Article

Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

, Volume 75, Issue 1, pp 29-40

First online:

The effects of ignored versus foveated cues upon inhibition of return: An event-related potential study

  • Jason SatelAffiliated withDalhousie University Email author 
  • , Matthew D. HilcheyAffiliated withDalhousie University
  • , Zhiguo WangAffiliated withVrije Universiteit
  • , Ross StoryAffiliated withDalhousie University
  • , Raymond M. KleinAffiliated withDalhousie University

Abstract

Taylor and Klein (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 26:1639–1656, 2000) discovered two mutually exclusive “flavors” of inhibition of return (IOR): When the oculomotor system is “actively suppressed,” IOR affects input processes (the perception/attention flavor), whereas when the oculomotor system is “engaged,” IOR affects output processes (the motor flavor). Studies of brain activity with ignored cues have typically reported that IOR reduces an early sensory event-related potential (ERP) component (i.e., the P1 component) of the brain’s response to the target. Since eye movements were discouraged in these experiments, the P1 reduction might be a reflection of the perception/attention flavor of IOR. If, instead of ignoring the cue, participants made a prosaccade to the cue (and then returned to fixation) before responding to the target, the motor flavor of IOR should then be generated. We compared these two conditions while monitoring eye position and recording ERPs to the targets. If the P1 modulation is related to the perceptual/attentional flavor of IOR, we hypothesized that it might be absent when the motoric flavor of IOR was generated by a prosaccade to the cue. Our results demonstrated that target-related P1 reductions and behavioral IOR were similar, and significant, in both conditions. However, P1 modulations were significantly correlated with behavioral IOR only when the oculomotor system was actively suppressed, suggesting that P1 modulations may only affect behaviorally exhibited IOR when the attentional/perceptual flavor of IOR is recruited.

Keywords

Inhibition of return Eye movements Visual attention VEP EEG MEG