Article

Perceptual and motor inhibition of return: components or flavors?

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, .
Attention Perception & Psychophysics (Impact Factor: 1.97). 06/2012; 74(7):1416-29. DOI: 10.3758/s13414-012-0332-x
Source: PubMed

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 two-components 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.

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    ABSTRACT: Inhibition of return (IOR) is a spatial phenomenon that is thought to promote visual search functions by biasing attention and eye movements toward novel locations. Considerable research suggests distinct sensory and motor flavors of IOR, but it is not clear whether the motor type can affect responses other than eye movements. Most studies claiming to reveal motor IOR in the reaching control system have been confounded by their use of peripheral signals, which can invoke sensory rather than motor-based inhibitory effects. Other studies have used central signals to focus on motor, rather than sensory, effects in arm movements but have failed to observe IOR and have concluded that the motor form of IOR is restricted to the oculomotor system. Here, we show the first clear evidence that motor IOR can be observed for reaching movements when participants respond to consecutive central stimuli. This observation suggests that motor IOR serves a more general function than the facilitation of visual search, perhaps reducing the likelihood of engaging in repetitive behavior.
    Attention Perception & Psychophysics 09/2013; · 1.97 Impact Factor

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