Behavioral and physiological fatigue-related factors influencing timing and force control learning in pianists

Mitsuaki Takemi, Mai Akahoshi, Junichi Ushiba, Shinichi Furuya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Optimizing the training regimen depending on neuromuscular fatigue is crucial for the well-being of professionals intensively practicing motor skills, such as athletes and musicians, as persistent fatigue can hinder learning and cause neuromuscular injuries. However, accurate assessment of fatigue is challenging because of the dissociation between subjective perception and its impact on motor and cognitive performance. To address this issue, we investigated the interplay between fatigue and learning development in 28 pianists during three hours of auditory-motor training, dividing them into two groups subjected to different resting conditions. Changes in behavior and muscle activity during training were measured to identify potential indicators capable of detecting fatigue before subjective awareness. Our results indicate that motor learning and fatigue development are independent of resting frequency and timing. Learning indices, such as reduction in force and timing errors throughout training, did not differ between the groups. No discernible distinctions emerged in fatigue-related behavioral and physiological indicators between the groups. Regression analysis revealed that several fatigue-related indicators, such as tapping speed variability and electromyogram amplitude per unit force, could explain the learning of timing and force control. Our findings suggest the absence of a universal resting schedule for optimizing auditory-motor learning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21646
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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