IM Specific Research

The Science

Three-Level Hypothesized Explanation of the IM effect (McGrew, 2012)

MindHubPub2 IMscience v1 1

Interactive Metronome® (IM) is believed to improve the resolution and efficiency of an individual’s internal brain clock(s) and temporal processing. In turn, it is hypothesized that this results in more efficient brain connectivity, communication, and synchronization via increased integrity of the brains white matter tract communication system, producing more efficient communication between critical brain networks. In particular, research and theory suggests that IM training increases the efficacy of the parietal-frontal brain network, the brain network most associated with general intellectual functioning, working memory, controlled attention and executive functions.

The primary conclusions from the detailed scientific explanation of the IM are:

  1. The diversity of performance domains positively impacted by IM technology is due to IM improving the function of crucial brain-based domain-general neurocognitive mechanisms.
  2. The precise, real-time IM millisecond feedback impacts the temporal processing resolution of the internal brain clock, which in turn improves neural efficiency—and thus, more efficient temporal and information processing in the brain.
  3. The IM effect appears to be the result of increased efficiency and synchronization of communication between the primary brain structures that comprise the functional brain networks involved in performing both the cognitive and motor demands of IM training.
  4. IM technology may be improving brain network communication, especially within the major brain networks at the core of the P-FIT (parietal-fontal integration) model of general intelligence. IM technology may be improving the efficiency of the parietal-frontal brain network which is critical to general intellectual functioning, working memory, controlled attention, and overall cognitive efficiency.
  5. One of the most important IM training outcomes (but not the only outcome) is improved focus via increased efficiency of the attentional control system (ACS) that maintains goal related information active in working memory in the presence of internal (mind wandering) and external distractions. Improvement in efficiency of executive functions and working memory results in more efficient complex cognitive processing and learning.

IM Specific Research & White Papers

Download all of the IM Specific Research in this booklet or select the individual papers to download below.
Download a full list of IM Research References.

2016 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2016 Brain & Language

Incorporation of Feedback during Beat Synchronization is an Index of Neural Maturation and Reading Skills 

Speech communication involves integration and coordination of sensory perception and motor production, requiring precise temporal coupling. Beat synchronization, the coordination of movement with a pacing sound, can be used as an index of this sensorimotor timing. We assessed adolescents’ synchronization and capacity to correct asynchronies when given online visual feedback. Variability of synchronization while receiving feedback predicted phonological memory and reading sub-skills, as well as maturation of cortical auditory processing; less variable synchronization during the presence of feedback tracked with maturation of cortical processing of sound onsets and resting gamma activity. We suggest the ability to incorporate feedback during synchronization is an index of intentional, multimodal timing based integration in the maturing adolescent brain. Precision of temporal coding across modalities is important for speech processing and literacy skills that rely on dynamic interactions with sound. Synchronization employing feedback may prove useful as a remedial strategy for individuals who struggle with timing-based language learning impairments.

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Kali Woodruff Carr,
Ahren B. Fitzroy,
Adam Tierney,
Travis White-Schwoch,
Nina Kraus
 2016  White Paper

The Effects of Interactive Metronome on, Cognitive and Upper Extremity function, balance for Parkinson’s disease

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Interactive Metronome (IM) on the cognitive and upper extremity function and balance for Parkinson’s disease. For this study, a single-subject experimental research was conducted using ABA design. We observe the two Parkinson’s patients for around 30 to 40 minutes, with a total of 25 sessions. After IM training, the participant showed an increase in cognitive and upper extremity function and balance. The result of this study suggests that IM training has a positive effect on cognition, upper extremity function as well as balance. In addition, IM training can be used as basic data for Parkinson’s patient clinicians in the area of Occupational Therapy.

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A-Reum Kim
2016 White Paper

Effects of Interactive Metronome (IM) training on motor timing, EEG, and putting performance in golf: A neuropsychological approach

The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of IM training on the motor timing, EEG, and putting performances of golfers. Participants were 34 elite golfers and they were assigned to either the experimental group (i.e., IM training group, n=18) or control group (n=16).  The golfers in the experimental group received a series of IM training (total of 12 sessions) and those in the control group conducted putting practice while the experimental group participated in IM training.  The conclusions of this study are:

  • IM training is effective in improving the motor timing among golfers.  All motor timing errors among the IM training group are significantly decreased. Based on this result, it is concluded that the function of the brain area related to timing has improved and affected the motor timing function.
  • Second, theta wave of the left and right prefrontal lobe of the experimental group showed a significant decrease and all SMR wave, Mid-Beta wave, High-Beta wave of the right prefrontal lobe showed a significant increase. Through this result, it can be contended that IM training is effective in decreasing the theta wave and affects the right brain activities while golfers are putting.
  • Third, the improvements in attentiveness were identified among the IM training group.  This suggests that IM training may improve the communicative efficiency between the brain areas of white matter tract and information process. At the same time, the functions of attentional system are improved.
  • Fourth, IM training group showed an improvement in putting timing.  This result was shown as the increased motor timing ability was transferred to golf putting timing.
  • Fifth, IM training enhanced the field golf performance ability. The activation of the right brain function, attentiveness, motor timing ability and putting timing improvement of golfers identified in this study seem to have had a positive effect on the putting field performance.

In conclusion, IM training had a positive influence on basic motor ability and motor skills and brought about positive neuropsychological changes.  In particular, strengthening of motor coordination, timing ability and selective attention is considered to be shown in the process of synchronizing the external environment and internal movement during training.  Besides, right brain activities can be interpreted to have had a positive impact on the space perception for hole cup or target and the ability to control temporal movement speed of the putter head in the golf putting situation. Therefore, as a single training protocol, IM training is expected to improve kinematic, neurological, and psychological functions all together among the elite golfers.

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Kim, Pil Jung

2015 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2015 White Paper

The Effects of Interactive Metronome on the Upper Extremity Function, ADL and QOL, in Stroke Patients

The purpose of this study of assess the changes affected by rhythm and timing training using an interactive metronome on the function of upper extremities, ADL and quality of life in stroke patients. To assess the effects of IM training, a group experiment was conducted against 30 stroke patients.  A total of 12 sessions of IM training, in 30-minute sessions 3 times a week for 4 weeks, were provided to the experimental group, while the control group was educated during the same period with a bilateral training self-exercise program.  The both groups were evaluated pre and posttest through MFT, MAL, MBI, and SS-QOL.

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Ga-Hui Yu
2015 White Paper

Effect of Interactive Metronome Training on Timing, Attention and Motor Function of Children With ADHD: Case Report

To report the effects of a specific intervention, the Interactive Metronome  (IM), on timing, attention and motor function of a children with ADHD. The  study  is  case  reports  about  two  boys  with  ADHD.  One boy who is born 2008 is attending general elementary school as a first year student  (case 1), and another boy who is born 2001 is attending general elementary school as a second year student  (case 2).  For each case subject, IM training was provided during 3 weeks, from January 2015 to February 2015.  Evaluations were performed pre- and post-intervention in order to exam timing, attention and motor skills.  The measurements uses in this study are Long Form Assessment  (LFA) for the timing, RehaCom screening module for the attention, and Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Morot Proficiency, second version  (BOT-2) for the motor function. The timing function was improved in both cases since both showed reduced response time for all motor tasks of LFA.  In terms of attention, case 1 showed improvement of visual attention division, neglect and response Inhibition, and case 2 showed improvement of sustained attention. Lastly, in the BOT-2, case 1 showed improved the percentile rank of short  (from 42%ile to 96%ile), and case 2 also showed similar improvement  (from 21%ile to 66%ile). This study provides positive evidence that the Interactive Metronome training has positive power to facilitate several body functions such as timing, attention and motor control of children with ADHD, through two case studies.

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Namgung, Young, M.S., O.T., Son, Da-In, B.S., O.T., Kim, Kyeong-Mi, Ph.D., O.T.
2015 White Paper

The Effects of Interactive Metronome on Timing, Attention, Bilateral Coordination and Balance for Adult with Intellectual Disabilities: Single Subject Design

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Interactive Metronome (IM) on timing, attention, bilateral coordination and balance for adults with intellectual disabilities. The subject of study was a 26 years old woman with intellectual disabilities. This study is a single subject AB design. The procedure consisted 5 sessions of baseline phase  (A) and 12 sessions of intervention phase  (B).  The baseline phase involved no intervention, but during the intervention phase IM intervention was conducted.  Timing was measured by task average in short form test of IM and attention was measured by SRO% in short form test of IM. Bilateral coordination and balance was measured by bilateral coordination, balance items in Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Second Edition. The results of this study are as follows; first, timing was decreased in intervention phase than in baseline phase.  Second, attention was improved in intervention phase than in baseline phase.  Third, bilateral coordination was improved in intervention phase than in baseline phase.  Fourth, balance was increased in intervention phase than in baseline phase.  This study showed that the IM intervention provided positive effects on attention, bilateral coordination and balance of the adult with intellectual disabilities.

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Kyeong Mi Kim, Mi Su Kim & Soo Min Lee
2015 White Paper

Validity of Long Form Assessment in Interactive Metronome® As a Measure of Children’s Praxis

The aim of this study is to verify validity of Long Form Assessment, which is an Interactive Metronome measure  (LFA-IM), as a measurement of praxis of children. The study was implemented from March 2015 to July 2015.  Twenty-five children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder  (ADHD) and those without ADHD  (age of 6∼11) were selected from a local university hospital and community in Gyeoung-Nam province and Busan for this study.  In order to examine discriminative validity of LFA-IM, Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, second edition  (BOT-2) was used to compare the difference of results with LFA-IM for both children with- and without ADHD.  For concurrent validity, correlation between LFA-IM and BOT-2 was investigated using spearman correlation coefficients. For the comparison between children with ADHD and children without ADHD, there were significant differences in the total scores of LFA-IM  (p<. 05).  Regarding the concurrent validity, there was a strong negative correlation between the total scores of LFA-IM and BOT-2  (p<. 05).  In addition, there was high correlation between LFA-IM and BOT-2 for the area of hand control  (rs=-.532), and high negative correlation for the area of fine-motor accuracy  (rs=-.447), hand dexterity  (rs=-.532), and balance control (rs=-.623)  (p<. 05). This study identified validities of LFA-IM as an assessment of praxis of children.  The results showed that it is appropriate to evaluate praxis of children with the total score of LFA-IM and, thus, it is believed that LFA-IM has a potential clinical utility.  However, there should be more researches with large number of subjects.

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Kyeong-Mi Kim, Ph.D., O.T., Seo-Yoon Heo, M.P.H., O.T.,
Mi-Su Kim, D.S., O.T., Soo-Min Lee, D.S., O.T.
2015 White paper presented at ISNR 2015

Effects of the Interactive Metronome® on Memory Process and Balance with Aging Adults 60+ population

Nine adults, ages 60 – 80, completed 12 sessions of Interactive Metronome training over two months with a six week break period followed by the remaining six sessions for a total of 18 sessions. Session length was 30 – 45 minutes, never exceeding 275 repetitions per task. All participants were seated during training for safety precautions.

Gains on all outcome measures were achieved. The most notable gain (88 % improvement*) was accomplished on the Four Step Square Test, which implicates improvement in balance, speed, and confidence with independent ambulation. This has significant meaning for adults who are at risk of falling and is a substantial outcome considering all participants were seated and only performed upper extremity tasks during training.

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Leonard G. Trujillo
2015 Journal of Neurology and Neuroscience

The Validation of the Interactive Metronome: A Pilot Study Prior to Implementation for Post Deployment Service Members

The purpose of this study was to validate the protocols created for the Interactive Metronome TM (IM) used in conjunction with the TRX® System for returning post deployment service members diagnosed with mild traumatic brain and/or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This was done using a pilot population similar in age and physical status as active duty military, but within a college setting. The pre-established protocols were pilot tested on two male and two female participants. Changes were observed and recorded using a variety of instruments. The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, Test of Everyday Attention, IM Long Form assessment, and the Nine-Hole Peg Test were administered during pre- and post-test evaluations. The results collected demonstrated positive results. These results are highly notable especially given the premorbid normal status of the participants who then made measurable positive changes.

Participants reported that they found the IM reassuring; especially at the end of the academic day. Anecdotally, the participants reported that it was a “happy place to go to” during their final exams and relieved some of the sense of stress.

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Leonard G. Trujillo
& Jane Painter-Patton
2015 Journal of Research in Childhood Education

Effects of Improvements in Interval Timing on the Mathematics Achievement of Elementary School Students

A total of 86 students ranging in age from 7-10 years of age from 1st through 5th grade classrooms at an inner-city charter school participated in a randomized, controlled study to examine the effect of IM training on mathematics achievement. Students in the experimental group participated in 18 daily sessions of IM training (50 minutes each) over a period of 4 weeks. Students in the control group participated in recess. All study participants participated in pre & post testing with The Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement to evaluate mathematics achievement.

As shown in several other IM studies, there was again an observed cross domain effect from sensorimotor synchronization training with IM (i.e., previous studies have shown IM training for timing/rhythmicity generalizes to significant gains in cognitive, motor and academic skills). Students that received 18 daily sessions of IM training demonstrated significantly higher scores for mathematics achievement when compared to students who participated in recess.

The authors provide an in-depth analysis for these findings, including “an integration of psychometric theory and contemporary information processing theory to provide a context from which to develop preliminary hypotheses to explain how a nonacademic intervention designed to improve timing/rhythmicity can demonstrate a statistically significant effect on students’ mathematics achievement scores.”

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Gordon E. Taub,
Kevin S. McGrew &
Timothy Z. Keith
2015 Journal of Hand Therapy

A Retrospective Outcomes Study Examining the Effect of Interactive Metronome on Hand Function 

This retrospective study examined the efficacy of IM training on improving timing skills, hand function, and parental report of self-regulatory behaviors. Forty eight children with mixed motor and cognitive diagnoses completed an average of 14 one-hour training sessions over an average of 8.5 weeks in an outpatient setting. Each child was assessed before and after training with the Interactive Metronome Long Form Assessment, the Jebsen Taylor Test of Hand Function, and a parent questionnaire. All three measures improved with statistical significance despite participants having no direct skill training. These results suggest an intimate relationship between cognition and motor skills that has potential therapeutic value.

According to the study’s authors,

“Philosophically, the use of intervention tools from a variety of domains makes sense using dynamic systems theory. Interactive Metronome is unique in that it gives immediate unbiased, nonjudgmental visual and auditory feedback on a participant’s motor performance over thousands of repetitions. Most participants find it challenging, like a game, as opposed to critical, like feedback from a parent or therapist. As therapists we believe that the child’s internal motivation, parental support, environment, and the therapist’s unique skills in creating a positive rehabilitation experience are all key ingredients to the success of this program.

