Science of Human

Exhibition Program 22

Predicting attention to the ears by the eyes

Auditory spatial attention revealed as pupillary response


In natural situation, there are various sounds in the environment and we move our head and/or eyes towards the sound where we attend to. The current study demonstrates that our pupillary light reflex responds to the luminance of the sound’s location/direction even when we do not move our eyes over there. In other words, we can predict people’s auditory attention by pupillary response. This technique has applications in various fields such as human factors, medicine, etc. For example, it can be used to assess the quality of the sounds or warning signals in terms of their ability to capture user’s attention. Or it can be used to help the diagnoses of hearing loss and/or attentional deficit.


  • [1] H.-I. Liao, H. Fujihira, S. Furukawa, “The pupillary light response reveals the focus of auditory spatial attention,” Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO) 41st Annual MidWinter Meeting. San Diego, California, USA. 2018.




Hsin-I Liao
Hsin-I Liao
Human Information Science Laboratory