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    Studied the mechanism of pupil constriction due to psychological state

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    An international team of scientists from the Universities of Göttingen and Tübingen (Germany) and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston (USA) studied the mechanism of pupil constriction due to psychological conditions such as fear, anxiety or concentration. The results of the study were published in the journal Nature.

    During the study, researchers showed mice images of different colors and recorded the activity of thousands of individual neurons in the visual cortex of the brain during the time of different states of animals: during fear, anxiety, and so on. Based on the data obtained, a computer model was created that simulates the reactions of neurons in the brain. The model was then used to determine the optimal visual light stimulus for each neuron.

    It turned out that when the mice dilated their pupils due to anxiety, the color sensitivity of the neurons changed from green to blue light within a few seconds , which means that the neurons were more sensitive to green when at rest, and also more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation when active. This effect was especially pronounced in those cells that are in the upper hemisphere, responsible for observing the sky.

    “These results clearly demonstrate that pupil dilation due to brain anxiety can directly affect visual sensitivity and perception,” said the author. sensitivity in the visual cortex.

    According to the researchers, the higher sensitivity of neurons to blue light probably helps mice better recognize predators against a blue sky.

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