Scientifically, these results are consistent with two particular studies recently published in neurorehabilitation journals. Yozbatiran et al. published a single case study describing the effects of robotic training on arm function after spinal cord injury. Interestingly improvements were only found in the non-dominant arm and hand.28 Similarly Boggio et al. studied the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on hand function. They reported significant results were only found in the nondominant hand. They hypothesized that there could be greater neuroplasticity related to the underuse of the non-dominant hand.25This study offers a consistent profile of results across each item of the JTTHF with the non-dominant hand. The opportunities for research following this lead are wide open.”

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Tracy M. Shank
& Wendy Harron

2014 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2014 Doctoral Thesis

Effect of timing training in golf and soccer players: skill, movement organisation, and brain activity

This paper is an in-depth analysis of the effect of IM training for sensorimotor synchronization on peak athletic performance based upon 3 studies conducted at Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. The following studies are discussed:

  • Sommer, M. & Rönnqvist, L. (2009). Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 8, 648-656.This study investigated the impact of IM training on golf shot accuracy and variability.
  • Sommer, M., Häger, C. & Rönnqvist, L. (2014). Sports Biomechanics, 13, 1-16.This study further investigated the impact of sensorimotor synchronization training (via IM training) on the kinematic properties of the golf swing, specifically spatiotemporal movement organization and dynamics.
  • Sommer, M., Häger, C., Olsson, C. J., & Rönnqvist, L. (2014). Manuscript in progress.This study investigated the effect of IM training on cross-pass soccer kick accuracy in elite and sub-elite female soccer players. Underlying brain activity was studied via fMRI.

In summary, these randomized, controlled studies revealed that sensorimotor synchronization training with IM significantly improved several aspects of athlete performance, including:

  1. Improved motor timing ability
  2. Improve golf shot and soccer kick accuracy
  3. Decreased variability in performance outcome [more consistent]
  4. Decreased activation within bilateral cerebellum, fusiform gyrus and superior temporal gyrus on fMRI, demonstrating a more efficient pattern of neural recruitment after IM training [automaticity]

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Marius Sommer
2014 White paper

The Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Interactive Metronome® Training in Older Adults, as a potential modality for Enhancing Skills Necessary for Driving

Twelve participants ranging in age from 55-68 demonstrated statistically significant improvement in finger dexterity after completing 8 sessions of IM training. Dexterity was measured with one of the most common and accepted assessments available, the Nine Hole Peg Test, and provide an accurate baseline. Finger dexterity is an important skill for many daily activities, like driving, grooming and feeding.

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Leonard G. Trujillo,
Lindsay Alspaugh,
Sandy Gant &
Amanda Garner
2014 White paper presented at national AOTA conference 2014

Efficacy of the Interactive Metronome® for Improving Attention in Veterans Returning to School Settings: A Pilot Study

This study showed the effectiveness of the Interactive Metronome® specific to improving attention in veterans. Findings concluded that all participants rated their satisfaction with attention in school or work higher than before they started the IM. All participants were able to  process more information in their post-test d2 Test of Attention and improved in the Concentration Performance measure.

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Karla Baker &Leonard Trujillo
2014 Sports Biomechanics

Synchronized metronome training induces changes in kinematic properties of the golf swing

This study is a follow-up to that published by the same team in 2009. The purpose of this research was to explore more deeply the effect of Interactive Metronome® on golf-swing performance. The authors concluded that Interactive Metronome® influences temporal synchronicity & domain-general abilities that underlie brain-based motor control strategies for the coordinated movement pattern of golf-swing performance.

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Marius Sommer,
Charlotte Hager &
Louise Rönnqvist

2013 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2013 Neuropsychology Effects of Interactive Metronome® Therapy on Cognitive Functioning After Blast-Related Brain Injury: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial

Preliminary findings of a randomized, controlled study concerning the efficacy of IM for remediation of cognitive deficits in active duty soldiers following blast-related mild-to-moderate TBI. Compared outcomes of standard rehabilitation care alone (OT, PT, SLP) to the same standard rehabilitation care + 15 IM treatment sessions. The group that received IM in addition to standard care outperformed the group who received standard rehabilitation care alone on several neuropsychological measures with medium to large effect sizes. Future publications based upon this study will reveal the results of 6 month follow-up testing (still in process) and analysis of electrocortical (EEG) data.

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Lonnie A. Nelson,
Margaret MacDonald,
Christina Stall &
Renee Pazdan
2013 Journal of Chiropractic Medicine

Chiropractic management using a brain-based model of care for a 15-year-old adolescent boy with migraine headaches and behavioral and learning difficulties: a case report

This case study highlights the treatment of a 15-year-old boy who had over 10 years of migraine headaches and learning difficulties, including ADHD, Tourrette syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder. Before the program, the subject scored below his grade average in all achievement test. After training, his achievement test scores showed improvement of 90% in vocabulary, 110% in math and an incredible 134% in concepts and application. Additionally, after the course of the program, he reported his headaches had diminished, his vision was improved, his asthma had eased and he didn’t feel sick all of the time. Further study is required to fully prove the efficacy of treatment plan, as it was only one patient; however, results are very promising for the application of brain-based training methods in chiropractic management.

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Kurt W. Kuhn &
Jerrilyn Cambron
2013 White paper presented at national AOTA conference 2013

A Collective Review of Completed Research Projects Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Interactive Metronome® as an Occupational Therapy Intervention

The purpose of this project was to compile the different pilot studies that have been conducted of the last 5 years in regard to using the Interactive Metronome® and identify the strengths and weakness of the outcomes and feasibility of using the Interactive Metronome® as a viable treatment modality in the clinic.

  • Study 1 looked at normal individuals over the age of 55 and compared pre and post test IM scores and those of the NHPT. Notable improvements ave. 24% and above were achieved.
  • Study 2 compared those clients following standard of care Active ROM exercise program compared to those who received the IM for 8 sessions. The percentage of change was 24%for the IM participants as compared to 10% following the in home ROM
  • Study 3 looked at 2 CVA cases – Both making notable changes with 30 days longevity retest and 2nd series of IM provided demonstrated performance improvement
  • Study 4 showed compared 22 individuals both Post CVA and Healthy Individual groups. There were no significant differences in percentage of improvement between groups, which indicates IM may be just as effective with individuals who are post-CVA as in healthy aging individuals

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Leonard G. Trujillo

2012 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2012 Communication Disorders Quarterly

Reading Intervention Using Interactive Metronome® in Children with Language and Reading Impairment: A Preliminary Investigation

This study shows that after only 4 hours of IM training, larger gains were made in most areas of reading achievement over the control group. In a 4 week time period, the IM group did 15 minutes of training before a traditional reading intervention while the control group just did the traditional reading intervention. The improvements over the control group are listed below.

  • Reading Naturally +5.48
  • DIBELS-6 +5.77
  • GORT4-rate +0.96
  • GORT4-fluency +0.32
  • GORT4-comprehension +0.77

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Michaela Ritter,
Karen A. Colson &
Jungjun Park
2012 Research in Developmental Disabilities

Timing abilities among children with developmental coordination disorders (DCD) in comparison to children with typical development

The aim of the study was to compare timing abilities and temporal aspects of handwriting performance and relationships between these two components among children with Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD) and a control group. Forty two children, 21 diagnosed as DCD and 21 with typical development, aged 7–12, were matched for age, gender and school performed 14 tasks of the interactive metronome (IM) and three functional handwriting tasks on an electronic tablet that was part of a computerized system (ComPET – computerized penmanship evaluation tool). The IM supplies response time, while on- paper and in-air time per written stroke is received from the ComPET. Results indicated significant differences between the groups for both IM and handwriting tasks (ComPET). Linear regression indicated that the mean IM response time explained 37% of variance of the in-air time per stroke during a paragraph-copying task. Furthermore, based on one discriminate function including two measures reflected timing ability, 81% of all participants were correctly classified into groups. Study results strongly recommend consideration of the IM as an evaluation and intervention tool for children with DCD who are faced with timing deficits in their everyday functioning.

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Sara Rosenblum &
Noga Regeve
2012 Journal of Korean Society of Occupational Therapy

The Effects of Interactive Metronome® on Bilateral Coordination, Balance, and Upper Extremity Function for Children with Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy: Single-Subject Research

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an Interactive Metronome (IM) on the bilateral coordination, balance, and upper extremity function for children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Methods : For this study, single-subject experimental research was conducted using an ABA design. We observed the child for around 40 minutes twice a week for 10 weeks, with a total of 20 sessions. We evaluated the child’s bilateral coordination without intervention in the baseline phase (A) for four sessions. In the intervention phase (twelve sessions), the child received 40 minutes of Interactive Metronome training twice a week. The bilateral coordination of the child was measured after each training. During the second baseline phase, data were collected using the same procedure as the first baseline phase. The child’s balance was assessed before and after treatment. In addition, the child’s hand function was assessed pre-, interim-, and post-treatment. After IM training, the participant showed an increase in bilateral coordination and balance, and demonstrated significant improvement. Additionally, the participant showed an increase in hand function, although not at a significant level. The results of this study suggest that IM training has a positive effect on bilateral coordination and balance. In addition, IM trainin

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Ji-Hye Jung &
Su-Kyoung Kim
2012 White paper

The Effects of Interactive Metronome® Training on Female Soccer Players’ Timing Ability

Twenty four female soccer players (ages 19-28) participated in this study to determine which portions of the brain involved in training were affected by tempo and rhythm. Through use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and motor timing deviation & variability tests, researchers found that four weeks of IM training led to significant improvement in motor timing and timing ability, even for superior athletes.

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Ronja Frimalm
2012 White Paper

Evaluation of the Hardy Brain Camp

This was an evaluation of the Hardy Brain Camp, designed for the Boys and Girls Club of America. The theoretical underpinnings of Hardy Brain Training are that learning improves when processing speed, perceptual-motor, sensory, and cognitive skills improve.
The Hardy Training is a two part training system: 1) a movement to a beat-millisecond timing training (MTT) and 2) a movement to a beat plus a cognitive component-ball bounce activity (Ball Training). Interactive Metronome® is the central component of Hardy Brain Training.
62 elementary students between 2nd and 5th grade were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Control, Interactive Metronome®, or Interactive Metronome® plus Ball Training. Before and after a 20 session training period, all participants were given standardized measures of processing speed, reading fluency, and math fluency.
The group that received Interactive Metronome plus Ball Training outperformed both of the other groups on measures of processing speed and reading & math fluency.

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Hannah Grossman &
Mary E. Brenner
2012 Developmental Neurorehabilitation

Short- and long-term effects of synchronized metronome training in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy: A two case study

The objective of this study was to explore potential effects of synchronized metronome training (SMT) on movement kinematics in two children diagnosed with spastic hemiplegic CP (HCP). After four weeks of training, significant changes in kinematic outcomes were found for both cases. Findings included smoother and shorter movement trajectories in the bimanual condition, especially for the affected side. In the unimanual condition, Case I also showed increased smoothness of the non-affected side. Although the effects of IM training on kinematics varied among the two children, some improvements in spatio-temporal organization were observed. Future studies, including larger samples of children with different severity level of HCP and also other types of CP are needed to evaluate the generalizability and stability of the present findings.

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Anna-Maria Johansson,
Erik Domellof &
Louise Ronnqvist

2011 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2011 White Paper

Academic and Behavioral Improvements in 2nd-8th Grade Students in the hardy Brain Camp Program: Report on the Hardy Brain Camp Pilot Study of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme and the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County

The academic and behavioral performance of 54 students (grades 2-8) was measured before and after participation in the Hardy Brain Camp program, the centerpiece of which is Interactive Metronome training.

Students were identified for participation in the Hardy Brain Camp because they demonstrated difficulties with learning, attention, organization, behavior, poor grades, listening, following directions, completing schoolwork, reading and/or math weaknesses that significantly interfered with academic performance.

The theoretical underpinnings of Hardy Brain Training are that learning improves when processing speed, perceptual-motor, sensory, and cognitive skills improve. The Hardy Brain Training is a two-part training system: 1) a movement to a beat- millisecond timing training (MTT) via Interactive Metronome and 2) a movement to a beat plus a cognitive component- ball bounce activity plus Interactive Metronome (Ball Training).

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Jamshid Damooei
2011 American Journal of Occupational Therapy

Computer-Based Rhythm and Timing Training in Severe, Stroke-Induced Arm Hemiparesis

This study of two stroke patients with hemiparesis shows remarkable functional gains made using IM years after the patients suffered their strokes.

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Sarah C. Beckelhimer,
Ann E. Dalton,
Charissa A. Richter,
Valerie Hermann &
Stephen J. Page
2011 International Journal on Disability and Human Development

Effects of motor sequence training on attentional performance in ADHD children

This study addresses the lack of motor coordination in ADHD children and suggests that going through IM training would have a significant effect on improving focus in ADHD children.

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Gerry Leisman &
Robert Melillo

2009 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2009 Journal of Sports Science and Medicine

Improved motor-timing: effects of synchronized metronome training on golf shot accuracy

This European study is an independent recreation of earlier IM research studying golfers. This new study showed the same results: working with IM’s timing exercises improves golfers’ control of their swing and improves shot accuracy.

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Marius Sommer &
Louise Rönnqvist

2008 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2008 Contemporary Issues In Communication Science and Disorders

A Preliminary Study of the Effects of Interactive Metronome® Training on the Language Skills of an Adolescent Female With a Language Learning Disorder

This published study demonstrated the effect of IM training on expressive and receptive language skills in an adolescent female with a language learning disorder (LLD). The authors suggest that IM training may be a useful tool in the treatment of communication disorders for a wide range of clinical conditions.
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Jessica J. Sabado &
Donald R. Fuller

2007 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2007 Psychology in the Schools

Improvements in interval time tracking and effects on reading achievement

A study published in the journal Psychology in Schools showed that children completing a training program with Interactive Metronome achieved accelerated reading outcomes. A gain of 7 – 20% in reading achievement was shown in the 49 children whose reading and pre-reading skills were pre and post-tested.
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Gordon E. Taub,
Kevin McGrew &
Timothy Z. Keith

2006 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2006

White Paper

The Effect of Interactive Metronome® Training on Children’s SCAN-C Scores

This pilot study by Joel Etra, PhD, SLP measured the effects of IM on children diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder. It showed that IM statistically significantly improved 4 areas of auditory processing in all the children tested. The largest increases occurred in dichotic listening, a measure of selective attention.
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Joel L. Etra

2005 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2005 Physiotherapy Theory and Practice

Interactive Metronome® training for a 9-year-old boy with attention and motor coordination difficulties

This case study shows IM’s training results for a 9-year-old boy with attention and motor coordination difficulties being treated by physical therapists.
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Melinda L. Bartscherer
& Robin L. Dole

2004 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2004 White paper presented at national PM&R conference 2004

The role of functional MRI in defining auditory-motor processing networks

A summary of a study using fMRI in defining the organs of the brain activated in repetitive auditory-motor training and the potential of IM to make improvements in those areas.
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Dr. Neal Alpiner

2003 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2003 White paper

Pathways Center Final Statistical Analysis

A study of 13 patients measured across a broad spectrum of function shows that gains made with IM are still present 6 months after therapy was completed.

