Neurophysiological and behavioral indices of time pressure effects on visuomotor task performance

Semyon Slobounov, K. Fukada, R. Simon, M. Rearick, W. Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Using a video game format, this study examined the effects of time pressure (TP) on behavioral and electrocortical indices. The behavioral results were consistent with previous time pressure research in that TP reduced time to perform a task and increases behavioral errors. In addition, electroencephalogram (EEG) measures showed distinctive patterns associated with TP in the theta, mu, and gamma bands along the midline. Site specific changes in the success vs. failure trials were also seen in midline theta at Fz, gamma at Fz, and mu at Cz. Right parietal alpha also differentiated TP and success vs. failure trials. In specific TP (1) increased frontal midline theta activity and (2) increased gamma at midline (frontal, central, and partietal) and in right frontal areas. The results of these findings are discussed in terms of the formation of specific neurocognitive strategies as evidenced by the topographic distribution of task-related modulation of the EEG within certain frequency bands. It is suggested that the effect of TP on visuomotor performance is mediated by adopting either task-relevant or task-irrelevant neurocognitive strategies as evidenced by successful or failed trials, respectively. Whether these strategies are formulated prior to performance or appear spontaneously during task performance remains unclear and is awaiting further experimentation. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-298
Number of pages12
JournalCognitive Brain Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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