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A bit of Research: Are timing genes in the brain in some way flawed in children with Autism?

Researchers (Nicholas et al, 2007) are asking whether genes responsible for timing in the brain are in some way flawed in children with Autism (including High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s). Individuals on the Autism Spectrum display a significant number of symptoms that show timing in the brain is severely disrupted, from difficulty with sleep to the brain’s ability to process information, to attention or the ability to switch from focusing on one thing to another (they often become fixated), to communicating & reciprocating in conversation, to sensory processing and integration, to motor coordination (including the muscles for vision and visual perception). The authors found that there is indeed a case to be made that “clock genes” are involved, however they urge further research. More and more professionals are including Interactive Metronome in their comprehensive treatment programs for children on the Autism Spectrum in order to improve the timing skills that are critical for development of speech & language, cognitive, social, and motor skills.


Nicholas, B., Rudrasingham, V., Nash, S., Kirov, G., Own, M.J., and Wimpory, D.C. (2007). Association of Per1 and Npas2 with autistic disorder: Support for the clock genes/social timing hypothesis. Molecular Psychiatry, 12, 581-592.

“Time is essential to speech”

“Time is essential to speech.” This study by de Cheveigne (2003) makes clear that in order to understand speech, the brain depends upon its internal clock (or what is known as temporal processing) to decipher at a minimum: 1) whether the left or right ear heard it first or which direction the voice came from, 2) pitch and intonation or WHO is speaking, 3) each individual sound within each word, 4) how the sounds blend together to make each word, including whether each sound is a vowel, consonant, voiced, voiceless, and 5) whether there are pauses between sounds and words that add emphasis or meaning. When timing in the brain or temporal processing is off by just milliseconds, a person may have difficulty processing and understanding speech. Interactive Metronome is a patented program that addresses the underlying problem in Auditory Processing Disorders, tuning the internal clock to the millisecond in order to more accurately perceive speech.

de Cheveigne, A. (2003). Time-domain auditory processing of speech. Journal of Phonetics, 31, 547-561.

A good tip from research on ADHD

In order for a child to have good self-control (i.e., behavior), the timing system in the brain must be operating normally. Faulty timing is at the heart of ADHD. Researchers in Australia recently developed a set of questions for parents of children with ADHD that will help doctors and therapists better pinpoint whether there is a problem with timing skills and whether or not they are getting better with treatment. This is a valuable tool for professionals who use Interactive Metronome in the treatment of ADHD to measure and document the effect of the treatment, which improves timing in the brain.

Houghton, S., Durkin, K., Ang, R.P., Taylor, M.F., and Brandtman, M. (2011). Measuring Temporal Self-Regulation in Children With and Without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Sense of Time in Everyday Contexts. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 27(2), 88-94.

A bit of Research: Timing in the brain is critical for good focus and self-control

 

Timing in the brain is critical for good focus and self-control. Studies like this one by Ben-Pazi et al (2005) show that the brain’s timing mechanism is not working properly in children with ADHD, and that it is even worse in younger children with ADHD and those who lack self-control and are impulsive. Interactive Metronome is the only tool available today to effectively improve timing in the brain. By directly addressing timing skills at the level necessary for the brain to function more efficiently, the Interactive Metronome produces results.

Ben-Pazi, H., Shalev, R.S., Gross-Tsur, V. and Bergman, H. (2006). Age and medication effects on rhythmic responses in ADHD: Possible oscillatory mechanisms? Neuropsychologia, 44, 412-416.

A Bit of Research on ADHD

Children with ADHD are frequently impulsive. Fortunately, researchers are trying to get to the bottom of this to determine the reason(s) why and what can be done about it. Authors of an editorial in the American Journal of Psychiatry (2006) remarked that watching the brain in action under MRI is helping researchers and doctors better understand the underpinnings of ADHD, or in other words, what is going on in the brain? Interestingly, the areas of the brain implicated in ADHD that are frequently targeted for study are ALSO part of the brain’s internal timing network. Timing in the brain is known to be disrupted in individuals with ADHD & has also been implicated in the ability to control one’s impulses and behavior. Interactive Metronome can be an important part of the treatment program for a person with ADHD by improving timing in the brain and addressing some of the areas of brain function mentioned in this article (i.e., working memory, ability to tune out distractions and pay attention to what is most important).

Casey, B.J. and Durston, S. (2006). From Behavior to Cognition to the Brain and Back: What Have We Learned from Functional Imaging Studies of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? American Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 6.

Did you know that listening and reading comprehension are linked?

Did you know that listening and reading comprehension are linked? And that both skills are very much controlled by our brain’s timing system that functions like a clock? According to a study by Breier et al (2003) published in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research (2003), the brain must process quite a bit of time-dependent information in the speech stream in order for a person to understand what is being said (i.e., timing of voice onset, voice offset, pitch, frequency, pauses between sounds, syllables, words, phrases, etc) If the brain’s timing is off even just a little it affects how the brain perceives sounds, and this in turn affects how well a person can follow verbal directions, comprehend what is said, or read. Fortunately, we can help our brain process time more precisely with the right kind of practice and thus improve such time-dependent skills as listening and reading comprehension. Interactive Metronome (IM) is a unique, patented program that has been shown in clinical research to improve mental timing through progressive, engaging cognitive and motor exercises. Continuous, real-time feedback is provided so you will know each step of the way how you are progressing! Studies show that by improving the brain’s timing with IM, auditory processing and reading not only improve, but do so significantly and in a relatively short period of time...

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