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The goal of this study was to test the predictions of two hypotheses of retro-cue benefits: (1) protection from test interference, and (2) retrieval head start. The protection from test interference hypothesis states that focusing attention on the target object prior to test renders it more robust against visual interference at test. The retrieval head start hypothesis states that the key feature to yield a focusing benefit is that time is allocated to more fully retrieve a representation before decision making, even if test interference has already occurred. Note that these two hypotheses are not mutually exclusive: A retro-cue could protect from interference by focusing attention on the relevant object, and enhance retrieval by delaying the onset of decision making stages (response selection and execution).