At the School of Psychology, we examine different aspects of how the human visual system provides us with information about the external world. We examine one phenomenon in particular: Inhibition of return.
Inhibition of return (IOR) is a consequence of attentional capture. Visual search is first facilitated and then inhibited when a target appears at a location to which the person has already attended previously. When the time between the cue and target is 300 ms or less, participants tend to respond faster to trials in which the target appears in a location that has been cued (i.e., facilitation). However, when the time between the cue and target is longer, participants tend to respond faster to trials in which the target appears in a location that has not been cued (i.e., inhibition).
We use electroencephalographic (EEG) equipment, with a 128-channel EGI system housed in an electromagnetically shielded booth (i.e., Faraday cage). A state of the art eye tracker – an EyeLink 1000 Plus from SR Research – has also been integrated into the EEG Lab allowing us to perform eye tracking in conjunction with EEG acquisition. We also use mathematically explicit, neuro-biologically plausible, computational models of cognitive phenomena, such as IOR, to produce general theoretical frameworks that can make predictions to inform and drive our empirical work.
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