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Lee E. Jacokes
2003 White paper

Processing speed and motor planning: the scientific background to the skills trained by Interactive Metronome® technology

A white paper by psychologist Dr. Susan Diamond explaining the scientific background to the benefits seen by using IM.
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Susan J. Diamond
2003 White paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of Elementary School Principals

Learning Problems and the Left Behind

This study of 40 4th and 5th grade “at risk” children showed dramatic gains in reading and math fluency in only 4 weeks. 40 similar students in the control group showed no improvement at all.
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Dr. Cindy Cason
2003 White paper

Interactive Metronome- Underlying neurocognitive correlates of effectiveness

A white paper by psychologist Dr Patrick Gorman explaining the underlying neuro-cognitive mechanisms of IM training.
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Dr. Patrick Gorman

2002 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2002 The Journal of General Psychology

Training in timing improves accuracy in golf

This published study demonstrates a connection between IM’s timing exercises and improvements in complex movements as seen in dramatic improvements in golf shot accuracy.
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Terry M. Libkuman &
Hajime Otani
2002 High/Scope Press

Timing in child development

A study of 585 children found significant correlations between the students’ mental timing as measured by IM and their academic performance in reading, math, language, science, social studies and personal study skills. This study shows that brain timing plays a foundational role in a child’s academic performance.

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Kristyn Kuhlman &
Lawrence Schweinhart

2001 Publications

Year

Publication

Title

Author

2001 American Journal of Occupational Therapy

Theoretical and Clinical Perspectives on the Interactive Metronome®: A View From Occupational Therapy Practice

This published white paper includes the perspective of six Occupational Therapists describing IM’s usefulness in addressing school, home and social relationship problems in children.

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Jane Koomar,
Jeannetta D. Burpee,
Valerie DeJean,
Sheila Frick,
Mary J. Kawar &
Deborah Murphy Fischer
2001 American Journal of Occupational Therapy

Effect of Interactive Metronome® Training on Children with ADHD

A study of 56 pre-teen boys diagnosed with ADHD found that those using IM showed statistically significant improvement in attention and concentration, motor coordination, language processing, reading and math fluency and the ability to control impulsivity.
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Robert J. Shaffer,
Lee E. Jacokes,
James F. Cassily,
Stanley I. Greenspan,
Robert F. Tuchman &
Paul J. Stemmer, Jr.

Mental Timing Research

The Importance of Timing in the Brain – Dr. Kevin McGrew

For more than 30 years, neuroscientists have explored the role of timing in the brain for such things as speech perception (auditory processing), speech production (intelligible articulation), language, reading, attention, memory, cognitive processing speed, decision-making, behavior (impulse-control), and motor coordination. Over the past 10-15 years, they’ve turned their focus toward studying how deficient neural communication (impaired timing in the brain) contributes to various clinical disorders like Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Parkinson’s. “Timing in the brain” remains a very active area of research with new studies being published regularly.

Peer-reviewed research supports the view that impaired timing in the brain contributes significantly to impairments in the above named skill areas. Research also supports the opinion that timing in the brain can be trained and improved through appropriate, targeted intervention. Each study referenced below contains commentary to help elucidate the connection between timing in the brain, its central role in various human abilities and disorders, and how the Interactive Metronome® may be of benefit. The studies referenced here were not conducted using the Interactive Metronome®.

ADD/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 recent study by the Kennedy Krieger Institute (2011) showed that areas of the brain that control thinking
    and motor skills are different (smaller) in children with ADHD compared to other children. The specific
    regions of the brain that were mentioned are known to be involved in mental timing. Mental timing (AKA
    timing in the brain) is vital for many of our thinking skills and for good motor coordination. Studies have
    shown that timing in the brain is disrupted in children and adults with ADHD, leading to problems with
    focus, other cognitive abilities, and motor skills. Interactive Metronome®, a patented non-medical treatment
    for ADHD, is the ONLY program that simultaneously works on thinking AND motor skills by
    specifically addressing and improving the areas of the brain responsible for mental timing.

Kennedy Krieger Institute (2011, June 10). Brain imaging study of preschoolers with ADHD detects brain
differences linked to symptoms.

  • Children with ADHD often have social problems that can make living with ADHD so much MORE difficult!! A
    study by Koflet et al (2011) examined what might be behind this problem so that professionals are able to
    address this issue more effectively and improve the quality of life for these children and their families.
    What they found is that each of us must be able to hold information in our memory about what is going on in
    a social situation at any given time, and that this information must be updated constantly so that we are
    not “out of sync” with everyone else. To do this, the person must be able to focus without getting
    distracted. So, at the heart of the problem are two skills: working memory & focus. Research shows that
    the Interactive Metronome® (IM) specifically addresses both of these important skills, and children and their
    families frequently report improved social interactions following IM training.

Koflet, M.J., Rapport, M.D., Bolden, J., Sarver, D.E., Raiker, J.S., and Alderson, R.M. (2011). Working
memory deficits and social problems in children with ADHD. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39,
805-817.

  • Here is an interesting study by Gilden and Marusich (2009) published in Neuropsychology that looked at the
    ability of adults with ADHD to maintain a rhythm with either a faster tempo (less
    demand on focus, self-control, and working memory) or a slower tempo (more
    demand on focus, self-control, and working memory). Persons with ADHD had MUCH more difficulty
    when the tempo was slower, requiring them to estimate a longer time interval between beats, maintain the
    time interval in their memory, and restrain themselves from hitting too soon. This study, like many others,
    points to the direct relationship between timing in the brain and its command center “working memory.”
    Researchers theorize that Interactive Metronome® is affecting this critical “control center” for timing in
    the brain and thereby improving many of the time-related symptoms of ADHD.

Gilden, D.L. and Marusich, L.R. (2009). Contraction of Time in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Neuropsychology, 23(2), 265-269.

  • Have you ever heard that ADHD is genetic? Ever notice that children with ADHD seem out of sync? Here is a
    research study by Nanda et al (2007) that supports this view and does so by showing that not only is timing
    in the brain disrupted in children with ADHD, but that it IS ALSO slightly disrupted in their siblings who
    do not have ADHD (when compared to children from families with no diagnosis of ADHD). From this and other
    studies, evidence shows that the more the brain’s timing skills are off, the more symptoms like impulsivity,
    hyperactivity, inattention, lack of organization, poor time-management, or difficulty with reading and other
    academic work are evident. The Interactive Metronome® is a relatively easy, non-medical treatment program for
    ADHD that improves the brain’s critical timing skills and is tailored to each child’s specific needs.

Nanda, N.J., Rommelse, M.S., Oosterlaan, J., Buitelaar, J., Faraone, S.V., and Sergeant, J.A. (2007). Time
reproduction in children with ADHD and their nonaffected siblings. Journal of the American Academy of Child
and Adolescent Psychiatry, 46, 5

  • 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.

  • 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? 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
compared to other programs like phonics instruction.

Breier, J.I., Fletcher, J.M., Foorman, B.R., Klaas, P., and Gray, L.C. (2003). Auditory Temporal Processing
in Children with Specific Reading Disability With and Without Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
University of Texas, Houston. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 46, 31-42.

  • Humans perceive time. We use this ability to predict what is coming, to think about how we will react, and
    then to respond in a timely fashion. It is well-documented that children with ADHD have an impaired sense of
    time. Areas of the brain that control our perception of time are affected in children with ADHD (i.e.,
    working memory). In an article published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, researchers
    found that children with ADHD who also have a Reading Disorder have even more
    difficulty with timing skills. Research has shown that Interactive Metronome®, a training
    program that addresses the underlying problem with timing in the brain, improves symptoms of ADHD and
    reading.

Toplak, M.E., Rucklidge, J.J., Hetherington, R., John, S.C.F., and Tannock, R. (2003). Time perception deficits
in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and comorbid reading difficulties in child and adolescent
samples. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 44(6), 888-903.

  • Dr. Stanley Greenspan, a noted expert in autism and child development/disorders, and his team of researchers
    conducted a study to see whether Interactive Metronome® (IM) was a beneficial treatment for children with
    ADHD. They compared boys who received IM to boys who received either no treatment at all or boys who only
    played video games to try to improve their ability to focus. They found that those children with ADHD who
    received IM did far better than those that did not, with significant improvement in the
    areas of attention, motor skills, language processing, reading, and self-control (i.e., less aggressive
    behavior).

Shaffer R.J., Jacokes L.E., Cassily J.F., Greenspan S.I., Tuchman R.F., Stemmer P.J. Jr. (2001).
Effect of Interactive Metronome® on children with ADHD.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55, 155–162.

Attention

  • Because we are made with a “limited” capacity for holding information in temporary memory storage (working
    memory), we are also made to compensate for this by our ability to direct these valuable resources where feel
    there is the most need, CAREFULLY SELECTING what to and not to pay attention to when we are engaged in any kind
    of activity. Otherwise we’d have TOO much information, more than we can hold in this temporary memory bank. This
    is called “selective attention.” We must constantly, actively DECIDE what to pay attention to. How well we pay
    attention determines how well the information will be processed and recalled later when needed (think of
    studying for a test then taking the test at a later date). In this article, Chun et al (2011) show just how
    COMPLEX attention is and how intricately it is related to working memory. When these two systems work in
    harmony, a person can more easily select information to pay attention to, process it timely, and tune out
    distracting thoughts and things going on in the environment that are not important at the moment (i.e., when
    studying for a test). Interactive Metronome® (IM) training addresses the ROOT CAUSE of problems with attention by
    facilitating synchronicity between centers of the brain responsible for selecting, processing, and recalling
    information. Timing is everything!

Chun, M.M., Golomb, J.D., and Turk-Browne, N.B. (2011). A taxonomy of external and internal attention. Annual Review
of Psychology, 62, 73-101.

  • From birth, parents often recognize that their children differ from one another in terms of their overall
    disposition. In this study, Posner and Rothbart (2007) explain how development of certain neural networks in the
    brain control a child’s ability to regulate emotions, control impulsive tendencies, and focus attention. The
    neural structures described in this paper are all part of the brain’s internal timing network (i.e., anterior
    cingulate, basal ganglia, etc).

Posner, M.I. and Rothbart, M.K. (2007). Research on attention networks as a model for the integration of
psychological science. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 1-23.

  • Taub et al (2007) have theorized that Interactive Metronome®, a patented program that improves timing in the
    brain, primarily addresses thinking speed and working memory, thereby improving our ability to focus and learn.
    In the study, they demonstrated that Interactive Metronome® (IM) training has a significant positive effect on
    reading achievement (affecting 4 of 5 critical pre-reading skills) in elementary school students. They proposed
    that IM training was primarily improving “processing [thinking] speed,” which in turn improved the students’
    ability to allocate resources for attending and holding information in working memory … all essential for fluent
    reading. Taub et al propose that the wide array of positive treatment results seen following Interactive
    Metronome (IM) training can be attributed to its impact timing in the brain and these two critically important
    skills, working memory & controlled attention.

Taub. G., McGrew, K.S., and Keith, T.Z. (2007). Improvement in interval timing tracking and effects on reading
achievement. Psychology in the Schools, 44(8), 849-863.

  • To be successful in any environment, especially in school, a child must be able to remember the task
    instructions, stay focused and not get off track due to interference from outside distractions (noise, movement,
    laughter) or inside distractions (the child’s own thoughts or off-target behaviors). Researchers are
    consistently finding that the amount of information a child can hold in his/her “temporary memory storage bank”
    (called working memory) makes the difference between being able to stay on task or not. Apparently we are all
    born with a certain capacity for working memory, some with more, some with less, and in some cases individuals
    may not be able to efficiently and effectively USE the capacity they are born with. According to experts, the
    amount of information a child can hold in working memory also depends on how quickly they can process
    information (thinking speed). If a child is slower to process information, (s)he is not able to hold as much in
    working memory and is thus less able to direct attention to task and learn. Hall & Blasko (2005) again
    demonstrate how important working memory is to higher cognitive skills like problem-solving, reasoning, and more
    complex attending (i.e., switching attention from one thing to another, focusing in distracting environments, or
    focusing on more than one thing at a time). Interactive Metronome® (IM) improves timing in the brain, irons out
    the kinks in processing, increases thinking speed, and promotes efficient, effective use of working memory
    resources so that each individual can realize his/her innate potential.

Hall, M.D. and Blasko, D.G. (2005). Attentional interference in judgments of musical timbre: Individual differences
in working memory. The Journal of General Psychology, 132(1), 94-112.

  • A neural imaging study (Alpiner, 2004) found that individuals who received Interactive Metronome® training
    demonstrated more efficient communication between these critical timing centers of the brain (i.e., the brain’s
    circuitry worked in a more effective, efficient manner which allows for better focus and self-control). The
    brain requires efficient communication to function properly.

Alpiner, Neal. (2004). The role of functional MRI in defining auditory-motor processing networks. White paper
presented at 65th Annual American Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Conference, Phoenix, AZ.

  • This study (Kane et al, 2004) is part of a growing body of research showing that if you work on improving
    working memory (the ability to hold information actively in your memory while thinking about it) and the ability
    to tune out distractions, you can improve MANY areas of performance in school like reading, math, organizational
    skills, following directions, understanding the teacher, and socializing with peers. It appears that these 2
    skills (working memory & controlled attention) are critical first steps to learning, academic, and social
    success. They are the foundation for all of our skills in the areas of speech, language, thinking, and behavior.
    They are also dependent upon a network on brain structures that perceive and keep time to the millisecond level.
    If timing is disrupted, as it is in ADHD, Dyslexia, and other developmental and acquired disorders, then
    language-learning disabilities often follow.

Kane, M.J., Hambrick, D.Z., Tuholski, S.W., Wilhelm, O., Payne, T.W., and Engle, R.W. (2004). The generality of
working memory capacity: A latent-variable approach to verbal and visuospatial memory span and reasoning. Journal of
Experimental Psychology: General, 133(2), 189-217.

  • Timing in the brain is critical for communicating effectively or participating in-group activities (i.e.,
    sports, music, play). Some individuals wait until just the right moment to act, while others have a tendency to
    “jump the gun.” This may manifest in a penalty for a false start if playing football or social difficulty if a
    person constantly interrupts others when they are speaking. Miyake et al (2004) describe the neurological
    underpinnings of the tendency to make “anticipatory” timing errors like these in a paper published in Acta
    Neurobiologiae Experimentalis. Once we’ve learned a task or situation, we tend to respond as if on automatic
    pilot (without consciously thinking about it). But sometimes, something changes ever so slightly in the
    situation, and we must adapt and recalibrate our response. How well we do this depends upon our brain’s ability
    to perceive time…even in small increments like milliseconds. During the initial phases of Interactive Metronome®
    (IM) training individuals with these timing-related problems often clap or move too fast (milliseconds ahead of
    the beat instead of on it), but soon become more in sync with the beat and with their peers.

