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Keywords:

  • Serial visual search;
  • ERP;
  • Eye movements;
  • Fixation-related potential;
  • Sequential effects

Abstract

To search for a target in a complex environment is an everyday behavior that ends with finding the target. When we search for two identical targets, however, we must continue the search after finding the first target and memorize its location. We used fixation-related potentials to investigate the neural correlates of different stages of the search, that is, before and after finding the first target. Having found the first target influenced subsequent distractor processing. Compared to distractor fixations before the first target fixation, a negative shift was observed for three subsequent distractor fixations. These results suggest that processing a target in continued search modulates the brain's response, either transiently by reflecting temporary working memory processes or permanently by reflecting working memory retention.