Does Joe influence Fred's action?
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Inhibition of return (IOR) refers to the slowing of responses to a target that appears in the same location as a previous event. Many researchers have speculated that IOR arises from inhibitory neural processes that have developed through evolution to facilitate efficient search patterns by biasing the action and/or attention of an individual towards novel locations. Throughout evolution, however, humans conducted searches as individuals as well as members of a group. In this context, we sought to determine if IOR could also be observed in the behavior of one individual after the observation of another's behavior. Consistent with our reasoning, there was no difference in the magnitude of the IOR effect found when participants followed their own response or the response of their partner. These results are discussed in the context of action-based attention and possible underlying neural mechanisms.
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