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The place of human psychophysics in modern neuroscience

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jenny ReadORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Human psychophysics is the quantitative measurement of our own perceptions. In essence, it is simply a more sophisticated version of what humans have done since time immemorial: noticed and reflected upon what we can see, hear, and feel. In the 21st century, when hugely powerful techniques are available that enable us to probe the innermost structure and function of nervous systems, is human psychophysics still relevant? I argue that it is, and that in combination with other techniques, it will continue to be a key part of neuroscience for the foreseeable future. I discuss these points in detail using the example of binocular stereopsis, where human psychophysics in combination with physiology and computational vision, has made a substantial contribution.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Contributions From Different Model Organisms to Brain Research. (C) 2014 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd. on behalf of IBRO. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

Publication metadata

Author(s): Read JCA

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Neuroscience

Year: 2015

Volume: 296

Pages: 116-129

Print publication date: 18/06/2015

Online publication date: 29/05/2014

Acceptance date: 14/05/2014

ISSN (print): 0306-4522

ISSN (electronic): 1873-7544



DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.05.036