Cerebral patterns of activity elicited by dual-task performance throughout the learning of a complex bimanual coordination pattern were addressed. Subjects (N=12) were trained on the coordination pattern and scanned using fMRI at early (PRE) and late (POST) learning stages. During scanning, the coordination pattern was performed either as a single task or in concurrence with a simultaneous visual search task (i.e. dual task). Kinematics data revealed a significant performance improvement as a result of learning. In PRE-scanning, the dual-task condition induced deterioration of motor performance, relative to the single-task condition. Activity in lateral frontal and parietal regions involved in both visual search and motor coordination tasks (i.e. 'overlapping' regions) was reduced when the tasks were performed simultaneously. In POST-scanning, kinematics performance was equivalent under single- and dual-task conditions, suggesting automaticity of the coordination pattern. Furthermore, overlap between regions involved in visual search and motor tasks was reduced, and dual-task performance was no longer associated with reduction of frontal and parietal activity. Our results suggest that behavioral interference between a complex motor coordination task and a simple simultaneous visual search task occurs when both tasks recruit overlapping regions in the frontal and parietal cortices. This may provide a neural basis for dissipation of dual-task interference following extensive motor practice, which is a traditional behavioral marker of motor automaticity. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.