By Joshua A Solomon
This assortment celebrates the a hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Fechner's e-book on Psychophysics (originally released ten years after his epiphany of Oct. 22, 1850). themes contain sleek checks of the issues with which Fechner wrestled. additionally incorporated are extra basic discussions of psychophysical method, psychophysical concept, and the way those issues may be necessary in parts no longer more often than not linked to psychophysics. moreover, those works supply an entree into Fechner's principles, that's maybe extra obtainable than his seminal paintings itself.
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Additional info for Fechner's Legacy in Psychology: 150 Years of Elementary Psychophysics
It may be that there are muscle spindles (compare B. H. C. Matthews, 1931) in the biceps whose stretch and responses will depend on the weights on the palms. However, there are very many different kinds of sensory receptor in the arm (including the elbow or wrist), which must surely be involved (spindles in fore-arm and upperarm muscles, receptors in joints, and pressure receptors in the skin of the hand). The magnitude of response given by a muscle spindle in response to a given stretch also depends upon efferent outflow from the nervous system and is affected by the amount of force needed to keep the forearms horizontal (P.
They used oblique reference orientations, and found that discrimination was best when the surround and reference lines were parallel and there was no tilt illusion; discrimination deteriorated when contrasting surround orientations caused tilt illusions. While this is not a test of the Parallel Law as defined by Fechner, it does add to the evidence that perceptual illusions may cause a deterioration of discrimination. 6. Conclusions Fechner’s discussion of the Parallel Law is one of his least satisfactory contributions to psychophysical science.
He failed to justify the theoretical importance of the law, or to offer any clear empirical evidence in support of it. Support would require accepting the null hypothesis — that there are no changes in discrimination accompanying changes in perceived value, when the latter are caused by adaptation or spatial location. No adequate discrimination experiments have been conducted on the effects of spatial location, perhaps because the perceived changes are rather small. However, adaptation has large effects, and experiments have revealed many instances where the Parallel Law does not appear to hold.
Fechner's Legacy in Psychology: 150 Years of Elementary Psychophysics by Joshua A Solomon