Enhanced negative slope of the readiness potential preceding a target force production task

Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1998 Jul;108(4):390-7. doi: 10.1016/s0168-5597(98)00019-7.


Readiness potentials (RPs) preceding a trigger pulling movement were recorded in 9 right-handed male subjects. We investigated two tasks, non-purposive and purposive movement tasks. In this study we defined simple trigger pull as non-purposive, and target force production by pulling the trigger as purposive. In the non-purposive task, the subjects were instructed to pull the trigger at their own pace and at an easily-exerted force level. After two sessions in the non-purposive movement task, the subjects were submitted to the purposive movement task, and were requested to pull the trigger in an attempt to produce target force, the range of which was decided individually on the basis of mean force level in the second session of the non-purposive movement task. The RP preceding the purposive movement was larger than that preceding the non-purposive movement. In addition, enhancement of the RP was specific to the negative slope (NS'). Since neither peak force nor time to peak force of the movement differed in the two tasks, it was concluded that the increased NS' was due to a psychological change associated with execution of the purposive movement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contingent Negative Variation / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electrooculography
  • Fingers / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*