ECE 595T - Psychophysics for Interface Engineering

Lecture Hours: 2 Lab Hours: 2 Credits: 3

This is an experiential learning course.

Counts as:

Experimental Course Offered: Fall 2000, Fall 2001, Fall 2002

Catalog Description:
Psychophysics is the quantitative study of the relationship between a physical stimulus and perception. This course focuses on the theory and practice of assessing human performance in terms of detection, discrimination, reconstruction, and identification of physical events. Furthermore, it discusses mathematical and computational modeling of the underlying psychological mechanisms. Examples are given for visual, auditory, and haptic human-machine interfaces. The laboratory component of the course requires the students to design, implement and conduct psychophysical experiments.

Required Text(s):
  1. Detection Theory: A User's Guide, 2nd, Beta Edition, N. A. Macmillan and C. D. Creelman, Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  2. Handouts for additional readings will be provided..

Recommended Text(s): None.

Learning Outcomes:

A student who successfully fulfills the course requirements will have demonstrated an ability to:
  1. identify a psychophysical problem. [None]
  2. formulate the problem as a detection, discrimination, reconstruction, or identification experiment. [None]
  3. select an appropriate experimental paradigm. [None]
  4. determine range of physical parameters that are meaningful for the specific problem. [None]
  5. determine experimental parameters such as number of subjects and total trials with consideration for the statistical robustness of experimental data. [None]
  6. predict possible experimental outcomes based on literature survey. [None]
  7. analyze experimental data in terms of threshold or information transmission. [None]
  8. form a mathematical model of the relationship between physical stimuli and perceptual judgements. [None]

Lecture Outline:

Lectures Major Topics
1 Introduction
4 Fechnerian Psychophysics
1 Signal Detection Theory
3 One-interval Paradigms
1 Rating Experiment
2 Two-interval Paradigms
1 Adaptive Methods
2 Introduction to Information Theory
3 Absolute Identification Paradigm
2 Speed-accuracy Trade-off
4 Perception as Inverse Problems
2 Multidimensional Scaling
2 Student Project Presentations