Psychophysics, 2nd Edition

A Practical Introduction

Psychophysics, 2nd Edition,Frederick Kingdom,Nicolaas Prins,ISBN9780124071568
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Academic Press




235 X 191

The book is the primary scientific tool for understanding how psychophysical, i.e. behavioral methods are employed to study how the brain translates the external physical world into the internal world of sensation

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Key Features

  • Presents a large variety of analytical methods explained for the non-expert
  • Provides a novel classification scheme for psychophysics experiments
  • Includes a new software package for collecting and analyzing psychophysical data
  • Disseminates the pros and cons of different psychophysical procedures
  • Contains practical tips for designing psychophysical experiments


Psychophysics: A Practical Introduction, Second Edition, is the primary scientific tool for understanding how the physical world of colors, sounds, odors, movements, and shapes translates into the sensory world of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell; in other words, how matter translates into mind.

This timely revision provides a unique introduction to the techniques for researching and understanding how the brain translates the external physical world to the internal world of sensation. The revision expands and refines coverage of the basic tools of psychophysics research and better integrates the theory with the supporting software.

The new edition continues to be the only book to combine, in a single volume, the principles underlying the science of psychophysical measurement and the practical tools necessary to analyze data from psychophysical experiments. The book, written in a tutorial style, will appeal to new researchers as well as to seasoned veterans. This introduction to psychophysics research methods will be of interest to students, scholars and researchers within sensory neuroscience, vision research, behavioral neuroscience, and the cognitive sciences.


Researchers, graduate students, and post-doctorates in perception research in neuroscience, psychology, cognition; optometrists.

Frederick Kingdom

Fred Kingdom is a Professor at McGill University conducting research into a variety of aspects of visual perception. He studied and held research positions at Cambridge, London and Reading Universities before taking up his current position at McGill in 1990. He has published over 125 articles, and recently won an award for a new visual illusion.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Opthalmology, McGill Vision Research, Montreal, QC, Canada

Nicolaas Prins

Nick Prins is an Associate Professor at the University of Mississippi specializing in a variety of aspects of visual perception and the use of statistical methods in the collection and analysis of psychophysical data. He has held research positions in Australia and Canada before taking up his current position at the University of Mississippi.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Psychology, University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA

Psychophysics, 2nd Edition

  • Dedication
  • About the Authors
  • Preface to the Second Edition
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Introduction and Aims
    • 1.1. What is Psychophysics?
    • 1.2. Aims of the Book
    • 1.3. Organization of the Book
    • 1.4. What's New in the Second Edition?
  • Chapter 2. Classifying Psychophysical Experiments
    • 2.1. Introduction
    • 2.2. Tasks, Methods, and Measures
    • 2.3. Dichotomies
    • 2.4. Classification Scheme
    • Further Reading
    • Exercises
  • Chapter 3. Varieties of Psychophysical Procedures
    • 3.1. Introduction
    • 3.2. Performance-Based Procedures
    • 3.3. Appearance-Based Procedures
    • 3.4. Further Design Details
    • Further Reading
  • Chapter 4. Psychometric Functions
    • 4.1. Introduction
    • 4.2. Section A: Practice
    • 4.3. Section B: Theory and Details
    • Further Reading
    • Exercises
  • Chapter 5. Adaptive Methods
    • 5.1. Introduction
    • 5.2. Up/Down Methods
    • 5.3. “Running Fit” Methods: The Best PEST and Quest
    • 5.4. The Psi Method and Variations
    • Exercises
  • Chapter 6. Signal Detection Measures
    • 6.1. Introduction
    • 6.2. Section A: Practice
    • 6.3. Section B: Theory
    • Further Reading
    • Exercises
  • Chapter 7. Summation Measures
    • 7.1. Introduction
    • 7.2. Part A: Summation Modeled under Signal Detection Theory (SDT)
    • 7.3. Part B: Summation Modeled under High-Threshold Theory (HTT)
    • Further Reading
  • Chapter 8. Scaling Methods
    • 8.1. Introduction
    • 8.2. Discrimination Scales
    • 8.3. Maximum Likelihood Difference Scaling (MLDS)
    • 8.4. Partition Scaling
    • Further Reading
    • Exercise
  • Chapter 9. Model Comparisons
    • 9.1. Introduction
    • 9.2. Section A: Statistical Inference
    • 9.3. Section B: Theory and Details
    • 9.4. Some Alternative Model Comparison Methods
    • Further Reading
    • Exercises
  • Quick Reference Guide
  • List of Acronyms
  • Index
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