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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

January 2008, Vol. 20, No. 1, Pages 65-75
(doi: 10.1162/jocn.2008.20010)
© 2008 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Inhibition of Return Arises from Inhibition of Response Processes: An Analysis of Oscillatory Beta Activity
Article PDF (250.91 KB)

In the orienting of attention paradigm, inhibition of return (IOR) refers to slowed responses to targets presented at the same location as a preceding stimulus. No consensus has yet been reached regarding the stages of information processing underlying the inhibition. We report the results of an electro-encephalogram experiment designed to examine the involvement of response inhibition in IOR. Using a cue-target design and a target-target design, we addressed the role of response inhibition in a location discrimination task. Event-related changes in beta power were measured because oscillatory beta activity has been shown to be related to motor activity. Bilaterally located sources in the primary motor cortex showed event-related beta desynchronization (ERD) both at cue and target presentation and a rebound to event-related beta synchronization (ERS) after movement execution. In both designs, IOR arose from an enhancement of beta synchrony. IOR was related to an increase of beta ERS in the target-target design and to a decrease of beta ERD in the cue-target design. These results suggest an important role of response inhibition in IOR.