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Our attentional systems orient reflexively to novel environmental stimuli. Such attentive orienting is typically followed by a prolonged period of inhibition, known as inhibition of return (IOR), thought to be linked to the eye movement system. It is widely believed that IOR may provide a tagging mechanism that prevents perseveration, and thus facilitates attentional search. Using a tactile variant of the peripheral spatial cuing paradigm, we show IOR in congenitally blind adults and in an individual who had no eyes. These results demonstrate for the first time that spatial IOR can occur in the absence of oculomotor control.


Journal article



Publication Date





3043 - 3045


Adult, Attention, Blindness, Brain, Eye Movements, Humans, Neural Inhibition, Neuropsychological Tests, Oculomotor Muscles, Orientation, Photic Stimulation, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time, Space Perception, Visual Pathways