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The blog that discusses, disseminates and shares the process of measuring human performance

How do we measure the senses?

We’ve all rated our pain at the doctor’s office, read an eye chart for a licence test, or told a friend the truth about their cooking. Despite the commonly held view that we have just five senses, we actually have many more, and we depend upon their accuracy and reliability for our day-to-day livelihood. The loss of sensation, for example in blindness or spinal cord injury, shows how important the senses are for how we interact with our surrounds. Who measures sensation and why? There are many reasons that one might want to measure sensation in humans, scientists trying to find out how it works, clinicians testing for signs of medical conditions, engineers building neuroprosthetics1, or coaches optimising the training of athletes. Each of these professions will have different requirements for measurement accuracy and precision,...