Motor Performance and the Activity of the Primary Motor Cortex

Table of Contents

The Goal of the Research

The goal of the study was to determine whether the focus of attention affected the motor performance and the activity of the primary motor cortex when implementing strenuous tasks involving the right index finger (Kuhn, Keller, Ruffieux, & Taube, 2017).

How the Goal Relates to My Research

External focus of attention enhances motor performance and motor learning, which are critical to reaction times during sport activities. Specific activities that benefit from this phenomenon include balance, accuracy, jumping, oxygen consumption, production of force, movement, speed, and tiresome tasks (Kuhn et al., 2017).


The authors employed a repeated-measures design to assess the difference in motor cortical activity in external focus (EF) as opposed to internal focus (IF) conditions. EF prolonged time to task failure substantially, enhanced subTMS-induced electromyographical suppression, and increased short-interval intracortical inhibition (Kuhn et al., 2017). The authors concluded that it was possible to alter the activity of inhibitory circuits by altering the type of attentional focus.


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