Focal spatial attention can eliminate inhibition of return

Zhiguo Wang, Raymond M. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Inhibition of return (IOR) is an orienting phenomenon characterized by slower responses to spatially cued than to uncued targets. In Experiment 1, a physically small digit that required identification was presented immediately following a peripheral cue. The digit could appear in the cued peripheral box or in the central box, thus guaranteeing a saccadic response to the cue in one condition and maintenance of fixation in the other. An IOR effect was observed when a saccadic response to the cue was required, but IOR was not generated by the peripheral cue when fixation was maintained in order to process the central digit. In Experiment 2, IOR effects were observed when participants were instructed to ignore the digits, whether those digits were presented in the periphery or at fixation. These findings suggest that behaviorally manifested, cue-induced IOR effects can be eliminated by focal spatial attentional control settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-469
Number of pages8
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • spatial attention
  • inhibition of return
  • attentional control setting


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