metathetic stimulus dimension

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Any stimulus dimension that can vary continuously and in so doing produce discrete or qualitative changes in perception, the standard example being the wavelength or frequency of visible light, which produces qualitatively different hues or colours as it varies continuously, whereas sound produces continuous or quantitative perceptual changes. Compare prothetic stimulus dimension. See also categorical perception. [From Greek metathetikos able to change, from meta beside + tithenai to place + -ikos of, relating to, or resembling]

Subjects: Psychology.

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