Miyake, Y., Onishi, Y., and Pöppel, E. (2004). Two types of anticipation in synchronization tapping. Acta
Neurobiologiae Experimentalis, 64, 415-426.

  • Again, researchers (Unsworth et al, 2004) demonstrate that the more bits of information a person can hold in
    their active temporary memory storage (called working memory), the better they can attend to details. Think of
    working memory as a bucket that can only hold so much. Some individuals are born with a smaller bucket and
    others have a larger bucket. The bigger the bucket, the more water, or sand, or seashells can be collected (the
    better the focus and attention). Think of the items collected as “details” (i.e., for following directions, for
    learning in school, etc) Now, picture either size bucket with holes in it, through which the water, sand, or
    some of the smaller seashells leak out. It doesn’t matter what size bucket the person has if there are holes!!
    (S)he will continuously lose or forget the “details” and therefore have difficulty recalling and following
    directions, etc. To effectively treat a problem with attention, such as in ADHD, the treatment regimen MUST work
    on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the working memory bucket (i.e., plugging the hole).
    Interactive Metronome® (IM) training works by plugging the holes so that information that is “collected” stays in
    the memory bucket,…THEN the individual can devote more of his/her resources to looking for even more “details”
    to collect (rather than worrying about what was lost)! This frees up the person to focus and learn.

Unsworth, N., Schrock, J.C., and Engle, R.W. (2004). Working memory capacity and the antisaccade task: Individual
differences in voluntary saccade control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition,
30(6), 1302-1321.

  • Some of us are good at mental math. Tell me a multi-digit math equation, and I can solve it without writing it
    down and looking at it. Others must have it written down because they cannot hold onto all of the numbers of the
    equation in memory. Now, add the DISTRACTION of someone counting aloud or calling out random numbers while YOU
    are trying to remember the equation in your head to solve it (without those “other” numbers interfering with
    your memory). This may just scratch the surface in helping you understand what is going on inside the head of a
    child with ADHD. Distractions are part of life…they are EVERYWHERE! Children encounter distractions regularly in
    the academic setting … from themselves, from their peers, from the environment. Researchers Kane & Engle
    (2003) have continued to study how the brain uses its resources to devote attention where it needs to be despite
    the presence of distractions that compete for the brain’s attention. They found that the better you are at
    holding information in your head in working memory without all of the “other” distractions interfering, the
    better you are able to focus and direct your attention to what is important and learn. A great body of research
    shows that our “internal clock” is responsible for this occurring, and it must be “in sync.” This clock is
    faulty in some individuals, but can be improved with the appropriate training like Interactive Metronome® (IM),
    the only training program that improves timing in the brain in an organized, systematic and engaging format.

Kane, M.J. and Engle, R.W. (2003). Working-memory capacity and the control of attention: The contribution of goal
neglect, response competition, and task set to Stroop interference. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,
132(1), 47-70.

  • In this study, researchers (Kane & Engle, 2002) show that those individuals who can resist interference from
    distractions, information that is not related or important to the task at hand, are the most successful at
    holding information in their memory and learning. They show that for learning to occur, the person must be able
    to do 3 things effectively: 1) hold bits of information actively in memory, 2) update the information in memory
    as needed, and 3) PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANTLY, direct attention ONLY to what is important!!! How many children do
    you see these days that have difficulty with #3? These 3 important learning skills are all governed by our
    brain’s “internal clock,” which researchers have shown is not operating appropriately in certain conditions,
    like ADHD, Autism, Reading Disorders, and Dyslexia. Interactive Metronome® (IM) is an engaging, rewarding, and
    systematic program that improves timing in the brain, thus improving symptoms of time-related learning
    differences.

Kane, M.J. and Engle, R.W. (2002). The role of prefrontal cortex in working-memory capacity, executive attention,
and general fluid intelligence: An individual-difference perspective. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 9(4),
637-671.

  • The ability to adapt to our surroundings is key to our survival. We must constantly take in new information and
    adjust where our focus is directed in order to stay in tune with the environment whether in a work, social, or
    academic setting. In a study published in Brain and Cognition, Meck & Benson (2002) discovered that certain
    regions of the brain responsible for mental timing (AKA timing in the brain) are also responsible for our
    ability to focus attention and switch attention from one thing to another appropriately (i.e., stopping what you
    are doing to complete another task that needs your attention). The same timing centers of the brain are also
    responsible for coordinated movement. Ever notice how so many children who have difficulty with focus &
    attention also tend to be less coordinated? Interactive Metronome® (IM) is the only treatment program that
    systematically measures and improves the brain’s ability to keep time, affecting all areas of function that
    depend upon our internal clock: speech, language, cognitive, motor, and social/behavioral skills.

Meck, W.H. and Benson, A.M. (2002). Dissecting the brain’s internal clock: How frontal – striatal circuitry keeps
time and shifts attention. Brain and Cognition, 48, 195-211.

  • Cognitive psychologists theorize that the faster we are able to process information (or think), the more
    intelligent we are, and the more readily we can learn and demonstrate what we’ve learned. There are many recent
    studies that support this view, including this one published in the journal Intelligence. Each individual is
    born with a certain amount of resources for attending to and processing information. How well a person allocates
    those resources appears to be a major factor in determining intelligence.

Ben-Shakhar, G. and Sheffer, L. (2001). The relationship between the ability to divide attention and standard
measures of general cognitive abilities. Intelligence, 29: 293-306
.

  • A person can only hold only “so much” information in working memory … here is an analogy: There are 5 babies in
    the bed. Put another one in, and one of the babies in the bed falls out. The bed can only hold “5” babies.
    Period. This study by Kane et al (2001) published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology further bolsters the
    theory that our ability to focus and pay attention is largely driven by how many bits of information (“babies”)
    we can hold in our working memory without losing them in the presence of more bits of information or
    distractions (“more babies”). Working memory is a skill that is dependent upon timing in the brain. The better
    the brain’s timing, the better working memory can hold onto the bits of information and use them for the
    situation (i.e., learning) or problem at hand.

Kane, M.J., Blecky, M.K., Conway, A.R.A., and Engle, R.W. (2001) A controlled attention view of working-memory
capacity. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 130(2), 169-183.

  • Researchers like Pashler et al (2001) put a lot of time, thought, and effort into figuring out how our brain’s
    work, like “How DO we only pay attention to what we need to and ignore all of the other [distracting] information???” Apparently we don’t do this on auto-pilot, rather we must keep in mind the goal that we are
    trying to accomplish while at the same time sorting through information that is presented to us (when listening
    or viewing information), deciding to “keep it” or “toss it.” As we have seen from other research, we must be
    able to keep up with the PACE of the information coming at us while fully utilizing our innate capacity &
    available resources for working memory (picture it coming at you on a conveyor belt…and picture you sorting it
    as fast as you can). We now KNOW that there is a breakdown in the brain’s timing system in children with ADHD,
    Autism Spectrum, Dyslexia, and other developmental disorders that interferes with the smoothness of this process
    (picture all of the information piling up on the floor in a disorganized heap next to the conveyor belt because
    the child cannot keep up with the pace and/or sort it correctly)!!

Pashler, H., Johnston, J.C., and Ruthruff, E. (2001). Attention and performance. Annual Review of Psychology, 52,
629-651.

APD

  • Individuals with language-learning disabilities show slowed or delayed timing in the brain (in particular in the
    brainstem), so that they are not processing the timed or temporal elements of speech quickly enough to decipher
    sounds accurately and comprehend what is being said (also called temporal processing). Auditory Processing
    Disorder is at the heart of language-learning disabilities and is the leading cause of problems with learning to
    read and write. But there is hope!! Research shows that auditory processing (or the brain’s ability to
    understand speech & language) can be improved (Kraus & Banai, 2007). Interactive Metronome® training
    targets the underlying problem with timing in the brain. Once mental timing is improved, the brain can process
    information in the speech stream more timely and accurately, leading to development of phonological skills that
    are so vital for auditory comprehension, reading and writing.

Kraus, N. and Banai, K. (2007). Auditory-processing malleability. Current Directions in Psychological Science,
16(2), 105-110.

  • In this study, McAuley & Miller (2007) show that we adapt to what is happening in the environment around us
    by either speeding up or slowing down so that we are in sync with everyone else or the particular activity we
    are engaged in. Have you seen how some individuals do not seem to be able to do this effectively?? They are
    revved up and hyper when they should be calm and focused. Or they are stooped over and appear as if they may
    drift off to sleep while everyone around them is actively engaged in activity. These individuals are clearly
    “out of sync.” The authors of this study discuss the importance of “temporal processing” or the brain’s ability
    to keep time to keeping in sync with people and events in our environment. Interactive Metronome® (IM) training
    teaches an individual to keep time in pace with his/her physical surroundings in an engaging organized sequence
    of exercises. Timing in the brain is a foundational skill that once learned, leads to improvement in many other
    areas that depend upon the perception of time or “temporal processing.”

McAuley, J.D. & Miller, N.S. (2007). Picking up the pace: Effects of global temporal context on sensitivity to
tempo of auditory sequences. Perception & Psychophysics, 69(5), 709-718.

  • Phillips-Silver & Trainor (2007) found that synchronized movement to rhythmic sound enhances the brain’s
    ability to perceive timed and rhythmic characteristics of sound. Moving the body to a beat rather than just
    listening alone or listening while watching a visual display provides a stronger stimulus for the brain’s
    internal timing mechanism so that the brain can better perceive the temporal (or timed) information when
    listening (i.e., when listening to someone speak or enjoying music).

Phillips-Silver, J. and Trainor, L.J. (2007). Hearing what the body feels: Auditory encoding of rhythmic movement.
Cognition, 105, 533-546.

  • Infants, before than can speak, are exposed to rhythmic sounds in the form of music and song. This research by
    Bergeson and Trehub (2006) shows that their little tiny ears and developing brains are already tuned just like
    an adult’s to hear the slightest changes in tempo, tone, and rhythm. They discuss the importance of the brain’s
    “internal clock” as it relates to how infants respond and move their bodies to music and other rhythms. IM
    providers who specialize in infant care and early intervention are reporting very good results when using the
    Interactive Metronome® in the treatment of infants and young children who have developmental delays or disorders
    with improvements in the areas of: sensory processing, pre-speech/cognitive development, and motor skills. Case
    studies can be found at www.interactivemetronome.com .

Bergeson, T.R. and Trehub, S.E. (2006). Infants’ perception of rhythmic patterns. Music Perception, 23(4),
345-360.

  • According to Tallal & Gaab (2006), children that are language and learning impaired often struggle with
    understanding both spoken and written language (i.e., following verbal directions, understanding the teacher,
    reading, taking written tests) and have difficulty with coordination and motor skills. Research shows that a
    problem with timing in the brain (referred to in this article as an auditory spectrotemporal processing deficit)
    may be at the heart of language and learning disorders by interfering with phonological awareness (or
    understanding of the sound structure of spoken words). Phonological awareness is an important and reliable
    predictor of later ability to read and is the focus of much research. When timing in the brain is disrupted,
    children have difficulty keeping up with the pace of information in order to track and process brief, rapidly
    changing acoustic information in the speech stream and for coordinating the timing of muscles for coordinated
    movement. This basic problem with timing negatively affects children socially and academically, but can be
    improved with Interactive Metronome® training to specifically target and optimize timing in the brain. Given the
    importance of timing to language development and learning, it is no wonder that so many children are
    demonstrating remarkable improvements in speech, auditory processing (comprehension), reading, writing, and
    handwriting by addressing critical timing skills with the Interactive Metronome®.

Tallal, P. and Gaab, N. (2006). Dynamic auditory processing, musical experience, and language development. Trends in
Neurosciences, 29(7), 382-390.

  • Have you ever heard the saying “timing is everything?” Our brain keeps time – in microseconds, milliseconds,
    seconds, minutes, hours. This time-keeping function is critical for all of our human abilities and thinking
    skills. According to research, persons with musical training tend to consistently demonstrate better timing and
    rhythm than those who are not musically oriented. Children who play an instrument or are otherwise musically
    trained tend to also perform better in school, are focused, and complete projects on time. Here, Eck & Scott
    (2005) discuss the critical timing skills involved in the perception and creation of music. It is not surprising
    that musicians have better timing skills, and thus are more equipped to handle academic hurdles. Do you see the
    connection? If a child is struggling with school work, to focus or stay on task, has behavioral outbursts, is
    impulsive, or has trouble staying organized or managing time … the brain’s clock may be out of sync and areas of
    the brain may not be communicating efficiently or effectively, therefore the child may also be out of sync with
    other people and events in his/her environment. Interactive Metronome® is the only treatment program that
    provides training and feedback in order to improve timing skills that are so critical to academic and social
    success.

Eck, D. and Scott, S.K. (2005). New research in rhythm perception and production. Music Perception, 22(3),
365-369.

  • Music research is full of examples illustrating the critical role timing in the brain plays to music and speech
    perception. Music and speech contain multitudes of information that are precisely timed. According to Zanto et
    al (2005) and other researchers these timed elements must be parsed and yet also integrated together as a whole
    for a person to appreciate music or understand speech. It is AMAZING how complex the brain is and what is
    capable of. We now know that timing in the brain also determines how well a person will be able to focus or pay
    attention, to remember and learn, to read and write. It is just in the past 15 years that technology was finally
    developed to both “evaluate” a person’s timing skills and “improve” them. This patented technology, the
    Interactive Metronome®, has helped many children and adults overcome barriers to achievement in school, work, or
    in the social arena.

Zanto, T.P., Large, E.W., Fuchs, A., and Scott, J.A. (2005). Gamma-band responses to perturbed auditory sequences:
Evidence for synchronization of perceptual processes. Music Perception, 22(3), 531-547.

  • Timing and rhythm are present in nature everywhere. In normal development, our brains are tuned to be in sync
    with nature’s clock so that we can accurately perceive information and events in our environment. Timing in the
    brain is critical for speech, language, cognition (thinking, focus), behavior, visual and motor skills (Mauk
    & Buonomano, 2004). When something goes awry with communication between areas of the brain involved in this
    internal clock then academic, social, and/or language-learning problems become evident. Imagine a brain with
    older “dial-up” Internet connections (poor, slower timing) versus newer, faster high-speed cable (faster, more
    efficient timing). Imagine doing therapy that involves only sitting and listening or viewing information and how
    much LESS effective this is than incorporating timing, rhythm, and movement to an auditory beat in order to
    engage the brain’s internal clock. There is a NEED to engage and stimulate the brain in a way that taps into the
    foundation of all skills. Let’s get moving! Therapists who incorporate synchronized movement to rhythmic sound
    into treatment sessions using the Interactive Metronome®, overwhelmingly report better treatment outcomes in a
    variety areas.

Mauk, M.D. and Buonomano, D.V. (2004). The neural basis of temporal processing. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27,
307-340.

  • “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.

