Medial frontal negativities predict performance improvements during motor sequence but not motor adaptation learning

Takuto Matsuhashi, Sidney J. Segalowitz, Timothy I. Murphy, Yuichiro Nagano, Takahiro Hirao, Hiroaki Masaki*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Alterations in our environment require us to learn or alter motor skills to remain efficient. Also, damage or injury may require the relearning of motor skills. Two types have been identified: movement adaptation and motor sequence learning. Doyonet al. (2003, Distinct contribution of the cortico-striatal and cortico-cerebellar systems to motor skill learning. Neuropsychologia, 41(3), 252-262) proposed a model to explain the neural mechanisms related to adaptation (cortico-cerebellar) and motor sequence learning (cortico-striatum) tasks. We hypothesized that medial frontal negativities (MFNs), event-related electrocortical responses including the error-related negativity (ERN) and correct-response-related negativity (CRN), would be trait biomarkers for skill in motor sequence learning due to their relationship with striatal neural generators in a network involving the anterior cingulate and possibly the supplementary motor area. We examined 36 participants' improvement in a motor adaptation and a motor sequence learning task and measured MFNs elicited in a separate Spatial Stroop (conflict) task. We found both ERN and CRN strongly predicted performance improvement in the sequential motor task but not in the adaptation task, supporting this aspect of the Doyon model. Interestingly, the CRN accounted for additional unique variance over the variance shared with the ERN suggesting an expansion of the model.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13708
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan


  • correct-response-related negativity
  • cortico-striatal system
  • medial frontal negativity
  • motor learning
  • performance monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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