Electroencephalographic alpha and beta activities recorded from central electrodes are known to display movement-related suppression or enhancement. We investigated whether the suppression that is known to occur during the onset of a single movement would persist or otherwise habituate when the movement is continuously repeated for a long period of time. Fourteen subjects took part in the experiments. They performed repetitive simultaneous extension-flexions of the fingers II-V in one hand, continuously for a period of at least 30 s. They then stopped this self-paced movement and rested for at least 30 s. Bipolar recording was made from C3-Cz and C4-Cz. Patterns of amplitude changes in the alpha and beta bands were calculated against a resting baseline. Following a bilateral alpha and beta suppression at the movement onset, alpha amplitude gradually but not fully recovered towards the baseline during the 30 s post-onset. Habituation of afferences and transfer of the cortical function were discussed as the two alternative explanations for this gradual recovery. Beta amplitude, however, displayed no recovery as long as the movement continued. Considering the relatively rapid beta recovery reported for sustained movements, this finding demonstrated that the sustained and continuous movements are conducted through quite different processes. A transient contralateral beta rebound was observed only after the end of the long movement period, strengthening the viewpoint that links the beta rebound with the closure of the cortical processes running throughout a motor sequence. Modulation of the beta amplitude, rather than the changes in alpha amplitude, appeared to be more closely correlated with the execution of a continuous movement. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.