Long-term practice effects on a new skilled motor learning: An electrophysiological study

F. Fattapposta, G. Amabile, M. V. Cordischi, D. Di Venanzio, A. Foti, F. Pierelli, C. D'Alessio, F. Pigozzi, A. Parisi, C. Morrocutti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cortical functions concerned with the execution of skilled movements can be studied through complex interactive tasks. Skilled performance task (SPT) offers the greatest deal of information about the electrophysiological components reflecting pre-programming, execution of the movement and control of the results. Overall, these components are indicated as 'movement-related brain macropotentials' (MRBMs). Among them, Bereitschaftspotential (BP) reflects cerebral processes related to the preparation of movement and skilled performance positivity (SPP) reflects control processes on the result of performance. There is some evidence supporting a training effect on MRBMs, but less clear is whether long-term practice of a skilled activity could modify learning strategies of a new skilled task. We recorded MRBMs in subjects trained for a long time to perform a highly skilful athletic activity, i.e. gun shooting, and in a group of control subjects without any former experience in skilled motor activities. Our findings demonstrated the existence of a relationship between pre-programming and performance control, as suggested by decrease of BP amplitude and increase of SPP amplitude in presence of high levels of performance. Long-term practice seem to develop better control models on performance, that reduce the need of a high mental effort in pre-programming a skilled action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-507
Number of pages13
JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1996


  • Bereitschaftspotential
  • learning
  • movement-related brain macropotentials
  • practice
  • skill
  • skilled performance positivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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