Research Article

Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 195, Issue 4, pp 531-540

First online:

Evidence for an attentional component in saccadic inhibition of return

  • David SoutoAffiliated withFaculté de Psychologie et Sciences de l’Éducation, Université de Genève Email author 
  • , Dirk KerzelAffiliated withFaculté de Psychologie et Sciences de l’Éducation, Université de Genève

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After presentation of a peripheral cue, facilitation at the cued location is followed by inhibition of return (IOR). It has been recently proposed that IOR may originate at different processing stages for manual and ocular responses, with manual IOR resulting from inhibited attentional orienting, and ocular IOR resulting form inhibited motor preparation. Contrary to this interpretation, we found an effect of target contrast on saccadic IOR. The effect of contrast decreased with increasing reaction times (RTs) for saccades, but not for manual key-press responses. This may have masked the effect of contrast on IOR with saccades in previous studies (Hunt and Kingstone in J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 29:1068–1074, 2003) because only mean RTs were considered. We also found that background luminance strongly influenced the effects of gap and target contrast on IOR.


IOR Saccades Attention Motor preparation Background luminance