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Returning to “Inhibition of Return” by Dissociating Long-Term Oculomotor IOR From Short-Term Sensory Adaptation and Other Nonoculomotor “Inhibitory” Cueing Effects

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 22:02 authored by Hilchey, MD, Klein, RM, Jason SatelJason Satel
We explored the nature and time course of effects generated by spatially uninformative peripheral cues by measuring these effects with localization responses to peripheral onsets or central arrow targets. In Experiment 1, participants made saccadic eye movements to equiprobable peripheral and central targets. At short cue-target onset asynchronies (CTOAs), responses to cued peripheral stimuli suffered from slowed responding attributable to sensory adaptation while responses to central targets were transiently facilitated, presumably due to cue-elicited oculomotor activation. At the longest CTOA, saccadic responses to central and peripheral targets were indistinguishably delayed, suggesting a common, output/decision effect (inhibition of return; IOR). In Experiment 2, we tested the hypothesis that the generation of this output effect is dependent on the activation state of the oculomotor system by forbidding eye movements and requiring keypress responses to frequent peripheral targets, while probing oculomotor behavior with saccades to infrequent central arrow targets. As predicted, saccades to central arrow targets showed neither the early facilitation nor later inhibitory effects that were robust in Experiment 1. At the long CTOA, manual responses to cued peripheral targets showed the typical delayed responses usually attributed to IOR. We recommend that this late "inhibitory" cueing effect (ICE) be distinguished from IOR because it lacks the cause (oculomotor activation) and effect (response bias) attributed to IOR when it was named by Posner, Rafal, Choate, and Vaughan (1985).


Publication title

Journal of Experimental Psychology










School of Psychological Sciences


Amer Psychological Assoc

Place of publication

United States

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Copyright 2014 American Psychological Association

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