Wednesday, November 16
4:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Minneapolis Convention Center, Room: 200H
Presenting Author: David Miller University of Rhode Island
Psychophysics has made major contributions to the study of awareness and played a crucial role in the development of unified models of consciousness and unconsciousness. For over 150 years psychophysics has served as a quantitive method for linking the external physical world to our internal mental world. Many of its constructs have been so successful that they have become part of the very vocabulary of anthropology, psychology, and neuroscience, including “subliminal,” “liminal,” and “supraliminal.” Additionally, psychophysics laid the groundwork for delimiting the fundamental domains in modern physics, such as quantum mechanics and theories of relativity. Currently, psychophysics maintains a utilitarian status as a research methodology, pan-species comparator, clinical assessment instrument, and human factors guide. By examining the original goals of psychophysics in both epistemology and ontology, we can situate it among the contemporary concerns of anthropology, psychology, physiology, and physics. Reexamining these goals may be a step toward unification of such diverse areas as scientific vs experiential knowledge, inside vs outside views, and ontologies from materialism through panpsychism.