The role of surface feature continuity in object-based inhibition of return

A. Caglar Tas, Michael D. Dodd, Andrew Hollingworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The contribution of surface feature continuity to object-based inhibition of return (IOR) was tested in three experiments. Participants executed a saccade to a previously fixated or unfixated coloured disk after the object had moved to a new location. Object-based IOR was observed as lengthened saccade latency to a previously fixated object. The consistency of surface feature (colour) and spatiotemporal information was manipulated to examine the feature used to define the persisting objects to which inhibition is assigned. If the two objects traded colours during motion, object-based IOR was reliably reduced (Experiment 2), suggesting a role for surface feature properties in defining the objects of object-based IOR. However, if the two objects changed to new colours during motion, object-based IOR was preserved (Experiment 1), and colour consistency was not sufficient to support object continuity across a salient spatiotemporal discontinuity (Experiment 3). These results suggest that surface feature consistency plays a significant role in defining object persistence for the purpose of IOR, although surface features may be weighted less strongly than spatiotemporal features in this domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-47
Number of pages19
JournalVisual Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Inhibition of return
  • Object correspondence
  • Object persistence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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