Nomadic inhibition of attention and motor responses
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Klein and MacInnes [Klein, R. M., & MacInnes, W. J. (1999). Inhibition of return is a foraging facilitator in visual search. Psychological Science, 10, 346-352] posited that the function of a phenomenon known as the inhibition of return (IOR) [Posner, M. I., & Cohen, Y. (1984). Components of visual orienting. In H. Bouma, & D. G. Bouwhuis (Eds.), Attention and performance X: Control of language processes (pp. 531-554). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum] is to facilitate the foraging of food and objects in the environment. Once a target object has been identified either the location of that target in space or a movement to that target is inhibited in order to allow the performer to shift his/her attention to something new. Interestingly, in the majority of IOR studies, participants begin their search from a central home position. This research examined IOR in a nomadic target-target paradigm in which the home position randomly appeared at one of three target locations and attentional shifts/movements progressed to other locations. In Experiment 1, participants executed simple manual button presses in response to the sequential presentation of a home position and then two target stimuli. In Experiment 2, participants made manual-aiming movements in response to the same type of presentation. Results obtained from both experiments implicate perceptual-motor mechanisms over and above the inhibition of a specific target location or response. Inhibitory effects appear to be associated with both perceptual and motor processes, and depend not only on the temporal and spatial relations between potential targets, but also on the actions required to detect or engage the targets.
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