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ERIC Number: EJ933600
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-0096-3445
Eliminating Inhibition of Return by Changing Salient Nonspatial Attributes in a Complex Environment
Hu, Frank K.; Samuel, Arthur G.; Chan, Agnes S.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, v140 n1 p35-50 Feb 2011
Inhibition of return (IOR) occurs when a target is preceded by an irrelevant stimulus (cue) at the same location: Target detection is slowed, relative to uncued locations. In the present study, we used relatively complex displays to examine the effect of repetition of nonspatial attributes. For both color and shape, attribute repetition produced a robust inhibitory effect that followed a time course similar to that for location-based IOR. However, the effect only occurred when the target shared both the feature (i.e., color or shape) and location with the cue; this constraint implicates a primary role for location. The data are consistent with the idea that the system integrates consecutive stimuli into a single object file when attributes repeat, hindering detection of the second stimulus. The results are also consistent with an interpretation of IOR as a form of habituation, with greater habituation occurring with increasing featural overlap of a repeated stimulus. Critically, both of these interpretations bring the IOR effect within more general approaches to attention and perception, rather than requiring a specialized process with a limited function. In this view, there is no process specifically designed to inhibit return, suggesting that IOR may be the wrong framing of inhibitory repetition effects. Instead, we suggest that repetition of stimulus properties can interfere with the ability to focus attention on the aspects of a complex display that are needed to detect the occurrence of the target stimulus; this is a failure of activation, not an inhibition of processing. (Contains 2 footnotes and 6 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China; Hong Kong