The role of affordances in inhibition of return

Lucia Riggio, Ilaria Patteri, Annalisa Oppo, Giovanni Buccino, Carlo Umiltà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inhibition of return (IOR) is a response delay that occurs when the target is preceded by an irrelevant stimulus (cue) at the same location. IOR can be object based, as well as location based. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of the pragmatic features of a visually presented object in causing IOR. Two experiments were carried out using different objects as stimuli, for which the graspable part (affordance) was clearly defined. The presentation of a whole object, with the part commonly used to grasp it located below, served as a cue. The presentation of either the graspable or the ungraspable part of the cued or uncued object served as the target. Results showed that responses were slower when the graspable part was shown in the cued location than when the ungraspable part was shown in the same location. The effect was apparently linked to the kind of action necessary to grasp an object.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085-1090
Number of pages6
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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