Perception and production abilities of patients with Musician’s Dystonia


Musician’s hand dystonia (MD), a form of focal dystonia, is a movement disorder that is characterized by a loss of voluntary motor control of skilled hand movements during instrumental playing. Several studies have suggested that besides these task-specific movement problems, MD patients also show impaired timing and discrimination abilities. We employed a battery of auditory-motor tasks to investigate at what stage of auditory-motor processing deficits occur. In particular, we investigate sensorimotor synchronization, which is the capacity we use all the time when we tap along to a beat, play along with a metronome, and even it plays a role during ensemble music making.



  • investigate the sensorimotor synchronization-abilities of MD patients compared to a matched control-group
  • explore the relations between the different sensorimotor synchronization and perceptual tasks


In particular, we want to know whether MD patients

  • benefit in their tapping when the pacing sequence adapts to their timing
  • adapt and or anticipate to tempo changes in the same way control participants do
  • show perceptual deficits


The test-battery includes sensorimotor synchronization and perceptual tasks. Sensorimotor synchronization is the temporal coordination of an action with events in a predictable external rhythm. Sensorimotor synchronization is a fundamental human skill that contributes to successful motor control in daily life and plays an important role during ensemble music making.

  • Sensorimotor synchronization tapping task with tempo changing sequences

  • Sensorimotor synchronization tapping task with adaptive sequences

  • Beat Alignment Test

  • Detecting timing irregularities in a beat sequence

  • Auditory-motor delay detection

The five tasks aim to separate the purely perceptual capacity from production abilities that are important for sensorimotor synchronization and therefore provide a picture of the timing abilities of MD patients.


  • upcoming

Last modified: 2015-12-09

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