Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 195, Issue 4, pp 531–540 | Cite as

Evidence for an attentional component in saccadic inhibition of return

  • David SoutoEmail author
  • Dirk Kerzel
Research Article


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 



We would like to thank Caroline Dunand for running the experiments, Jillian Fecteau, Daniel T. Smith, Casimir Ludwig, Rosanne van Diepen, and especially two anonymous reviewers for their comments. D.K. and D.S. were supported by grant PDFM1-114417 from the Swiss National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculté de Psychologie et Sciences de l’ÉducationUniversité de GenèveGenevaSwitzerland

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