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Inhibition of return (IOR) occurs when reaction times (RTs) are slowed to respond to a target that appears at a previously attended location. We used the speed-accuracy trade-off (SAT) procedure to obtain conjoint measures of IOR on sensitivity and processing speed by presenting targets at cued and uncued locations. The results showed that IOR is associated with both delays in processing speed and shifts in response criterion. When the target was briefly presented, the results supported a criterion shift account of IOR. However, when the target was presented until response, the evidence indicated that, in addition to a response bias effect, there was an increase in the minimal time required for information about the target to accumulate above chance level. A hybrid account of IOR is suggested that describes effects on both response bias and perceptual processing.

Original publication




Journal article


Atten Percept Psychophys

Publication Date





2143 - 2159


Adult, Attention, Contrast Sensitivity, Cues, Decision Making, Discrimination, Psychological, Female, Humans, Inhibition, Psychological, Male, Orientation, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Reaction Time, Young Adult