Inhibition of return: unraveling a paradox

Birmingham, Elina, Visser, Troy A. W., Snyder, Janice J. and Kingstone, Alan (2007) Inhibition of return: unraveling a paradox. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 14 5: 957-963. doi:10.3758/BF03194128

Author Birmingham, Elina
Visser, Troy A. W.
Snyder, Janice J.
Kingstone, Alan
Title Inhibition of return: unraveling a paradox
Journal name Psychonomic Bulletin and Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1069-9384
Publication date 2007-10-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3758/BF03194128
Open Access Status
Volume 14
Issue 5
Start page 957
End page 963
Total pages 7
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Springer New York
Language eng
Subject 1701 Psychology
Abstract Although inhibition of return (IOR) is widely believed to aid search by discouraging reexamination of previously inspected locations, its impact actually appears to decline as the number of target locations increases. We test three possible reasons for this paradoxical result: (1) IOR is capacity-limited, (2) IOR is sensitive to subtle changes in target location probability, and (3) IOR decays with distance from a previously attended location. The present investigation provides strong support for the third explanation, indicating that a gradient of inhibition is centered on previously attended locations. We note that this inhibitory gradient resolves a paradox in the literature. Moreover, we speculate that the inhibitory gradient may reflect a “similarity space” within which target locations near to the cue are tagged with inhibition due to their similarity to the cued location. The farther the target location is away, the less similar it is to the cued location, and thus the less inhibition it receives.
Keyword Psychology
Visual task performance
Cognition and reasoning
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
ERA 2012 Admin Only
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 7 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 20 Mar 2009, 01:27:38 EST by Ms Karen Naughton on behalf of School of Psychology