Novelty is not always the best policy: Inhibition of return and facilitation of return as a function of visual task

Michael D. Dodd, Stefan Van Der Stigchel, Andrew Hollingworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report a study that examined whether inhibition of return (IOR) is specific to visual search or a general characteristic of visual behavior. Participants were shown a series of scenes and were asked to (a) search each scene for a target, (b) memorize each scene, (c) rate how pleasant each scene was, or (d) view each scene freely. An examination of saccadic reaction times to probes provided evidence of IOR during search: Participants were slower to look at probes at previously fixated locations than to look at probes at novel locations. For the other three conditions, however, the opposite pattern of results was observed: Participants were faster to look at probes at previously fixated locations than to look at probes at novel locations, a facilitation-of-return effect that has not been reported previously. These results demonstrate that IOR is a search-specific strategy and not a general characteristic of visual attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-339
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Science
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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