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Percept Psychophys. 2000 Nov;62(8):1512-24.

Inhibition of return in manual and saccadic response systems.

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  • 1Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, USA.


When nonpredictive exogenous visual cues are used to reflexively orient covert visual spatial attention, the initial early facilitation for detecting stimuli at cued versus uncued spatial locations develops into inhibition by 300 msec following the cue, a pattern referred to as inhibition of return (IOR). Experiments were carried out comparing the magnitude and time course for development of IOR effects when manual versus saccadic responses were required. The results showed that both manual and saccadic responses result in equivalent amounts of facilitation following initial exposure to a spatial cue. However, IOR developed more quickly for saccadic responses, such that, at certain cue-target SOAs, saccadic responses to targets were inhibited, whereas manual responses were still facilitated. The findings are interpreted in terms of a premotor theory of visual attention.

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