Definition: A stimulus that is so high above the absolute threshold, it induces pain.



Quite Simply...

  • The intensity of the stimulus is so high above the absolute threshold that it causes the person pain.
  • The intensity of the stimulus is high enough that the sensory receptors and neurons may be damaged.


Examples of Terminal Threshold



  • You're at your first heavy metal concert and you are right under the speakers. The music is so loud that your ears hurt.
  • You accidentally touch a stove that is on. The stove is really hot so you burn your hand.
  • You walk past a really nasty dumpster. The smell is so awful that it burns the insides of your nose and makes your eyes water.
  • You're 8 years old and you're with your friends and Jimmy decides to hold a sun staring contest. You won, but the consequence is that you're blind because the sun is so bright and damaged your vision. Thanks Jimmy, you're a real pal!


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This is Jimmy and all your friends laughing at you because you were dumb enough to stare at the sun for 10 minutes.


See Also...


  1. http://chemse.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/5/1/11