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Psychophysical Approach

Psychophysics is the study of sensory, perceptual, and cognitive systems, based on the evidence of human observers making judgments about what they see, hear, or feel. It is the oldest route to understanding the senses, with its roots in classical times and medieval Arab learning, flowering in the hands of 19th century geniuses such as Thomas Young, Hermann von Helmholtz, and Ernst Mach, and with increasing technical sophistication it is a key approach to understanding perception today. Psychophysical methods are also important in the accurate diagnosis of sensory and cerebral disorders and deficits (e.g., color deficiency and visual field loss) and in applications to human engineering problems. This entry draws its examples of the psychophysical approach from the study of visual perception. However, many advances ...

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