Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Detecting unusual auditory stimuli is crucial for discovering potential threat. Locus coeruleus (LC), which coordinates attention, and amygdala, which is implicated in resource prioritization, both respond to deviant sounds. Evidence concerning their interaction, however, is sparse. Seeking to elucidate if human amygdala affects estimated LC activity during this process, we recorded pupillary responses during an auditory oddball and an illuminance change task, in a female with bilateral amygdala lesions (BG) and in n = 23 matched controls. Neural input in response to oddballs was estimated via pupil dilation, a reported proxy of LC activity, harnessing a linear-time invariant system and individual pupillary dilation response function (IRF) inferred from illuminance responses. While oddball recognition remained intact, estimated LC input for BG was compacted to an impulse rather than the prolonged waveform seen in healthy controls. This impulse had the earliest response mean and highest kurtosis in the sample. As a secondary finding, BG showed enhanced early pupillary constriction to darkness. These findings suggest that LC-amygdala communication is required to sustain LC activity in response to anomalous sounds. Our results provide further evidence for amygdala involvement in processing deviant sound targets, although it is not required for their behavioral recognition.

Original publication




Journal article


Sci Rep

Publication Date





Humans, Female, Amygdala, Locus Coeruleus, Recognition, Psychology, Acceleration, Communication