Practice improves even the simplest movements

G. L. Gottlieb*, D. M. Corcos, S. Jaric, G. C. Agacrwal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Three subjects practiced accurate, fast elbow flexions of 54° to a 3° wide target. Movements of 36°, 54° and 72° were then tested. Comparison over the three distances showed that the normally monotonic relationship between movement distance and movement time is alterable by specific training. Subjects learn to go faster over the practiced distance by refining their neural commands to the muscles. The benefits of practice only partially transfer to other distances. We conclude that many of the relationships seen among movement variables in simple tasks are plastic in nature and affected by prior experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-440
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1988


  • Electromyogram
  • Motor skill learning
  • Muscle activation
  • Practice
  • Voluntary movement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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