  • Timing skills play a pivotal role in the development of speech production and perception, or the ability to
    speak and understand the speech and/or intent of others (Kello, 2003). Not only must a child rapidly decipher
    the timing characteristics of each individual sound, syllable, word, and phrase in the speech stream, but for
    successful communication to occur there must be precisely timed coordination between centers of the brain for
    language and cognitive processing or thinking skills and the muscles and structures of the mouth and throat (or
    voice box). On top of that, a child must process and understand other information associated with what is said,
    such as demeanor of the person (Is he happy? Angry? Sad? ) or humor (Was he serious? Or was he joking?) Many
    children on the Autism Spectrum either don’t understand what you said, or don’t understand the unspoken social
    aspects of speech. All of this depends upon timing in the brain!!! That’s a bit like patting your head and
    rubbing your tummy at the same time! However, in normal development the brain’s “internal clock” functions very
    precisely so that children learn to speak intelligibly and understand you when you speak to them, including your
    mood and intent. Interactive Metronome® (IM) training impacts the very critical timing centers of the brain
    necessary for effective communication & social skills.

Kello, C.T. (2003). Patterns of timing in the acquisition, perception, and production of speech. Journal of
Phonetics, 31, 619-626.

  • To understand speech, we must take chunks of information that arrive at the ears at different times and link
    them together so that all of the distinct sounds, syllables, and silent pauses become words & phrases &
    emphasis that hold meaning. This is referred to as “temporal integration” because all of the information in the
    speech stream contains timed elements that the brain must continuously and accurately calculate in order to
    perceive them and attach meaning to them (i.e., did I hear “factual” or “actual” or did someone sneeze,
    “achoo!”). In an editorial published in the Journal of Phonetics, Nguyen & Hawkins (2003) summarize our
    current understanding of the connection between a problem with processing the timed elements of speech for
    speech perception (a problem with timing in the brain) and developmental language disorders like Specific
    Language Impairment (SLI) and Dyslexia. Researchers have found that children with these disorders tend to have
    trouble processing the short and rapidly changing sounds of speech that are occurring in milliseconds. The
    Interactive Metronome® program allows therapists to evaluate critical timing skills, and a millisecond score is
    produced. Prior to this patented technology, there was no way to objectively measure this ability. Following
    assessment, therapists can then tailor a training program to specifically target weaknesses in timing and
    rhythm. By improving the underlying problem with timing (temporal integration), parents, teachers, and
    therapists report far better results from targeted therapies that focus on phonics, reading, writing, language,
    and articulation/speech.

Nguyen, N. and Hawkins, S. (2003). Temporal integration in the perception of speech: Introduction. Journal of
Phonetics, 31, 279-287.

  • In order to understand what someone is saying, we first receive speech at the eardrum in a simple waveform. This
    simple pressure wave is then transformed into complex multi-faceted temporal (or time-dependent) information
    that the brain must interpret in order to understand what is said, who said it, and whether the person who said
    it is happy, sad, angry, etc. This study by Shamma (2003) outlines the process by which our brain “reads” the
    timed elements of speech so that we can communicate effectively. If timing in the brain is off by even
    milliseconds, this process does not work properly and an Auditory Processing Disorder and/or Language-Learning
    Disorder results. Interactive Metronome® is becoming a standard of care in the treatment of these disorders by
    addressing & improving the underlying problem with timing in the brain. Visit www.interactivemetronome.com
    to read case examples and additional research.

Shamma, S. (2003). Physiological foundations of temporal integration in the perception of speech. Journal of
Phonetics, 31, 495-501.

  • Hirsh & Watson (1996) point out that after studying pitch, frequency, and other aspects of speech for so
    long, researchers are now much more interested in learning about the underpinnings of our ability to understand
    speech in the first place. They are now very interested in learning more about the brain’s internal clock and
    how the brain breaks down information in the speech signal into various timed elements to perceive and
    comprehend what is being said. They realize that the brain’s ability to keep and measure time is vital for
    effective speech, language & cognitive skills (like focus and attention, thinking speed). In the past 10-15
    years, there has been an explosion of research examining not only how the brain keeps time, but what mechanisms
    and structures of the brain are involved. Interactive Metronome® is patented technology that both measures and
    improves timing in the brain, which experts now know is critical to academic, cognitive, behavioral, and motor
    performance.

Hirsh, I.J. & Watson, C.S. (1996). Auditory psychophysics and perception. Annual Review of Psychology, 47,
461-484.

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 Aspergers). 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.

  • There is still controversy over whether Autism Spectrum Disorders result from some interaction with environment
    after birth (i.e., toxic exposures, immune-modulation post-vaccination, etc) or whether they result from genetic
    defect(s). Some would argue both are contributing factors, that certain individuals are born with a genetic
    predisposition and that exposure(s) in the environment turn on or off certain genes that may contribute to the
    development of Autism Spectrum Disorders. In this study, researchers provide a strong argument for a genetic
    defect in the “clock genes,” genes that control our perception of time and with genes for a process called
    “methylation” that controls the turning on and off of our genes or how they are expressed (ultimately how they
    control our abilities). Individuals on the Autism Spectrum demonstrate numerous symptoms resulting from an
    impaired perception of time from circadian rhythm (sleep/wake/appetite) to millisecond timing required for
    speech-language, social/behavioral, cognitive, motor, and visual skills. The Interactive Metronome® (IM) is a
    training program that is administered under the guidance of a certified professional. It is designed to improve
    the basic timing skills necessary for development of speech, language, cognitive, and motor skills. Many parents
    and professionals also report decrease in aggressive behavior, improved social skills, and better sensory
    processing following IM training.

Wimpory, D. (2002). Social timing clock genes and autism: A new hypothesis. Journal of Intellectual Disability
Research, 46(4), 352-358.

Brain Injury

  • Here is an interesting study by Mantyla et al (2007). Ever notice how some individuals have difficulty following
    through with tasks if there is too much time delay between getting the “instructions” and the time frame in
    which the task is to be completed. This important skill depends upon timing in the brain. For example, a friend
    may call and say “In 30 minutes, Jane, meet me in the lobby of your apartment building. I will be waiting there
    to drive you to your doctor appointment.” …tick…tick….tick… The brain relies upon an internal network of
    structures that work in synchrony to keep time. Individuals have the ability to estimate time in their head and
    are usually pretty accurate, so this would not be too tall an order for some. However, if this “internal clock
    network” is out of sync due to developmental disorder (ADHD, Dyslexia) or injury (Traumatic Brain Injury,
    Stroke), then the individual will be more prone to distraction and forgetting, being late, or appearing as
    though (s)he has difficulty remembering or following directions!! This individual will also tend to rely much
    more heavily on looking at a clock to keep track of time (an external timing source) to make up for what the
    brain is unable to do on its own. It’s all a matter of timing! Interactive Metronome® training is an effective
    method for training or retraining the brain to keep time. Once areas of the brain for timing are communicating
    with one another again in a synchronized fashion, individuals often show significant improvement in time
    management, organization skills like planning, anticipating, and sequencing, memory, and ability to follow
    directions.

Mantyla, T., Carelli, M.G., and Forman, H. (2007). Time monitoring and executive functioning in children and adults.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 96, 1-19.

  • The front portion of the brain, or frontal lobes, are particularly vulnerable to damage during accidents.
    Individuals with traumatic brain injury frequently have what is called a “frontal lobe injury.” This is
    significant because this area of the brain is responsible for so many important skills for successful community
    reintegration: our personality and mood, our ability to plan and organize events, to manage and monitor time, to
    focus our attention and problem-solve, to sequence and coordinate motor movements, and the list goes on and on.
    These skills also all depend upon timing in the brain, timing for when to say something or when to keep silent,
    for anticipating the amount of time it will take to accomplish a task or to get somewhere, for knowing how much
    time you’ve just spent on a project, or the minute neural timing that we don’t think about at all when we move
    our arm to pick up a glass of water. Scientists have discovered that the frontal lobes, in particular the middle
    and right side, are responsible for so many of our skills that depend upon timing (Pictno et al, 2006). We often
    see impairment in the above-listed time-dependent skills due to damage to this part of the brain following
    traumatic brain injury. Many traditional therapies focus on teaching the person with traumatic brain injury to
    “compensate” for deficits in attention, organization, planning, problem-solving, and coordination. Interactive
    Metronome (IM) training, however, offers hope for recovery by addressing the underlying problem in “frontal lobe
    injuries,” a problem with timing in the brain, thereby improving cognitive, behavioral, and motor skills.

Pictno, T.W., Stuss, D.T., Shallice, T., Alexander, M.P., and Gillingham, S. (2006). Keeping time: Effects of focal
frontal lesions. Neuropsychologia, 44, 1195-1209.

  • We all have an “internal clock” that governs how quickly our brain can register and interpret information
    (cognitive speed), our ability to stay focused and pay attention, to sort through information and key in on what
    is important, to hold bits of important information in memory, and to recall information after minutes or hours
    or days (conversations, whether medications were taken or not, where the car is parked). Scientists think the
    “internal clock” begins to slow down as we age and that it continues to slow down the older we get. This, in
    turn, negatively affects a person’s mental speed and sharpness, ability to focus and attend especially when
    there is a lot going on at the same time, and to remember daily events and interactions (i.e., “senior
    moments”). In this interesting study, Pouthas and Perbal (2004) show that this IS indeed the case. The brain’s
    clock DOES slow down more and more as we age. Interactive Metronome® is a mental fitness program that helps to
    restore the brain’s “clock speed.” It involves the completion of simple & engaging exercises that encourage
    the body to move to a steady beat while receiving feedback for timing. This feedback promotes faster, more
    synchronized timing in the brain and thus faster thinking or cognitive speed, better focus, and memory.

Pouthas, V. and Perbal, S. (2004). Time perception depends on accurate clock mechanisms as well as unimpaired
attention and memory processes. Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis, 64, 367-385.

  • Timing in the brain is essential for us to anticipate how much time it will take to complete a task or to go
    back and figure out how much time it took to complete at task, after the fact (Zakay & Block, 2004). In many
    conditions (i.e., ADHD and Traumatic Brain Injury), the ability to “manage” time is impaired because the
    underlying process of timing in the brain is disrupted. Scientists have devoted much effort to studying the
    brain’s clock, finding that MANY areas of the brain are involved, and that each must work in a synchronized
    fashion with one another to get the job done. The connections between these areas of the brain can be likened to
    the internet with some individuals having older, slower dial-up connections versus newer, faster high-speed
    cable connections. Try downloading a document (or think of trying to recall something from memory) with dial-up
    versus high-speed cable!! Which person do you think will be able to keep up with the pace of the world around
    him, to effectively process and recall information – the one with dial-up? Or the one with high-speed cable?
    While there are many therapies available to treat the symptoms in ADHD and Traumatic Brain Injury, there is only
    one that addresses this neural network for timing in the brain. That is the Interactive Metronome®, a patented,
    engaging program that challenges a person to synchronize his/her movements with a steady beat. Auditory-visual
    guidance is provided to help the person adjust his/her timing – with repetitive practice, mental timing skills
    improve (upgrading the system to high-speed cable), and so do the abilities that rely upon timing (cognitive
    speed, attention, memory, learning, and motor skills like coordination and handwriting).

Zakay, D. & Block, R.A. (2004). Prospective and retrospective duration judgments: An executive-control
perspective, Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis, 64, 319-328.

  • This study by Palladino et al (2003) helps us understand the vital role of working memory and how timing is the
    key to brain fitness! Think of working memory as the “gait-keeper” for information that comes into the brain… it
    is responsible for sorting through it all, keeping ONLY what is important to the task at hand, discarding all
    the rest. Working memory is very “active.” It continually updates the information it holds as newer, more
    relevant information becomes available, like saving over an older file in the computer. If this “gait-keeping
    mechanism” fails to do its job and lets too much information in, then the whole system gets bogged down with TOO
    MUCH INFORMATION!! It then works very inefficiently. Welcome to the brain of a person with ADHD or Traumatic
    Brain Injury! Working memory controls many aspects of thinking like how fast we process information (thinking
    speed), how well we focus and concentrate (attention), and how well we remember and learn (memory). For all of
    these cognitive processes to work smoothly, the brain must be able to sort through information first and
    foremost and tune out distractions!! Researchers consistently find that working memory relies upon precise
    timing in the brain to perform this sorting job. If timing in the brain is disrupted (or the network of brain
    structures involved in mental timing are not working in sync with one another), problems with thinking speed,
    attention, and memory or learning result. The Interactive Metronome® (IM) is a training program that both
    measures and improves timing in the brain through structured exercises performed to a steady beat. A patented
    visual-auditory guidance system helps the individual gradually improve his/her timing skills and thus the mental
    skills that depend upon timing in the brain: working memory, cognitive speed, attention, and memory.

Palladino, P., Mammarella, N., and Vecchia, T. (2003). Modality-specific effects in inhibitory mechanisms: The
interaction of peripheral and central components in working memory. Brain and Cognition, 53, 263-267.

Dyslexia

Kevin McGrew, PhD, Director of the Institute of Applied Psychometrics and critical member of the Interactive
Metronome Scientific Advisory Board, has compiled a bibliography of references for research on dyslexia. Please use
this link to access the list.

Kevin McGrew. (2007). “Temporal processing” and “dyslexia” keyword matches in IAP (www.iapsychy.com)
Reference Database

  • This study by Boets et al (2007) shows that the cause of dyslexia, like autism, cannot be determined that
    readily… there is just no simple answer to a complex problem. Their research shows that some individuals with
    dyslexia have difficulty with basic processing of time-sensitive information in the speech stream (“auditory
    temporal processing”) leading to a problem with phonological processing. While Boets and his colleagues did show
    that pre-literacy skills (or the ability to go on and learn to read and write) likely results from an underlying
    problem with phonological processing in some individuals, they also identified that this cannot be the sole
    cause in all cases of dyslexia and may just be a piece of the overall puzzle. They also found that some of the
    children with this same phonological processing disorder did not go on to develop literacy problems or dyslexia.
    Other children with relatively good phonological processing skills went on to develop dyslexia. In some of these
    children, a specific visual dysfunction was diagnosed (visual magnocellular processing). The bottom line appears
    to be that more research is needed and that it should focus on multi-factorial causes of dyslexia, rather than
    trying to find a single cause. This also illustrates that no single treatment for dyslexia is likely to be
    beneficial for all of those who are diagnosed with it!! Interactive Metronome® (IM) may be an important part of
    the overall treatment for individuals with dyslexia who demonstrate difficulty with phonological processing by
    addressing “auditory temporal processing,” or the speed with which the brain can register, interpret, store, and
    retrieve information originating through the auditory channel. Phonological skills and reading have repeatedly
    been shown to improve following IM training.

Boets, B., Wouters, J, van Wieringen, A, and Ghesquiere, P. (2007). Auditory processing, speech perception and
phonological ability in pre-school children at high-risk for dyslexia: A longitudinal study of the auditory temporal
processing theory. Neuropsychologia, 45, 1608-1620.

