Dissociable spatial and temporal effects of inhibition of return

Zhiguo Wang, Jan Theeuwes

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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Inhibition of return (IOR) refers to the relative suppression of processing at locations that have recently been attended. It is frequently explored using a spatial cueing paradigm and is characterized by slower responses to cued than to uncued locations. The current study investigates the impact of IOR on overt visual orienting involving saccadic eye movements. Using a spatial cueing paradigm, our experiments have demonstrated that at a cue-target onset asynchrony (CTOA) of 400 ms saccades to the vicinity of cued locations are not only delayed (temporal cost) but also biased away (spatial effect). Both of these effects are basically no longer present at a CTOA of 1200 ms. At a shorter 200 ms CTOA, the spatial effect becomes stronger while the temporal cost is replaced by a temporal benefit. These findings suggest that IOR has a spatial effect that is dissociable from its temporal effect. Simulations using a neural field model of the superior colliculus (SC) revealed that a theory relying on short-term depression (STD) of the input pathway can explain most, but not all, temporal and spatial effects of IOR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e44290-1-e44290-8
Number of pages8
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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