Inhibition of return in the archer fish

Shai Gabay, Tali Leibovich, Avi Ben-Simon, Avishai Henik, Ronen Segev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inhibition of return is the inhibitory tagging of recently attended locations or objects. It was previously suggested that inhibition of return is a foraging facilitator in visual search. Inhibition of return was first discovered in humans and was demonstrated also in monkeys, yet it has never been demonstrated in non-primates. Here we report the presence of inhibition of return in the archer fish, which shoots down prey on overhanging vegetation, using squirts of water spouted from its mouth. Moreover, we find similar attentional effects for fish as for human participants. Our results show that the generation of inhibition of return does not require a fully developed cortex and strengthen the view that inhibition of return functions as a foraging facilitator.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1657
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Gustavo Glusman and Desiree Meloul for technical assistance. This work was supported by The Israel Science Foundation (grant 270/11 to R.S.), and by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013)/ERC Grant agreement no. 295644 (to A.H.).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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