The role of the left temporal region under the cognitive motor demands of shooting in skilled marksmen

Scott E. Kerick, Kaleb McDowell, Tsung Min Hung, D. Laine Santa Maria, Thomas W. Spalding, Bradley D. Hatfield*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


A number of investigators have reported elevated left temporal alpha power in marksmen during response preparation. This finding has been interpreted to indicate the suppression of irrelevant cognitive processes. However, lower-order motor processes have not been excluded as a possible explanation. Event-related alpha power (11-13 Hz) was examined at sites T3, T4, C3, and C4 in eight skilled marksmen during shooting and two control tasks varying in perceptual-motor complexity. Over an 8-s period preceding the trigger pull, the marksmen exhibited higher power and slope at T3 than at all other sites during shooting compared with the control conditions. No such difference between conditions was detected at C3 and C4. The relative synchrony of left temporal alpha power during shooting, in conjunction with the lack of change at central sites, is inconsistent with the explanation that the effect is accounted for by 'lower-order' motor processes exclusively involving the central region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-277
Number of pages15
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Nov 24
Externally publishedYes


  • EEG
  • Event-related alpha power
  • Marksmanship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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