We introduce the Battery for the Assessment of Auditory Sensorimotor and Timing Abilities (BAASTA), a new tool developed for assessing systematically rhythm perception and auditory-motor coupling. BAASTA includes perceptual tasks and sensorimotor synchronization (SMS) tasks. In the perceptual tasks, auditory thresholds in a duration discrimination task and anisochrony detection tasks (i.e., with an isochronous sequence and with music) are measured via the maximum likelihood procedure (MLP). In addition, a customized version of the Beat Alignment Task (BAT) is performed to assess participants’ ability to perform beat-extraction with musical stimuli. Tapping tasks are used to assess participants' SMS abilities, including hand tapping along with isochronous sequences and music, and tapping to sequences presenting a tempo change. The battery is validated in groups of young expert musicians, young non-musicians, and aged non-musicians. In addition, the results from 3 cases of patients with Parkinson’s disease are presented. BAASTA is sensitive to differences linked to musical training; moreover the battery can serve to characterize differences among individuals (e.g., patients with neurodegenerative disorders) in terms of sensorimotor and rhythm perception abilities. 

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© Nicolas Farrugia 2013