Preprogramming and control activity of bimanual self-paced motor task in Parkinson's disease

F. Fattapposta, F. Pierelli, G. Traversa, F. My, M. Mostarda, C. D'Alessio, G. Soldati, J. Osborn, G. Amabile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The authors investigated programming (Bereitschaftspotential or BP) and control activity (Skilled Performance Positivity or SPP) of a bimanual, sequential, skilled motor act in off-therapy Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Methods: We recorded Movement Related Potentials (MRPs) in 12, non-demented, off-therapy parkinsonian patients and in 17 control subjects who were performing a skilled, time-locked motor act, which was not routine in their everyday life but had to be learned: the Skilled Performance Task (SPT). BP, SPP and correct performances were evaluated in grand average waveforms and in sequential blocks. Results: The analysis of correct performances showed that accuracy in PD patients was significantly lower than in the control group and this accuracy did not improve throughout the blocks. A significantly low level of performances was associated with an increased BP amplitude (P <0.05) and decreased SPP amplitude (P <0.05) in PD patients. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that skill motor learning is impaired in non-demented unmedicated PD patients. We discuss the view that PD patients may allocate more attentional resources, as suggested by the increased BP amplitude, the decreased SPP amplitude and the low correct performances, in order to perform a new skilled motor act. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-883
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2000


  • Bereitschaftspotential
  • Motor learning
  • Movement related potential
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Skill
  • Skilled performance positivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)


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