Neurophysiological and dynamical control principles underlying variable and stereotyped movement patterns during motor skill acquisition

Kazutoshi Kudo, Makoto Miyazaki, Hirofumi Sekiguchi, Hiroshi Kadota, Shinya Fujii, Akito Miura, Michiko Yoshie, Hiroki Nakata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


While novices who are unfamiliar to a new motor skill typically show variable and unstable movements, highly skilled experts show a stable and accurate performance. These distinct differences in motor control between experts and novices have led researchers to hypothesize that neuromotor noise is reduced in the process of motor skill acquisition. On the other hand, it should be noted that novices' movements have other characteristics; they are habituated and stereotyped. In this review, we discuss the principles governing spatiotemporal organization of movements in novices and experts while solving specific motor problems under varied conditions, by introducing experimental and theoretical studies that use neurophysiological techniques such as electromyography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and transcranial magnetic stimulation, and mathematical models such as stochastic and dynamical models. On the basis of the findings from a variety of perceptual-motor skills (e.g., ballthrowing, badminton smash, long-distance running, piano and drum performance, street dance, a popular hand game of rock-paper-scissors, and temporal order judgement task), we argue that the novices' characteristic movement patterns were organized under specific constraints and typical strategy, without which the variability would increase even more, while experts' movements were organized with functional and compensatory variability that can drive out erroneous noise variability. We also showed that in a particular type of interlimb coordination, skilled and unskilled movement patterns could be seamlessly described as the time evolution of nonlinear and self-organized dynamical systems, suggesting that the dynamical systems approach is a major candidate for understanding the principle underlying organization of experts' and novices' movements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-953
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamical systems approach
  • Human motor skill
  • Learning
  • Neuroscience
  • Novices and experts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence


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