The structure of motor programming: Evidence from reaction times and lateralized readiness potentials

Lu Xu, Werner Sommer, Hiroaki Masaki*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


There is a widely accepted notion that movement elements are assembled prior to movement execution in a central motor programming stage. However, it is not clear how this stage is structured-whether it is a unitary stage allowing different motor parameters to cross talk or whether there are several independent processes dealing with each motor parameter. We addressed this question by orthogonally manipulating two movement-related factors: response sequence complexity and movement duration. Both factors yielded main effects on reaction time but no interaction. Additive effects of both factors on the onsets of response- but not stimulus-synchronized lateralized readiness potentials suggest separable motoric loci of sequence complexity and duration. These findings are at variance with the notion of a unitary movement programming stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1


  • Finger tapping
  • Kinematic parameter
  • Lateralized readiness potential
  • Mental chronometry
  • Movement preparation

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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