Reciprocal changes in inputoutput curves of motor evoked potentials while learning motor skills

Makoto Suzuki, Hikari Kirimoto, Hideaki Onishi, Sumio Yamada, Hiroyuki Tamaki, Atsuo Maruyama, Jun Ichi Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Reciprocal inhibition of antagonist muscles is crucial for motor skill learning in humans. However, the changes in reciprocal inhibition function during the motor learning process are unknown. The aim of this study was to systematically observe the changes in reciprocal inhibition function. We investigated the optimal coil position for simultaneously eliciting motor evoked potentials (MEPs) of reciprocal muscles, and the reciprocal changes in inputoutput (IO) curves during motor skill training. From ten healthy volunteers, the IO curves of MEPs were measured for the midpoint between the center of gravity (CoG) of the extensor carpi radialis (ECR) and the flexor carpi radialis (FCR) muscles, for the CoG of ECR, and for the FCR muscles using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). In addition, the IO curves of the ECR and the FCR muscles were measured before and after the motor skill training of rapid wrist extension. The IO curves measured at the midpoint between the CoGs of the ECR and the FCR muscles and the CoG of each muscle were homogenous. However, after training to perform rapid wrist extension, the IO curve of the agonist (ECR) muscle was increased, while the antagonist (FCR) muscle was decreased. The present findings validate the IO curves simultaneously measured for reciprocal muscles, and suggest that motor skill training could induce reciprocal change in corticospinal excitability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-123
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sept 14


  • Inputoutput curve
  • Motor evoked potentials
  • Motor learning
  • Reciprocal inhibition
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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