Psychological Research

, Volume 68, Issue 1, pp 41–54 | Cite as

Location and shape in inhibition of return

  • Lucia Riggio
  • Ilaria Patteri
  • Carlo Umiltà
Original Article


Inhibition of return (IOR) is characterized by a delay in responding to a target preceded by an irrelevant stimulus (cue) at the same location, or, in other words, by a response delay when the same location is stimulated twice. It is not clear, however, if the same phenomenon is present when there is a repetition of a simple nonspatial attribute of the stimulus. The present study examines the repetition of shape. Six experiments were conducted. In Experiments 1, 2, 3, and 6 the stimuli were geometrical shapes, whereas in Experiments 4 and 5 letters were used. In Experiment 1 all the stimuli were presented at fixation, whereas in Experiments 2 to 6 they were presented in the periphery. In Experiments 2 and 3, location and shape of the cue and the target were independently manipulated in order to test independently inhibitory effects (IOR?) attributable to location repetition and shape repetition. Results showed an inhibitory effect for location and a much smaller inhibitory effect for shape. The latter was restricted to the cued location. Experiments 4 and 5 tested the possibility that inhibition caused by shape repetition is due to repetition blindness. Experiment 6 contrasted the presence or absence of a central neutral attractor in the delay interval between presentation of the cue and the target. Taken together the results seem to favor IOR as the basis for the inhibition caused by shape repetition.


Superior Colliculus Rapid Serial Visual Presentation Catch Trial Short SOAs Repetition Blindness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported by grants from the CNR and MURST. We thank B. M. Sheliga and R. Tagliavini for their help during the study. We also thank L. F. Fuentes, H. Heuer, and an anonymous reviewer for very helpful comments on an earlier version of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Sezione di FisiologiaUniversità di ParmaParmaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Psicologia GeneraleUniversità di PadovaItaly

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