  • Haslum & Miles (2007) took a look at how many children with dyslexia also have problems with motor skills,
    such as poor balance. To do so, they tested 12,950 children with dyslexia using five tests of motor performance:
    (a) balancing on one leg, (b) throwing a ball in the air, clapping and catching it, (c) walking backwards, (d)
    sorting matches and (e) graphaesthesia (recognizing shapes drawn on the palm of the hand). Of all the children
    tested, 35.3% failed one motor test and 16.4% failed more than one. This means that 51.7% of children with
    dyslexia also had difficulty with motor skills (coordination, balance). Therapists often remark that many
    children with developmental disorders affecting cognition (thinking skills, reading, learning) also demonstrate
    difficulty with handwriting, coordination, and balance. Here is some validation for their observations!! At the
    very foundation of thinking and motor skills is timing in the brain, more specifically synchronized timing of
    neural transmissions between centers of the brain that are part of a neural network governing thinking and
    moving. In order to effectively address dyslexia at its root, professionals must address mental timing skills as
    part of their therapy regimen. Interactive Metronome® (IM) is a patented training program for improving mental
    timing, or synchronization between centers of the brain responsible for cognitive and motor skills.

Haslum, M.N. & Miles, T.R. (2007) Motor performance and dyslexia in a national cohort of 10-year-old children.
Dyslexia, 13, 257-275.

  • Professionals who incorporate timing and rhythm into the treatment of dyslexia and other speech/language and
    learning disorders via synchronized metronome tapping, Interactive Metronome®, music, singing, drumming, or other
    method report it to be beneficial. Here is a really interesting article about how the brains of individuals with
    dyslexia are organized differently when compared to children who are good readers and spellers. They also
    explained how this contributes to a breakdown in mental timing or what is known in the research world as
    “temporal processing” based upon what they’ve learned from fMRI studies. What is so encouraging is that after
    they provided a specific treatment where the children were taught the code for connecting letters and sounds
    with an emphasis on timing, they rescanned the brains and found the brain had made more normal connections.
    “Following the treatment, the fMRI scans showed that the patterns of temporal connectivity in brains of the
    dyslexic children had normalized and were similar to those of the good readers and spellers.” Interactive
    Metronome (IM) provides not only a stimulus for timing but also feedback so that the individual can specifically
    improve mental timing (or “temporal processing”) at the millisecond level critical to speech, language, and
    cognitive abilities. IM is a flexible tool that can be combined with any treatment program to enhance overall
    outcomes.

Richards and Berninger. (2007). Having right timing ‘connections’ in brain is key to overcoming dyslexia. National
Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Back to Eurek Alert.

  • The ability to perceive speech early in life appears to have a great impact on later ability to read and spell.
    As we’ve seen in other studies, the brain is flexible and can be molded if given the right intervention to
    correct a defect or strengthen an area of ability. In the case of dyslexia, researchers have shown that
    “temporal processing” (or timing in the brain) is significantly impaired and this affects speech discrimination
    and listening comprehension, which in turn affects reading, spelling, language development, and learning. They
    showed that when the timing (or “temporo-spectral characteristics”) of speech was manipulated in a daily,
    intensive treatment regimen of auditory exercises, individuals with dyslexia improved significantly in their
    ability to understand speech. Other researchers then took this a step further and studied the brains of persons
    with dyslexia under fMRI before and after this intervention and found that indeed their brains showed functional
    reorganization as a result of neuroplasticity! Our brains are flexible and can overcome problems like dyslexia
    with the right treatment. The authors of this study (Santos et al., 2007) demonstrated that a problem with
    pitch-perception may also contribute to deficient phonological representations in dyslexics that may, in turn,
    lead to impaired development of reading skills.

Santos, A., Joly-Pottuz, B., Moreno, S., Habib, M., and Besson, M. (2007). Behavioural and event-related potentials
evidence for pitch discrimination deficits in dyslexic children: Improvement after intensive phonic intervention.
Neuropsychologia, 45, 1080-1090.

  • It is widely known that children with developmental dyslexia do not perceive auditory timing and rhythm cues in
    speech as well as typically developing children (i.e., when emphasis is placed on syllables or pauses are
    inserted to change the meaning of the message). In this interesting study by Thomson et al (2006), the authors
    investigated whether this problem with timing and rhythm was specific to speech or whether this problem with
    perceiving timing and rhythm was more generalized, affecting learning and literacy skills. Another question they
    asked was whether these timing problems seen in children would also be found in adults who’ve received therapy
    or remediation services for dyslexia. They found that there is a strong relationship (“coupling”) between
    auditory and motor skills, a finding that other researchers have also pointed out. They also found evidence that
    the relationship between auditory and motor skills is linked to literacy (the ability to learn to read and
    write), even into adulthood. Longer-term (“longitudinal”) research studies are now examining this issue
    beginning in infancy or early childhood to better understand this relationship and its effect on literacy. This
    may ultimately lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment for children with dyslexia. This is one of many current
    research studies that have identified a core deficit in mental timing (or timing in the brain) in individuals
    diagnosed with dyslexia. The Interactive Metronome® (IM) is a flexible treatment program that addresses the
    underlying problem with timing and rhythm with engaging exercises and measurable results. IM can be easily
    administered and integrated with traditional remediation programs for dyslexia.

Thomson, J.M., Fryer, B., Maltby, J., and Goswami, U. (2006). Auditory and motor rhythm awareness in adults with
dyslexia. Journal of Research in Reading, 29(3), 334-348.

  • In this study, Edwards et al (2004) looked for differences in “temporal processing” (or timing in the brain)
    between children who were progressing normally in reading and children with dyslexia. They found that 76% of the
    children with dyslexia had difficulty processing temporal information (a problem with mental timing or timing in
    the brain). They also noted that the problem with mental timing affected either auditory or visual processing,
    but not both in the same. The Interactive Metronome® is currently the only program available for assessing and
    improving timing in the brain, thereby enhancing auditory and/or visual processing necessary for reading and
    writing.

Edwards, V.T., Giaschi, D.E., Dougherty, R.F., Edgell, D., Bjornson, B.H., Lyons, C., and Douglas, R.M. (2004).
Psychological indexes of temporal processing abnormalities in children with developmental dyslexia. Developmental
Neuropsychology, 25(3), 321-354.

  • As some researchers have pointed out, not all individuals with dyslexia have a problem with phonological
    awareness (knowledge about the sound structure of one’s language), and some individuals who do have a problem
    with phonological awareness do not go on to develop dyslexia. While there is a definite relationship between
    phonological awareness (a critical pre-reading skill) and later development of dyslexia, this does not explain
    all cases of dyslexia according to Valdios et al (2004). They propose that some cases of dyslexia may be linked
    to a core problem with visual attention. Others have pointed to potential “magnocellular temporal processing
    deficits” that may result in basic visual and auditoryprocessing impairments, linking the auditory and visual
    problems that some think are actually separate problems. This is all so confusing for a parent of a child with
    dyslexia who is looking for the right treatment! It is obviously critical for professionals to carefully
    evaluate each individual so that the appropriate intervention can be applied to achieve the best possible
    outcomes, i.e., to determine where the child’s strengths and weaknesses are rather than relying on any one
    theory about what may be causing dyslexia. Interactive Metronome® is a flexible treatment tool that can be used
    in the evaluation process to help determine where processing is breaking down, whether in the auditory or visual
    channel, and to address auditory (phonological awareness) or visual (attention, processing) skills while
    emphasizing the “temporal processing,” or mental timing component that underlies both.

Valdios, S., Bosseane, M.L., and Tainturier, M.J. (2004). The cognitive deficits responsible for developmental
dyslexia: Review of evidence for a selective visual attentional disorder. Dyslexia, 10, 339-363.

  • Researchers have identified that in some cases of dyslexia, there is a core deficit in the “magnocellular
    channel” of the visual system, which is responsible for rapid temporal visual processing. They have also
    determined that in other cases, it is the auditory system that is the problem, or inability to process rapid
    auditory sequences (an auditory temporal processing deficit). While some have argued that these problems are
    separate and not seen in the same individual, McAnally et al. (2003) suspect they are and that they are part of
    a more global sensory processing problem. They call for future research to more carefully evaluate whether these
    deficits co-exist. At the heart of both problems is a central deficit in timing, or “temporal processing.”
    Professionals who incorporate Interactive Metronome®, a patented program that measures and improves timing in the
    brain, into the treatment of dyslexia and other learning disorders, report that the majority of individuals
    initially demonstrate poor timing and rhythm and that as timing and rhythm improves, so does attention and
    reading/academic achievement. This has also been demonstrated in clinical research.

McAnally, K.I., Castles, A., and Stuart, G.W. (2003). Visual and auditory processing impairments in subtypes of
developmental dyslexia: A discussion. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 12(2), 145-156.

  • Virsu et al. (2003) investigated whether problems with mental timing (“crossmodal temporal processing
    impairment”) present in young dyslexic individuals worsens as they age. They measured “cognitive temporal
    acuity” … in other words, mental timing, …at millisecond levels. They found that the temporal processing
    impairment worsened with age. They explained the worsening over time with the following statement:
    “…developmentally dyslexic readers appear to have, on average, a weaker than normal neuronal system responsible
    for processing rapidly changing temporal sequences.” With all of the research supporting a deficit in temporal
    processing in the majority of cases of dyslexia, it would appear that it would be essential to emphasize timing
    and rhythm in the treatment of the disorder. Interactive Metronome® is an engaging technology that measures &
    improves timing and rhythm with an emphasis on all of the areas important in dyslexia: audiotactile,
    visuotactile and audiovisual.

Virsu, V., Lahti-Nuuttila, P., and Laasonen, M. (2003). Crossmodal temporal processing acuity impairment aggravates
with age in developmental dyslexia. Neuroscience Letters, 336, 151-154.

  • Here is yet another study exploring whether a deficit in mental timing or timing in the brain may underly the
    problems seen in dyslexia (Laasonen et al., 2002). These authors show that a temporal processing deficit has a
    broad impact on individuals with dyslexia, impacting audiotactile, visuotactile, and audiovisual modalities.
    They also found that the ability to process time-related information in speech (“temporal acuity”) was
    positively related to phonological awareness in dyslexic readers. As we have seen from other studies, problems
    with phonological awareness is not only a common symptom of dyslexia, but a precursor in many cases. Research
    shows that following specific training to improve “temporal processing” or timing in the brain with Interactive
    Metronome 4 out of 5 critical pre-reading skills improve, including phonological awareness.

Laasonen, M., Service, E., and Virsu, V. (2002). Crossmodal temporal order and processing acuity in developmentally
dyslexic young adults. Brain and Language, 80, 340-354.

  • Interesting. You would expect that if timing in the brain or the ability of the brain to process the components
    of speech timely were the problem behind dyslexia, then talking slower or presenting information more slowly
    should help them better understand. Right? If processing is delayed, then slow down the information and voila
    (!) … better comprehension. This is exactly what Rey et al (2002) found, lending credence to one of the
    predominant theories about the cause of dyslexia…that timing in the brain or what is known as “temporal
    processing” is impaired. Research shows that the auditory system is malleable, or trainable, with the right kind
    of regimen. Interactive Metronome® is a patented program that measures timing in the brain and gives a score (in
    milliseconds), reflecting the efficiency with which your brain is processing or keeping time. IM is also a
    training program that improves timing and rhythm through progressive exercises and real-time feedback for
    millisecond timing. Research shows that millisecond timing is critical for auditory processing, speech, and
    language.

Rey, V., De Martino, S., Espesser, R., and Habib, M. (2002). Temporal processing and phonological impairment in
dyslexia: Effect of phoneme lengthening on order judgment of two consonants. Brain and Language, 80, 576-591.

  • Neural imaging (with fMRI) allows researchers to look inside the head of individuals with dyslexia to see how
    the structure and function of their brain differs from that of people who possess normal development of reading
    and writing skills. Some studies have shown problems in the posterior left side of the brainstem while other
    studies revealed problems with function in the front part of the brain. These studies were conducted on adults
    and the results were then generalized to children, making inferences about how differences in brain function
    influence the development of dyslexia. In this paper, Shaywitz et al (2002) decided to actually study the brains
    of a large sample of children with dyslexia using fMRI to determine whether these brain abnormalities seen in
    the adults were likely present in early childhood at the time they were learning to read and write or whether
    the brain abnormalities resulted from a lifetime of poor literacy skills. They found that, indeed, the children
    with dyslexia exhibited decreased activation of the left posterior hemisphere of the brain during reading as
    compared to normal readers.

Shaywitz, B.A., Shaywitz, S.E., Pugh, K.R., Mencl, W.E., Fulbright, R.K., Skudlarski, P., Constable, R.T.,
Marchione, K.E., Fletcher, J.M., Lyon, G.R., and Gore, J.C. (2002). Disruption of posterior brain systems for
reading in children with developmental dyslexia. Society of Biological Psychiatry, 52, 101-110.

  • Hari & Renvall (2001) have proposed that individuals with dyslexia demonstrate “sluggish attentional
    shifting.” They claim that this in turn affects the brain’s ability to process “rapid stimulus sequences,” like
    that contained within speech. They go on to explain that once a person with dyslexia engages his attention, it
    is hard for him to disengage from what he is focused on and shift his attention to something else. Ultimately,
    this causes a delay in processing. If a person cannot shift attention in a timely fashion, then information will
    be missed. They discuss experimental data that backs up their theory. There are current studies that provide yet
    more information about the role of temporal processing (or timing in the brain, in particular millisecond
    timing) in attention, specifically for executive-controlled attention or the ability to self-direct attention.
    The time-dependent skill of attention (better yet, executive-controlled attention) can be improved significantly
    with Interactive Metronome® training, a program that promotes synchronicity and timing in the brain through
    progressive exercises that are motivating and engaging and real-time millisecond feedback for timing.

Hari, R. & Renvall, H. (2001). Impaired processing of rapid stimulus sequences in dyslexia. Trends in Cognitive
Sciences, 5(12), 525-532.

  • Many studies now show that there is a link between auditory temporal processing and dyslexia. In this study,
    Schulte-Körne et al (2006) show that phonological awareness is central to speech discrimination. Speech
    discrimination in turn is critical for good spelling ability. Previous researchers have identified this same
    relationship between phonological awareness and reading ability. Remember, phonological awareness is the ability
    to hear the difference between speech sounds, or the sound structure of one’s language. This is a critical
    building block for reading and writing. Researchers and professionals in clinical practice have shown that
    following training with the Interactive Metronome® to improve auditory temporal processing, students show
    significant progress in the areas of phonological awareness and reading as measured with standardized tests such
    as Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing, Test of Word Reading Efficiency, and the Woodcock Johnson III
    Tests of Achievement.

Schulte-Körne, G. Deimel, W., Bartling, J., and Remschmidt, H. (1999). The role of phonological awareness, speech
perception, and auditory temporal processing for dyslexia. European Journal of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry,
8(3), 28-34.

