• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Psychophysics: Detection

  • By: Stanley A. Klein & Olga Eizner Favreau
  • In: Encyclopedia of Perception
  • Edited by: E. Bruce Goldstein
  • Subject:Sensation & Perception

A detection threshold is the minimum stimulus strength that can be perceived. Even with such a humble definition, the measurement of detection thresholds has become a golden, powerful tool for psychophysicists, but it is elusive to pinpoint. Some examples of visual detection tasks discussed in this entry are:

  • Detection of a tumor. In order to diagnose cancerous tumors, radiologists must learn to detect their presence in a complex X-ray.
  • Detection of a feature. The ability to detect a gap in the letter C can indicate whether new eyeglasses are necessary, or whether, even with new eyeglasses, one is fit to drive a car.
  • Detection of a needle in a haystack. Many real-life detection tasks are similar to finding Waldo in a crowd or a needle in a haystack. ...
    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles