Contextual Similarity Between Successive Targets Modulates Inhibition of Return in the Target-Target Paradigm

Inhibition of return (IOR) refers to slower responses to a target presented at a previously cued vs. uncued location. The present study investigated the role of memory retrieval in IOR by manipulating the contextual similarity between two successive targets in the target-target IOR paradigm. Successive targets were presented in either the same color (same-context condition) or different colors (different-context condition). Results of two experiments showed that IOR was greater in the same-context than the different-context condition. In addition, Experiment 2 showed that this context effect occurs with long response times (RTs), suggesting that memory retrieval, which requires time to manifest, plays an important role in IOR.

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