Academic journal article Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

Perceptual and Motor Inhibition of Return: Components or Flavors?

Academic journal article Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

Perceptual and Motor Inhibition of Return: Components or Flavors?

Article excerpt

Published online: 20 June 2012

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2012

Abstract The most common evidence for inhibition of return (IOR) is the robust finding of increased response times to targets that appear at previously cued locations following a cue-target interval exceeding ~300 ms. In a variation on this paradigm, Abrams and Dobkin (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 20:467-477, 1994b) observed that IOR was greater when measured with a saccadic response to a peripheral target than with that to a central arrow, leading to the conclusion that saccadic responses to peripheral targets comprise motoric and perceptual components (the twocomponents theory for saccadic IOR), whereas saccadic responses to a central target comprise a single motoric component. In contrast, Taylor and Klein (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 26:1639-1656, 2000) discovered that IOR for saccadic responses was equivalent for central and peripheral targets, suggesting a single motoric effect under these conditions. Rooted in methodological differences between the studies, three possible explanations for this discrepancy can be found in the literature. Here, we demonstrate that the empirical discrepancy is rooted in the following methodological difference: Whereas Abrams and Dobkin (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 20:467-477, 1994b) administered central arrow and peripheral onset targets in separate blocks, Taylor and Klein (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 26:1639-1656, 2000) randomly intermixed these stimuli in a single block. Our results demonstrate that (1) blocking central arrow targets fosters a spatial attentional control setting that allows for the long-lasting IOR normally generated by irrelevant peripheral cues to be filtered and (2) repeated sensory stimulation has no direct effect on the magnitude of IOR measured by saccadic responses to targets presented about 1 s after a peripheral cue.

Keywords Inhibition of return . Attention . Cueing . Spacebased processing . Eye movements: saccades . Strategy

Introduction

When the interval between an uninformative transient cue and target (commonly referred to as a stimulus onset asynchrony [SOA]) is short (<300 ms), responses to detect or localize a stimulus appearing in close spatial proximity to the cue are speeded, relative to stimuli appearing at distancematched, uncued regions. In contrast, when SOAs are in the range of 300 ms-3 s (Samuel & Kat, 2003), responses to targets at cued locations are slowed, as compared with responses to targets at uncued locations. The pattern of increased response times (RTs) to cued locations at relatively long SOAs satisfies the classic conceptualization of the phenomenon inhibition of return (IOR), as discovered by Posner and Cohen (1984) and later named and explained by Posner, Rafal, Choate, and Vaughan (1985).

Since the discovery of IOR, extensive research has demonstrated the robustness of this effect, and accordingly, it has been observed reliably for ballistic eye movements (saccades) and manual keypress responses to precued targets in a rich assortment of tasks that have exploited variations on the cue-target paradigm (synonymously referred to as the model task or Posner cuing paradigm). One focus of these variations has been a dedicated effort (Abrams & Dobkin, 1994b; Chica, Taylor, Lupiáñez, & Klein, 2010; Kingstone & Pratt, 1999; Pratt & Neggers, 2008; Reuter-Lorenz, Jha, & Rosenquist, 1996; Taylor & Klein, 2000) to determine the extent to which IOR's effects on performance are primarily on the input or the output1 end of the processing continuum.

Two (additive) components of IOR's effect on saccadic responses?

Abrams and Dobkin (1994b) developed a paradigm to test whether IOR comprises inhibitory components at both the input and output stages of processing when saccadic responses are made. …

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