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Foraging for thought: an inhibition of return-like effect resulting from directing attention within working memory

Author(s): Johnson, Matthew R.; Higgins, Julie A.; Norman, Kenneth A.; Sederberg, Per B.; Smith, Troy A.; et al

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Abstract: Processing of a target stimulus may be inhibited if its location has just been cued, a phenomenon of spatial attention known as inhibition of return (IOR). Here, we demonstrate a striking effect wherein items that have just been the focus of reflective attention (internal attention to an active representation) are also inhibited. Participants saw two items, followed by a cue to think back to (refresh, direct reflective attention toward) one item, and then had to identify either the refreshed item, the unrefreshed item, or a novel item. Responses were significantly slower for previously refreshed items than unrefreshed items, although refreshed items were better remembered on a later memory test. Control experiments replacing the refresh event with a second perceptual presentation did not show similar effects. These results suggest that reflective attention can produce an inhibition effect for attended items that may be analogous to IOR effects in perceptual attention.
Publication Date: Jul-2013
Electronic Publication Date: 7-May-2013
Citation: Johnson, Matthew R, Higgins, Julie A, Norman, Kenneth A, Sederberg, Per B, Smith, Troy A, Johnson, Marcia K. (2013). Foraging for Thought. Psychological Science, 24 (7), 1104 - 1112. doi:10.1177/0956797612466414
DOI: doi:10.1177/0956797612466414
ISSN: 0956-7976
EISSN: 1467-9280
Pages: 1104 - 1112
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Psychological Science
Version: Author's manuscript

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