what is the absolute threshold

In neuroscience and psychophysics, an absolute threshold was originally defined as the lowest level of a stimulus – light, sound, touch, etc. – that an organism could detect. Under the influence of signal detection theory, absolute threshold has been redefined as the level at which a stimulus will be detected a specified percentage (often 50%) of the time. The absolute threshold can be influenced by several different factors, such as the subject’s motivations and expectations, cognitive processes, and whether the subject is adapted to the stimulus

The absolute threshold can be compared to the difference threshold, which is the measure of how different two stimuli must be for the subject to notice that they are not the same