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Accueil du site > Séminaires LNC > séminaires à venir (upcoming seminars)

Frederike Petzschner

ETH Zürich & University of Zürich

No matter, if we are adjusting the volume of your CD player, checking the temperature of the water in your bathtub, or explaining to a tourist how to get to the next underground station, what we ultimately do is estimate magnitudes. Scientists found intriguing similarities in the estimation of different magnitudes, despite the diverging sensory input used, spanning from haptic, visual, and auditory estimates to proprioception. It seemed that subjective estimates of magnitudes (duration, heaviness, brightness or displacement) differed from the true size of the physical magnitude (time, weight, luminance or distance) in a highly consistent manner. These observations have led to the famous psychophysical ’laws’ of Weber-Fechner and Stevens. The question, however, remains : how is this early work related to current approaches to psychophysics ? Where is the link between probabilistic accounts of perception and the classical ideas of a quantitative but deterministic stimulus response mapping ? This talk aims to provide such a link by showing a clear connection between Weber-Fechners law of psychophysics, Stevens’ power-law and a Bayesian understanding of perception in the context of human spatial navigation. This link comes along with a re-interpretation of some of the findings in classical psychophysics.