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Tim J. Smith, John M. Henderson; Looking back at Waldo: Oculomotor inhibition of return does not prevent return fixations. Journal of Vision 2011;11(1):3. doi: 10.1167/11.1.3.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Inhibition of Return (IOR) is a difficulty in processing stimuli presented at recently attended locations. IOR is widely believed to facilitate foraging of a visual scene by decreasing the probability that gaze will return to previously fixated locations. However, there is a lack of clear evidence in support of the foraging facilitator hypothesis during scene search. The original R. M. Klein and W. J. MacInnes' (1999) Where's Waldo study reported a forward bias in the distribution of fixations that was taken as evidence for the foraging facilitator hypothesis. The present study was designed to replicate R. M. Klein and W. J. MacInnes' (1999) but include detailed analysis of fixation distributions in order to test the precise predictions of the foraging facilitator hypothesis. The results indicate that latencies of saccades returning to 1-back (and possibly 2-back) locations during visual search are elevated. However, there is no evidence that the probability of returning to these locations is significantly less than control locations. Eye movement behavior during search of visual scenes does not support the view that IOR facilitates foraging.
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