Visual search is an essential human behavior. Visual search is defined as a search for a target object (like a 5-cent-coin or a specific book) under a variety of other (distractor) objects (i.e. all the coins in our purse or all books in the book shelf). Previous research has indicated that different processes can facilitate visual search. That is, these processes ensure that we can search for a target efficiently. One of these processes is inhibition of return (IOR). Due to IOR, recently inspected objects are inhibited and therefore the search is guided more towards new objects. For example, while we are searching for the 5-cent-coin we do not immediately look back to a coin that we have just inspected and rejected as “non-target” but search through the coins we have not inspected so far. Another important process that supports visual search is short-term memory (STM). STM ensures that we can remember which objects (i.e., coins) we have recently inspected and where they are located. Even though IOR and STM seem to be similar processes (as both track which items were inspected), there is not much research on how or to what extent both processes interact in visual search. In order to investigate this question, we utilize state-of-the-art eye tracking methodology.


Duration 03/10/2017 - 03/01/2021
Funding FWF
Program FWF

Department for Dementia Research and Nursing Science

Principle investigator for the project (University for Continuing Education Krems) Mag.Dr.habil. Margit Höfler, BA


Höfler M.; Bauch S. A.; Liebergesell, K.; Gilchrist, I. D.; Ischebeck, A.; Körner, C (2021). Saccadic and manual response time data on inhibition of return during and after a visual search. Data in Brief, 39: 107565

Höfler, M.; Bauch, S.A.; Englmair, E.; Friedmann-Eibler, J.; Sturm, C.; Ischebeck, A. (2021). The effect of different spatial working memory loads on visual search. C. Pracana & M. Wang, Proceedings of InPACT 2021, 2021: 354-358, inScience Press, Lisboa

Höfler, M.; Liebergesell, K.; Gilchrist, I.D.; Bauch, S.A.; Ischebeck; A.; Körner, C. (2019). Post-search IOR: Searching for inhibition of return after search. Acta Psychologica, 197: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2019.04.017

Höfler, M.; Kuwal, V.; Bauch, S.A.; Ischebeck, A. (2019). Knowledge of prospectively relevant information improves search performance. In: Proceedings of Inpact 2019, 2019: 424-428, InSciencePress, Lissabon

Bauch, S.; Körner, C.; Gilchrist, I. D.; & Höfler, M. (2018). Relevance effects in repeated visual search. Journal of Vision, 18: 811

Höfler, M.; Hübel, B. (2018). Missing targets in multiple-target search. In: Psychology Applications & Developments III: 247-256, inSciencePress, Lissabon

Höfler, M.; Kogler, W.; Ischebeck, A. (2018). Do time-related cues shift spatial attention? C. Pracana & M. Wang, Proceedings of Inpact 2018: 474-478

Pürcher, P.; Höfler, M. (2018). Technology meets Psychology: Psychological Background in Virtual Realities. P. Biljanovic, Proceedings of MIPRO 2018: 709-713


The effect of item relevance in visual search on saccadic inhibition of return

ECVP 2022, 01/09/2022

The effect of different spatial working memory loads on visual search

InPact 2021, 26/04/2021

The effects of interrupting a visual search on oculomotor adaptation to target-defining features

Virtual Psychonomics 2020 Annual Meeting, 19/11/2020

Does current and prospective item relevance guide visual search?

Virtual Working Memory 2020 Symposium, 02/06/2020

Technology meets Psychology: Psychological Background in Virtual Realities

41st International Convention on Information and Communication Technology, Electronics and Microelectronics (MIPRO), 24/05/2018

Do time-realted cues shift spatial attention?

Psychological Applications and Trends 2018 (InPact 2018), Porto, Portugal, 04/05/2018

Gedächtnisprozesse beim Memorieren und Suchen in natürlichen Szenen: Welchen Einfluss hat die Semantik einer Szene?

ÖGP 2018, Linz, Österreich, 12/04/2018

Gedächtnisprozesse beim Memorieren und Suchen in natürlichen Szenen: Welchen Einfluss hat die Semantik einer Szene?

Tagung der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Psychologie, Linz, Österreich, 12/04/2018

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