  • According to Farmer & Klein (1995) and other researchers such as Tallal (1984), a problem with hearing how
    one sound differs from another is at the heart of many cases of dyslexia. Some go further to suggest that this
    problem is just a symptom of an underlying “auditory temporal processing deficit.” What is this exactly?? Here
    is an example: As a teacher is talking to her students, their brains must process all of the rapidly changing
    acoustic variables of speech (voice onset time, voice offset time, pauses, pitch, frequency, amplitude, etc). If
    there is any background noise (in the hallway, someone whispering, paper crumpling, erasers erasing, …), then
    their brains must ALSO filter out this information to focus on accurately processing what is said. Each of our
    brains process time-related information…understanding speech is just one example of how our brain must do
    this. If the child’s brain cannot keep up with the pace of information and process it timely, then an auditory
    temporal processing deficit results. This then makes it hard to decipher what the sounds are or what is being
    said, and in turn leads to problems with reading and writing. The Interactive Metronome® is a flexible training
    program and is the only treatment that effectively addresses the underlying problem with timing in the brain.
    Research shows that following IM training, reading comprehension & fluency improve significantly. IM
    training is available in both clinic and virtual (home) settings.

Farmer, M.E. & Klein, R.M. (1995). The evidence for a temporal processing deficit linked to dyslexia: A review.
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2(4), 460-493.

  • In this paper entitled, Dyslexia and A Temporal Processing Deficit: A Reply to the Commentaries, Klein and
    Farmer defend their 1995 paper which proposed that a problem with hearing how one sound differs from another is
    at the heart of many cases of dyslexia (in essence, a problem with timing in the brain). If you keep up with
    dyslexia research, you know that there are many confounding theories out there and no one seems to have THE
    definitive answer for what causes dyslexia. The authors stated “the three commentaries [following their 1995
    publication] raise some interesting and provocative points about the temporal processing deficit hypothesis.
    However, after careful consideration of these points, we are not dissuaded from our original conclusion that the
    evidence available from a variety of paradigms is compelling enough to warrant further investigation into the
    temporal processing deficit and its possible causal role in a number of cases of dyslexia. In addition, the
    questions of causality (auditory temporal processing deficit → phonemic deficit → dyslexia, and visual temporal
    processing deficit → dyslexia) need thorough investigation, as does (do) the possible developmental course(s) of
    a temporal processing deficit in the auditory and visual modalities.” There is more and more evidence today that
    domain general functions like attention, working memory, and processing speed are dependent upon temporal
    processing, or timing in the brain, for efficient flow of information, processing, storage, and retrieval…all of
    which impacts development and learning. Interactive Metronome® is an engaging and motivating program that trains
    the brain to keep time more precisely, thus improving many of the symptoms seen in ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, and
    other developmental and acquired disorders.

Klein, R.M. & Farmer, M.E. (1995). Dyslexia and a temporal processing deficit: A reply to the commentaries.
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2(4), 515-526.

  • Due to the complex nature of dyslexia and its likely multifactorial causes, Martin (1995) advocates for a case
    study approach to research rather than looking at a group of individuals with dyslexia together. He argues there
    are so many differences between individuals with dyslexia that it may be more valuable to study them one at a
    time, reporting data from each case separately. What do you think?

Martin, R.C. (1995). Heterogeneity of deficits in developmental dyslexia and implications for methodology.
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2(4), 494-500.

Executive Functions

  • “A number of studies show that there is a relation between intelligence and millisecond variability in timed
    behaviors.” Madison et al (2009) attempted to define the neurological underpinnings of intelligence, or how the
    brain operates. They wanted to know whether lapses in attention account for the differences in cognitive
    performance between individuals or whether basic neural timing differences may account for it (in other words,
    this would be the variability in timing of electrical signals between neurons, which are the communication
    pathways of the brain that process incoming information and conduct our thoughts, emotions, and actions). Based
    upon the results of their study, they argue that there are differences between individuals in timing in the
    brain that largely determine how quickly a person can process information and respond to it and that this
    ultimately determines their level of intelligence (or IQ). The faster the processing, the higher the
    intelligence. Interactive Metronome® is a brain fitness tool that is used in a variety of settings, including in
    the home, to improve timing in the brain. It is “interactive” in the sense that it not only provides a steady
    beat to move along to, but it also provides real-time feedback telling you to the millisecond how close to or
    far away from the beat you are so you can make adjustments and get progressively closer to the beat. In a
    comparatively short period of time (weeks), mental timing improves, along with a host of time-related abilities:
    attention/focus, impulse-control, organization, time-management, homework completion time and other routine
    tasks, memory, speech/language, and coordination.

Madison, G., Forsman, L., Blom, Ö., Karabanov, A., and Ullén, F. (2009). Correlations between intelligence and
components of serial timing variability. Intelligence, 37(1), 68-75

  • According to Ullén et al (2008), there exists quite a large body of literature demonstrating that “coordination
    of neuronal activity in the millisecond range, within and between brain regions, is essential for a broad range
    of cognitive functions, such as working memory, perceptual binding and awareness, and attention.” In this
    particular study, they provide further evidence that the timing of neural signals between & within areas of
    the brain is the basic foundation of intelligence. It is not surprising that precisely timed and efficient
    communication within the brain is required for optimal cognitive performance in school, at work, and at play.
    Interestingly, the researchers measured timing in the brain by having the individuals tap to a beat. This is
    very similar to the Interactive Metronome® (IM), the only brain fitness tool of its kind, designed specifically
    to measure & improve timing in the brain at the millisecond level that is so critical for our speech,
    language, thinking, and motor abilities. IM training easily fits into your daily routine and takes only weeks to
    complete. The most commonly reported improvements following this training to improve the timing of neural
    signals are: faster and better reading comprehension, faster and more accurate completion of work or homework,
    improved focus and attention, less distractibility, better control of impulses, better organizational skills,
    improved memory (especially short-term), and better motor coordination.

Ullén, F., Forsman, L., Blom, Ö., Karabanov, A., and Madison, G. (2008). Intelligence and variability in a simple
timing task share neural substrates in the prefrontal white matter. The Journal of Neuroscience, 28(16),
4238-4243.

  • Here is an interesting study by Mantyla et al. (2007), looking at 3 basic components of executive functioning in
    both children and adults as they monitored the passage of time: 1) the ability to tune out distractions or
    information that is not pertinent to the task at hand, 2) the ability to keep up with the pace of information
    and retain the information in working memory necessary to complete the task, and 3) direct self to shift the
    focus of attention as needed. Subjects had to simply indicate the passing of time every 5 minutes while watching
    a movie. They found that those individuals who had difficulty with working memory, either by keeping the task in
    mind (monitoring time) while engaged in another simultaneous task (watching a movie) or keeping up-to-date
    information in working memory about the task (i.e., recalling how much time had passed already) had the most
    difficulty with a sense of time. They tended to be more reliant on external cues to keep time, such as
    repeatedly checking a clock. On the other hand, those with stronger working memory ability were far less reliant
    on an external clock and were much more accurate in monitoring time “in their head.” The authors did not find
    the third variable of shifting attention to be as much of a factor in task performance as the first two. Working
    memory is a skill that is heavily dependent upon temporal processing (or timing in the brain) for efficient and
    accurate performance. When timing in the brain is disrupted, as is often seen in ADHD, Dyslexia, and other
    developmental and acquired disorders a problem with working memory arises. Researchers theorize that the
    Interactive Metronome® addresses this critical cognitive function by improving synchronicity between regions of
    the brain that communicate with those involved in working memory.

Maytyla, T., Carelli, M.G., and Forman, H. (2007). Time monitoring and executive functioning in children and adults.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 96, 1-19.

  • Professionals who incorporate Interactive Metronome® into treatment sessions to improve “temporal processing” (or
    mental timing) report improvement in language and cognitive skills that depend upon processing speed and working
    memory, i.e., following directions, reading comprehension, math computations, time-management. IM researchers
    (Taub et al, 2007), argue that IM is impacting the brain’s ability to process information more efficiently, thus
    facilitating more efficient and effective use of working memory.

Taub. G., McGrew, K.S., and Keith, T.Z. (2007). Improvement in interval timing tracking and effects on reading
achievement. Psychology in the Schools, 44(8), 849-863.

  • In this study by Zakay & Block (2004), the authors tease out the difference in how we attend to & manage
    information in the brain when we are required to anticipate how much time it will take to do something versus go
    back and retroactively estimate how long it took to do a task already completed. They found there is a different
    cognitive process involved in each. Other researchers have discovered that regions of the brain involved in
    information processing for time-management are part of the brain’s temporal processing neural network
    (structures of the brain involved in mental timing that must communicate with each other in a synchronized
    fashion to operate efficiently and accurately). We often see problems with “temporal processing” that manifest
    as poor awareness of time, time-management, and time-estimation in individuals with ADHD or Dyslexia or
    following a Traumatic Brain Injury or Stroke. Interactive Metronome®, a patented treatment program that measures
    and improves timing in the brain, and thus time-related cognitive abilities, is an important part of a
    comprehensive treatment program for these conditions.

Zakay, D. & Block, R.A. (2004). Prospective and retrospective duration judgments: An executive control
perspective. Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis, 64, 319-328.

  • Palladino et al. (2003) studied 20 subjects to determine whether there was a difference in how the brain handles
    information when it is presented verbally versus visually. They did find that there is a difference in processes
    involved in working memory depending on how the information is presented. Complex thinking involved in tasks
    like reading comprehension depend upon working memory. It has been reported that working memory is very
    sensitive to intrusion errors (or corruption from information that is not relevant to the task at hand that
    enters the mix). Humans possess a very important skill called inhibition, which is the ability to filter
    information to only keep in active working memory was is important to the task and discard the rest. Filtering
    may not occur if the person cannot selectively attend to incoming information, mentally manipulate information
    for comparison, and/or keep up with the pace of incoming information (slower processing speed). Many studies
    have reported on the central role of “temporal processing” or timing in the brain in working memory. Researchers
    who studied the Interactive Metronome® (IM) specifically, a patented program that improves timing in the brain,
    theorize that IM improves timing in the brain by increasing the flow and efficiency of information processing,
    an important precursor to working memory function.

Palladino, P., Mammarella, N., and Vecchia, T. (2003). Modality-specific effects in the inhibitory mechanisms: The
interaction of peripheral and central components in working memory. Brain and Cognition, 53, 263-267.

  • In this study, Whitney et al. (2001), show that individuals who perform poorly on tests of working memory do so
    because they are more easily distracted or think a bit more slowly when making mental comparisons (the ability
    to mentally manipulate information to make a decision). They argue that mental manipulation is not the same as
    processing speed, or the rate that your brain can take in and understand information. Others have reasoned that
    processing speed and working memory share the same mental resources and compete with one another, thus one
    influencing the performance of the other. And so goes the world of research…there is always healthy debate and
    this is how we advance knowledge.

Whitney, P., Arnett, P.A., Driver, A., and Budd, D. (2001). Measuring central executive functioning: What’s in a
reading span? Brain and Cognition, 45, 1-14.

Intelligence

  • In this larger follow-up study, Hembold and colleagues (2007) proved that there is a very strong relationship
    between higher intelligence (better performance on cognitive and motor tasks) and the ability to rapidly process
    information (or think fast). They found that timing in the brain was significantly related to several factors
    that determine intelligence: speed, capacity, and memory. In the clinical world, professionals who work with
    children and adults with developmental disorders and acquired injuries and illnesses see the connection between
    timing skills, thinking, and motor coordination as they perform the Interactive Metronome® Short or Long Form
    Assessment as part of their initial evaluation of the patient. This assessment provides several millisecond
    scores, which reflect the accuracy, efficiency, and synchronicity of timing in the brain. The more that
    difficulty is seen with timing of body movements to the auditory metronome, the more uncoordinated and
    inattentive/cognitively impaired the person tends to be. As timing improves, improvement is typically seen in a
    variety of different areas with the most common being: attention, organization, memory, speech/language, and
    motor coordination.

Hembold, N., Troche, S., and Rammsayer, T. (2007). Processing of temporal and nontemporal information as predictors
of psychometric intelligence. Journal of Personality, 75(5), 985-1006.

  • Cognitive psychologists, including Chabris (2006), are reporting evidence that “general intelligence,” or
    attention, memory, thinking, language…, depends largely upon how quickly and efficiently our brain can process
    information. When speaking, listening, reading, remembering, etc brain structures communicate with one another
    via neural oscillations, or signals, in the millisecond range. Due to heredity, illness, or injury, these neural
    connections can be slow or inefficient. The Interactive Metronome® is an engaging and rewarding training program
    that increases the speed and efficiency of timing in the brain, continuously measuring it and providing
    real-time feedback to the millisecond. Timing in the brain is essentially the timing of these millisecond neural
    oscillations that are so critical for thinking and language.

Chabris, C.F. (2006). Cognitive and Neurobiological Mechanisms of the Law of General Intelligence. Integrating the
Mind. Hove, UK: Psychological Press.

  • Here is another study showing the link between mental timing (“temporal information processing”) and
    intelligence (Hembold et al., 2006). The faster you can process information, the more intelligent you are. Each
    person is born with a certain potential for achievement. This potential may not be fully realized when the
    brain’s clock speed is slow or areas of the brain are not communicating in a synchronized fashion. Interactive
    Metronome training consists of performing movements in synchrony with a metronome beat, promoting synchronized,
    timed communication in the brain across areas critical for speech, language, thinking, and motor skills.
    Immediately following each movement, audio or visual feedback is provided about how close the person was to the
    actual beat and a score for each movement is provided in milliseconds. Over time, a person’s timing and rhythm
    improve significantly resulting in many cognitive and motor improvements.

Hembold, N., Troche, S, and Rammsayer, T. (2006). Temporal information processing and pitch discrimination as
predictors of general intelligence. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60(4), 294-306.

  • In the literature, psychologists describe two forms of intelligence that each contributes separately to our
    ability to perform tasks. These are “fluid intelligence” and “crystallized intelligence.” Whereas crystallized
    intelligence is the information and knowledge about things we have learned over the years, fluid intelligence is
    our ability to strategize and problem-solve. In the example of taking a test, we would recall knowledge about
    facts and information we learned from class and from studying our notes to answer the test questions
    (crystallized intelligence), but we may need to answer the questions in a strategic way like crossing out all
    multiple choice responses that clearly are not the answer and narrow the choices down to the two most possible,
    working from there to get the correct response (fluid intelligence). Stankov et al. (2006) studied the
    physiological neural oscillations (or rhythmic, repetitive neural signals between brain regions in the central
    nervous system) involved in human intelligence, or what we know is our ability to learn, access what we’ve
    learned, and problem-solve. They discuss the importance of synchronicity in brain activity to intelligence and
    propose that the degree of synchronization in brain activity may account for differences between individuals’
    cognitive processing abilities. In a small pilot study completed in 2004, Dr Alpiner demonstrated under fMRI
    that individuals who’d received training for timing and rhythm using the Interactive Metronome® demonstrated more
    synchronous activity in the brain when compared to individuals who did not receive this training. Other
    researchers (Taub et al., 2007) who studied the effect of IM training on reading achievement theorized that
    synchronized metronome tapping (via Interactive Metronome®) increases the efficiency of the brain’s timing (or
    synchronicity of neural oscillations), thus improving the ability to process, store, and retrieve information.

