further their knowledge of pupillometry.

This course will benefit those working or studying in a number of fields, from psycholinguistics to musicology, where the applications of pupillometry are currently being investigated.

What software or tools do you need?

You can complete the course without specialized equipment but need access to an eye tracker to get hands-on experience with the presented technologies.

Who will you learn with?

Professor in Cognitive Neuropsychology, University of Oslo, and member of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion (RITMO)
Twitter: @BrunoLaeng

Natalia Kartushina is Associate Professor of Psycholinguistics at the MultiLing Center at the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies, University of Oslo.

Researcher, RITMO, Department of Musicology, University of Oslo.

Research interests: music ensemble performance, attention and mental effort, music and motion, collaborative creativity.

I research the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the pleasurable urge to move to music. Using pupillometry, I measure evoked and entrained attention while listening to music.

Agata Bochynska is a psychologist and a linguist with a background in experimental research on language and cognition and currently working on open and reproducible research at the University of Oslo.

Senior Engineer at Department of Psychology and Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion (RITMO) , University of Oslo

Doctoral Research Fellow in early language development at Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan, University of Oslo.

Professor of music technology, University of Oslo. Director of the fourMs Lab and Director of RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time, and Motion

Who developed the course?

University of Oslo

Founded in 1811, the University of Oslo (UiO) is the highest ranked institution of education and research in Norway.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 6 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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