University of Leicester
10.3758%2Fs13414-018-1490-2.pdf (1.07 MB)
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The contribution of forward masking to saccadic inhibition of return.

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-04-27, 10:54 authored by David Souto, Sabine Born, Dirk Kerzel
Inhibition of return is the name typically given to the prolonged latency of motor responses directed to a previously cued target location. There is intense debate about the origins of this effect and its function, but most take for granted (despite lack of evidence) that it depends little on forward masking. Therefore, we re-examined the role of forward masking in inhibition of return. Forward masking was indexed by slower saccadic reaction times (SRTs) when the target orientation repeated the cue orientation at the same location. We confirmed effects of orientation repetition in the absence of an attentional bias when cues were presented on both sides of fixation (bilateral presentation). The effect of orientation repetition was reduced with high target contrast, consistent with a low-level origin such as contrast gain control in early visual areas. When presenting cues on only one side of fixation (unilateral presentation), we obtained inhibition of return with longer cue-target intervals and facilitation with targets presented shortly after the cue. The effect of orientation repetition was reduced when facilitation was observed, but was as strong as with bilateral cues when inhibition of return was observed. Therefore, forward masking may contribute to the inhibition of return effect by delaying reaction times to repeated features at the same location, but is not a principal cause of inhibition of return; in agreement with previous views.



Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, 2018, in press

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