The present study was aimed at investigating the effect of inertial loading on movement-related potentials (MRPs) recorded from the scalps of normal subjects while performing finger movements. Two experiments were performed. Experiment 1. MRPs preceding and accompanying the execution of voluntary, unilateral finger movements were investigated in 8 subjects under the 3 experimental conditions of: no inertial load, small inertial load (250 g), and large inertial load (400 g). A significant effect of the inertial load on Bereitschaftspotential (BP) amplitude was observed for the 100 msec period preceding movement onset (BP -100 to 0) at precentral electrode sites and following movement onset (N0 to 100) at both precentral and parietal electrode sites. Pairwise comparisons revealed that significant effects were due to differences between the loading and non-loading conditions and not for different amounts of loading. No significant differences were observed for BP onset or early BP amplitudes, indicating that scalp negativity immediately prior to, and during, movement onset is primarily influenced by conditions of inertial loading. Experiment 2. This experiment examined the effect of inertial loading on MRPs for bilateral, simultaneous voluntary finger movements in 10 subjects under conditions of: no inertial load, inertial load applied separately to the left and right fingers, and with identical inertial loads applied to both fingers. No significant effect of inertial load on MRP amplitude was observed. These results are contrasted with those of experiment 1 which show significant effects of inertial loading for unilateral movements and are interpreted in terms of the hypothesis that bilateral movement organization involves 'higher' aspects of motor control than those reflecting adjustment to conditions of inertial loading.