Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 195, Issue 4, pp 519–529 | Cite as

An event-related potential evoked by movement planning is modulated by performance and learning in visuomotor control

Research Article


Based on a previous exploratory study, the functionality of event-related potentials related to visuomotor processing and learning was investigated. Three pursuit tracking tasks (cursor control either mouse, joystick, or bimanually) revealed the greatest tracking error and greatest learning effect in the bimanual task. The smallest error without learning was found in the mouse task. Error reduction reflected visuomotor learning. In detail, target–cursor distance was reduced continuously, indicating a better fit to a changed direction, whereas response time remained at 300 ms. A central positive ERP component with an activity onset 100 ms after a directional change of the target and most likely generated in premotor areas could be assigned to response planning and execution. The magnitude of this component was modulated by within-and-between-task difficulty and size of the tracking error. Most importantly, the size of this component was sensitive to between-subject performance and increased with visuomotor learning.


ERP Motor learning Motor program Tracking Visuomotor learning 

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, FB Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften, Abteilung Allgemeine Psychologie II (Prof. Dr. S. Windmann)FrankfurtGermany

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