Inhibition of return for the length of a line?
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Inhibition of return is most often measured using an exogenous spatial cuing method. The experiments presented here follow up on a small number of studies that have examined whether a similar effect occurs for nonspatial stimulus attributes. In Experiments 1 and 2, the task was to identify a target line as either short or long. In this context, targets on valid trials were of the same length as that of a preceding cue, whereas targets on invalid trials were of a different length than that of a preceding cue. The results were similar to those in spatial orienting studies in that responses were slower for valid than for invalid targets only at stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) longer than 300 msec. In Experiment 3, the stimuli were the same but the task was to detect the onset of the target line. This task change resulted in slower responses for valid than for invalid targets at all SOAs. A similar result was observed in Experiment 4, in which validity was defined by color rather than line length, and the task was to identify the target color. The discussion centers on an opponent process approach to interpreting cuing effects, and consequent difficulties in distinguishing spatial and nonspatial cuing effects based on their time course.
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