Neural mechanisms of timing control in a coincident timing task

Hiroaki Masaki*, Werner Sommer, Noriyoshi Takasawa, Katuo Yamazaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Many ball sports such as tennis or baseball require precise temporal anticipation of both sensory input and motor output (i.e., receptor anticipation and effector anticipation, respectively) and close performance monitoring. We investigated the neural mechanisms underlying timing control and performance monitoring in a coincident timing task involving both types of anticipations. Peak force for two time-to-peak force (TTP) conditions - recorded with a force-sensitive key - was required to coincide with a specific position of a stimulus rotating either slow or fast on a clock face while the contingent negative variation (CNV) and the motor-elicited negativity were recorded. Absolute timing error was generally smaller for short TTP (high velocity) conditions. CNV amplitudes increased with both faster stimulus velocity and longer TTPs possibly reflecting increased motor programming efforts. In addition, the motor-elicited negativity was largest in the slow stimulus/short TTP condition, probably representing some forms of performance monitoring as well as shorter response duration. Our findings indicate that the coincident timing task is a good model for real-life situations of tool use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-226
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr


  • CNV
  • Coincident timing
  • Effector anticipation
  • Motor potential
  • Performance monitoring
  • Receptor anticipation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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