The effects of the selective dopaminergic neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) on the kinematics of two-dimensional arm movements in the primate were studied. Two rhesus monkeys were trained to move a manipulandum at various distances and directions in horizontal space from a centrally located target box. Several kinematic parameters including reaction time, and time and amplitude of peak tangential velocity were analysed. Following an extensive control evaluation period, the animals were unilaterally injected with MPTP into the internal carotid artery. The animals were restudied for up to 289 days following induction of hemiparkinsonism. Larger-amplitude movements (> 3.5 cm) were more severely affected than smaller amplitude movements. Both animals exhibited marked changes in the arm movements including increased time-to-peak velocity and decreased peak velocity. The degree of the kinematic changes was spatially dependent, with the decrease in velocity as well as the time-to-peak velocity being more pronounced for the larger, outward movements. Reaction time increased but showed no spatial dependency. Kinematic deficits persisted over the entire time-period studied. Also, the kinematic changes were reduced by levo-3,4 dihydroxyphenylalanine in a dose-dependent manner. Tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry documented extensive cell loss in the substantia nigra. These results show that both the timing as well as the amplitude of the velocity profiles are disrupted by MPTP consistent with the known akinesia and bradykinesia of parkinsonism. Although abnormalities were present for all directions and distances, a spatial dependency to the deficits was detected. The observation of more pronounced changes for larger, outward movements suggests a role for the basal ganglia in production of larger-amplitude movements directed away from the body.