Psychophysics is a quantitative branch of science concerned with investigating the relationships between the world out there and our perceptions, which lead to behavior and experience . We psychophysicists like to vary the properties (physical characteristics) of a given stimulus and study its effects on subjects. Visual Psychophysics is perhaps the most popular and studied field within Psychophysics.
For historical reasons, most Psychophysics Labs are part of Psychology, Physiology, Optometry or Colour Science Departments, however, the rapid advance of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision in the last decades has made it necessary for Computer Science Departments to become interested in the link between perception, cognition and behavior and the physical world. In this context the study and design of machines that can perceive the world in the same way as we humans do (that is, machines that can emulate human perception and action) is perhaps where the knowledge of the link between the brain and the physical world is most critically needed.
With this aim we have created the Psychophysics Laboratory within the Computer Vision Centre. We want to motivate, support and test computational models of human vision, in particular those concerning with how humans perceive colours, textures and objects in real-life situations, that is when surrounded by other colours, textures and objects.