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J Cogn Neurosci. 2009 May;21(5):991-9. doi: 10.1162/jocn.2009.21105.

Response-selection conflict contributes to inhibition of return.

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  • 1Department of Psychologié, Universitié de Montréal, Canada.


Here we examined the relationship between inhibition of return (IOR) and response-selection conflict. In two go/no-go and spatial-cueing experiments, we measured the amplitude of the fronto-central N2 event-related potential component to estimate the degree of response-selection conflict for validly cued and invalidly cued targets. When the probability of a go target was high (Experiment 1), both the amplitude of the N2 elicited on no-go trials and the number of false alarm errors were greater on invalid-cue than on valid-cue trials. When the probability of a go target was low (Experiment 2), neither of these effects was observed and the magnitude of the IOR effect was greatly reduced. These results show that a relative response bias toward responding on invalid-cue trials contributes to the IOR reaction time effect when the required response is prepotent.

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