Two experiments examined cross-trial positional priming (V. Maljkovic & K. Nakayama, 1994, 1996, 2000) in visual pop-out search. Experiment 1 used regularly arranged target and distractor displays, as in previous studies. Reaction times were expedited when the target appeared at a previous target location (facilitation relative to neutral baseline) and slowed when the target appeared at a previous distractor location (inhibition). In contrast to facilitation, inhibition emerged only after extended practice. Experiment 2 revealed reduced facilitatory and no inhibitory priming when the elements' spatial arrangement was made irregular, indicating that positional—in particular, inhibitory—priming critically depends on the configuration of the display elements across sequences of trials. These results are discussed with respect to the role of the context for cross-trial priming in visual pop-out search
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