The effects of constrained left versus right monocular viewing on the autonomic nervous system

Academic Article


  • Asymmetrical activation of right and left hemispheres differentially influences the autonomic nervous system. Additionally, each hemisphere primarily receives retinocollicular projections from the contralateral eye. To learn if asymmetrical hemispheric activation induced by monocular viewing would influence relative pupillary size and respiratory hippus variability (RHV), a measure of parasympathetic activity, healthy participants had their left, right or neither eye patched. Pupillary sizes were then recorded with infrared pupillography. Pupillary dilation was significantly greater with left than right eye viewing. RHV, however, was not different between eye viewing conditions. These differences in pupil dilatation may have been caused by relatively greater activation of the right hemispheric-mediated sympathetic activity induced by left monocular viewing or relatively greater deactivation of the left hemispheric-mediated parasympathetic activity induced by right eye patching. The absence of an asymmetry in RHV, however, suggests that hemispheric asymmetry of sympathetic activation was primarily responsible for this ocular asymmetry of pupil dilation. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Burtis DB; Heilman KM; Mo J; Wang C; Lewis GF; Davilla MI; Ding M; Porges SW; Williamson JB
  • Start Page

  • 79
  • End Page

  • 85
  • Volume

  • 100
  • Issue

  • 1