Investigation of human eye pupil size as an indicator of visual sensation

  • Joon-Ho Choi University of Southern California
  • Xiaoxin Lin University of Southern California
  • Marc Schiler University of Southern California


Abstract: Lighting is the most crucial factor impacting an occupants’ visual comfort in a building environment. However, most prevailing current lighting guidelines deriving from empirical values are designed primarily for paper-based tasks, rather than computer-based. In many cases, present guidelines have been reported that there is a limitation to meet the needs of a user’s new task types. Above all, existing technical tools also have a limited function to evaluate a user’s real-time visual perception which can be applied as an indicator to control a building lighting system. This research estimated each participant’s visual sensations by analyzing pupil sizes and their change patterns since the human body have the physiological regulation ability which naturally minimizes the adverse effects of the surrounding environment on the human body. This study adopted a series of human subject experiments which were performed in an environmental chamber of USC. Based on a computer-based task which is most commonly performed in current offices, various ranges of ambient lighting parameters, including luminance (cd/m2), illuminance (lux), contrast ratio, and UGR, were generated and controlled while each subject’s pupil sizes were recorded. The experimental result data were statistically analyzed to identify a relationship between human visual sensations, lighting parameters, and also pupil sizes by ethnic origin and myopia condition. The research outcomes showed the potential use of pupil sizes for estimating an individual’s visual sensationand confirmed the principle as an applicable technology to integrate an environmental design and control system with the help of a real-time sensing device.

How to Cite
Choi, J.-H., Lin, X., & Schiler, M. (2018). Investigation of human eye pupil size as an indicator of visual sensation. ARCC Conference Repository.

Most read articles by the same author(s)