Rectified linear activation units are important components for state-of-the-art deep convolutional networks. In this paper, we propose a novel S-shaped rectifiedlinear activation unit (SReLU) to learn both convexand non-convex functions, imitating the multiple function forms given by the two fundamental laws, namely the Webner-Fechner law and the Stevens law, in psychophysics and neural sciences. Specifically, SReLU consists of three piecewise linear functions, which are formulated by four learnable parameters. The SReLU is learned jointly with the training of the whole deep network through back propagation. During the training phase, to initialize SReLU in different layers, we propose a “freezing” method to degenerate SReLU into a predefined leaky rectified linear unit in the initial several training epochs and then adaptively learn the good initial values. SReLU can be universally used in the existing deep networks with negligible additional parameters and computation cost. Experiments with two popular CNN architectures, Network in Network and GoogLeNet on scale-various benchmarks including CIFAR10, CIFAR100, MNIST and ImageNet demonstrate that SReLU achieves remarkable improvement compared to other activation functions.