Stankov, L., Danthiir, V., Williams, L.M., Pallier, G., Roberts, R.D., and Gordon, E. (2006). Intelligence and the
tuning-in of brain networks. Learning and Individual Differences, 16, 217-233.

  • Do you know anyone with this problem? Problem: Person has a goal in mind, starts to work toward accomplishing
    the goal, somewhere along the way seems to forget what (s)he was supposed to be doing or has gotten distracted
    with something else, goal is not accomplished. In this paper, Chiappe & Mcdonald (2005) explain that working
    memory (or the ability to keep the goal in mind and pursue it while constantly updating information about the
    task in memory and tuning out distractions) is a determiner of fluid intelligence, or our ability to adapt,
    think strategically, and problem-solve. If an executive function, which performs the role of directing our
    attention where it needs to be, is not doing its job adequately, then distractions can take over and lead
    behavior in a direction that is not compatible with the initial goal. We often see this in individuals with
    ADHD, a diagnosis where there is documented evidence of impaired synchronization or timing in the brain. This
    may also occur after a traumatic brain injury or stroke. The timing of neural signals or oscillations must be
    fast and synchronized (or efficient) for the brain to do its job effectively, but in some cases communication in
    the brain is out of sync. When out of sync or slow, problems with attention, “memory,” following directions, and
    learning arise. Interactive Metronome® is a patented training program that improves synchronization and timing so
    that optimal performance can be achieved, whether at home, work, or school.

Chiappe, D. & Macdonald, K. (2005). The evolution of domain-general mechanisms in intelligence and learning. The
Journal of General Psychology, 132(1), 5-40.

  • Fink and Neubauer (2005) showed that more intelligent (or “brighter”) individuals perform better on cognitive
    tasks for two reasons: 1) they have more capacity in working memory (the ability to hold and manipulate
    information in temporary memory storage) and 2) their brain can process information more rapidly. They
    demonstrated that those individuals with higher intelligence, as a result of these two factors, have a tendency
    to estimate time much more accurately. Researchers (Taub et al., 2007) theorize that “cross-domain effects” of
    Interactive Metronome® training (or its effect on so many different cognitive and motor abilities) may be
    attributed to its effect on these critical skills: attention, processing speed, and working memory.

Fink, A, Neubauer, A.C. (2005). Individual differences in time estimation related to cognitive ability, speed of
information processing and working memory. Intelligence, 33, 5-26.

  • Conway et al. (2003) describe in detail how working memory is at the center of “intelligence,” that it is tied
    to our ability to rapidly process information, and that its success largely depends on our ability to control
    and direct our attention toward information relevant to the task and away from distracting information that may
    interfere with getting the task done. And , of course (!!), all of this must be accomplished while our brain
    continuously processes incoming information. Essentially, our brains must multitask to be efficient and achieve
    goals. Imagine a network that connects centers of the brain involved in this process. Regions of the network
    ordinarily send electrical signals (at millisecond speeds) to other areas of the network via neural oscillations
    in a synchronous, repetitive manner to remember this, attend to that, forget about this, don’t worry about that.
    This network may have damage to some of the wires in certain places that slow down the flow of information,
    making the brain’s task of keeping up with information and sending information where it needs to go rapidly and
    efficiently impossible. The symptoms of this would be inability to pay attention, slow to process information,
    slow to respond to questions, distractibility, forgetfulness, poor ability to follow directions, etc…. The
    Interactive Metronome®, a treatment program that improves synchronicity and timing in the brain, has become a
    standard of care in the treatment of conditions such as ADHD, Dyslexia and other Reading Disorders, Autism,
    Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, and other neurological conditions. By addressing the core problem of
    synchronization and timing, many of the time-related symptoms improve, like the ability to pay attention,
    remember, follow directions, and process information and respond more timely.

Conway, Andrew R.A., Kane, M.J., and Engle, R.W. (2003). Working memory capacity and its relation to general
intelligence. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7(12), 547-552.

  • Have you heard all of the brain fitness buzz about working memory lately? If one is to improve cognitive
    performance, whether for school, work, or personal achievement, one MUST work on strengthening working memory.
    As we’ve seen with several other recent studies, Engle and colleagues (1999) support the view that working
    memory function is largely dependent upon a person’s ability to pay attention and tune out distractions. In
    doing so, our brain must perform several operations simultaneously and efficiently. Other studies have examined
    the neurological underpinnings of attention, information processing and working memory and have found them to be
    part of a neural network where signals are sent back and forth at millisecond rates. A good analogy is a train
    station where trains are coming, going, parking, stopping, starting and tracks are shifting to and fro to allow
    or stop traffic at different places and times in a precisely timed way to avoid collisions or derailings.
    Picture your brain doing the same…the neural oscillations or electrical signals are the trains, the neurons or
    wires that connect regions of the brain are the tracks. There is a constant shuffle going on where signals are
    sent forth, held back, rerouted, etc and all in a precisely timed, synchronous way. EXCEPT when there is a
    problem with the “track.” Then the signals are not sent where they need to go or in a timely, organized, or
    synchronous way. Symptoms result: inability to focus or attend, to follow directions, to manage time, to
    remember, to comprehend what is read, to learn, etc… The Interactive Metronome® (IM) is the only program
    available that measures timing in the brain and improves it with progressive, rewarding exercises and real-time
    millisecond feedback for synchronization as the person moves his body to a steady, rhythmical beat. Those who’ve
    completed IM training overwhelmingly report positive results with improvement in many areas of function that
    depend upon precise, synchronized timing in the brain.

Engle, R.W., Tuholski, S.W., Laughlin, J.E., and Conway, Andrew R.A. (1999). Working memory, short term memory, and
general fluid intelligence: A latent-variable approach. Journal of Experimental Psychology, General, 128(3),
309-331.

Memory/WorkingMemory

  • Here is an interesting study on timing in the brain by Botzung et al (2008). Timing in the brain (or what
    scientists refer to as precisely timed neural transmissions or neural oscillations in and between brain regions)
    is critical for humans to be able to store and retrieve memories. As an added dimension, humans have the ability
    to think ahead into the future and imagine being there. Their minds can also travel back in time to distant
    memories, which at times may feel like they just happened yesterday. Researchers were curious about how the
    brain travels along this time continuum, or what brain structures are involved. They specifically wanted to know
    whether the same brain structures and mental processes are involved in going forward and back in time. To
    investigate this further, they employed fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to look into the brains of
    several individuals while performing these mental activities. They found that similar brain structures and
    processes are used in both types of mental time travel and that, perhaps most interestingly, our past memories
    and experiences allow us to project into the future to imagine events that have not yet occurred. Some
    individuals demonstrate less ability or propensity to think into the future or plan ahead due to a developmental
    problem or brain injury. They might be considered a little (or a lot) impulsive. There may be safety issues
    (i.e., acting before thinking about what happened the last time they tried to do something particular!)
    Interactive Metronome® (IM) is a therapy tool that many professionals are now incorporating into programs for
    ADHD, Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, and other developmental and acquired disorders to improve timing
    in the brain. IM measures and improves timing in the brain necessary for planning/anticipating future events and
    thinking before acting.

Botzung, A., Denkova, E., and Manning, L. (2008). Experiencing past and future personal events: Functional
neuroimaging evidence on the neural bases of mental time travel. Brain and Cognition, 66, 202-212.

  • According to current research, individuals that have greater capacity for holding information and keeping it
    updated in working memory also have greater ability to focus and direct their attention. Essentially, if working
    memory is functioning efficiently, the brain doesn’t have to devote so much of its resources to making it work.
    This in turn frees up the person to devote cognitive resources to other tasks. Colflesh & Conway (2007)
    found further evidence for this, or what is called the “controlled attention theory of working memory.” Not
    surprising, they also found that those with greater working memory capacity were also better multi-taskers.
    Working memory, which is one of several brain functions associated with our internal mental clock, can be
    improved by addressing underlying deficiencies in neural timing (or timing in the brain) with Interactive
    Metronome.

Colflesh, J.H. & Conway, R.A. (2007). Individual differences in working memory capacity and divided attention in
dichotic listening. Bulletin & Review, 14(4), 699-703.

  • In time estimation, memory for past event durations is critical to our ability to judge the duration of events
    happening in the present. We hold this information about duration (or time associated with various events,
    actions we have experienced) in a “temporal reference memory” so that our brain can compare: is this new event
    the same duration as what I experienced last time, shorter, longer? This paper by Delgado & Droit-Volet
    (2007) describes the most current theories about how our brain keeps time (i.e., scalar timing theory,
    pacemaker-accumulator model). Good reading if you are interested in getting to this depth about timing in the
    brain and how it is important for all of our human capabilities. The authors show further evidence that our
    brain not only measures time, but that this ability gets better as we age (i.e., children show less accuracy
    than adults). This is an interesting finding. Normative data from Interactive Metronome®, a patented timing
    technology that measures and improves temporal processing, shows that timing in the brain improves as we age.

Delgado, M.L. & Droit-Volet, S. (2007). Testing the representation of time in reference memory in the bisection
and the generalization task: The utility of a developmental approach. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental
Psychology, 60(6), 820-836.

  • There is much interest these days in studying children’s ability to estimate time, particularly those between
    the age of 3 and 10. Why? This research may help us better understand how the brain’s ability to keep time
    develops as the child ages, especially as children across successive age groups are studied and are compared to
    adults. In this study, Droit-Volet and colleagues (2007) saw that younger children (around 5 years of age) had
    less sophisticated working memory capacity and therefore were more prone to errors in time judgment. We do see
    this in reality, where younger children are less able to manage time. It is definitely as skill that blossoms as
    the child ages, thankfully!! However, due to developmental disorders, this timing skill does not always develop
    normally and some children have lesser ability to measure or manage time. This leads to a variety of different
    presentations: reading disorders, speech and language disorders, hyperactivity, impulsivity, auditory processing
    disorders, etc. Interactive Metronome® (IM) is a treatment program designed to improve timing in the brain that
    is flexible and can be completed in a clinic with the guidance of a professional/therapist or in the home with a
    virtual coach. Following IM training, participants frequently report improved performance in reading and other
    academic skills, more control of behavior and aggression, increased cooperation and participation, and further
    development of speech & language skills. Interactive Metronome® training provides the foundation of timing in
    the brain. It is most effective when combined with specific training to build skills that are developmentally
    lagging (i.e., intensive reading instruction).

Droit-Volet, S., Wearden, J., and Delgado-Yonger, M. (2007). Short-term memory for time in children and adults: A
behavioral study and a model. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 97(4), 246-264.

  • Here is another study, one of MANY, that show a clear relationship between working memory and timing in the
    brain (Fortin et al., 2007). Essentially, if timing in the brain is disrupted, then working memory does not work
    very efficiently or effectively leading to a host of problems at home, school, work, and play. If you’ve been
    searching the internet for a program or treatment to address school performance, a developmental delay or
    disorder, or overall brain fitness, then you’ve surely seen all the buzz about the importance of working memory
    for cognitive performance. Given the importance of timing in the brain for working memory, and thus cognitive
    performance, it is critical to assess timing in the brain to see if that is the root of the problem. Interactive
    Metronome is a patented program that both assesses and improves timing in the brain, providing measurable scores
    each step of the way. Persons may then derive more benefit from the various cognitive fitness programs available
    once his/her brain is focusing, processing information, and utilizing cognitive resources like working memory
    more efficiently and effectively.

Fortin, C., Champagnea, J, and Poirierb, M. (2007). Temporal order in memory and interval timing: An interference
analysis. Acta Psychologica, 126(1), 18-33.

  • In this study by Baudouin et al (2006), elderly individuals estimated the amount of time that elapsed in 2
    different tasks: 1) producing an amount of time when told to, 2) copying an amount of time after being shown.
    Steps were taken so that they could not count or use other strategies to track time. This study showed that
    performance was dictated by the individual’s internal clock rate. Some had faster clock rates; they tended to
    produce shorter time intervals (shorter than the amount of time they were asked to present). This has
    implications for rehabilitation. I can recall more than one patient that needed the tempo (or speed) increased
    when completing Interactive Metronome® training as part of their overall rehabilitation following neurological
    insult (stroke, Parkinsons, etc) because they just could not slow down. These individuals tended to be
    inattentive, impulsive, and exhibited memory and other cognitive impairments. By starting at their internal
    clock speed (at at higher tempo), I was able to get a foot in the door and from there modulate them gradually
    down to a slower tempo or clock speed where they could function better & more safely in various environments
    with timing that was more in sync with their surroundings (i.e., for ADLs, ambulation, reading, conversation,
    community outings, etc). Interactive Metronome® is a flexible timing intervention that addresses the basic
    foundation for safety judgment and functional independence, that of internal clock speed or what is known as
    “temporal processing.”

Baudouin, A., Vanneste, S., Isingrini, M., and Pouthas, V. (2006). Differential involvement of internal clock and
working memory in the production and reproduction of duration: A study on older adults. Acta Psychologica, 121,
285-296.

  • In this study by Sayala et al (2006), researchers viewed the brain with neural imaging during a problem-solving
    task. Even though the problem was presented verbally (and no visual information was supplied or used in the
    process), the person engaged several areas of both sides of the brain in order to solve the problem, including
    the visual cortex. They also pointed out that working memory was responsible for maintaining and updating
    information about the problem to be solved and helped to serve in the capacity of a visual-spatial sketchpad.
    Many studies now show that the ability to maintain and update information in working memory, while tuning out
    information that is not relevant to the task (intruding thoughts or external distractions), is governed by the
    timing of neural oscillations or transmissions (or what is commonly referred to as temporal processing).
    Synchronization is the key to optimal timing in the brain. Studies show that individuals with disorders like
    ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, and Parkinsons tend to display deficient mental timing. Interactive Metronome® is a
    specific training program that measures and improves this synchronization through progressive exercises that
    fun, yet challenging while they engage the whole mind and body.

Sayala, S., Sala, J.B., and Courtney, S.M. (2006). Increased neural efficiency with repeated performance of a
working memory task is information-type dependent. Cerebral Cortex, 16, 609-617.

  • For those of you who are now so intrigued with working memory that you want to go out and measure it, this
    article is for you! Conway et al (2006) describe in detail what working memory is, the various ways it is
    measured, and the validity of each measurement tool. The Interactive Metronome® is a timing intervention that
    affects working memory and it’s close cohorts, processing speed and attentional control. This is valuable
    information if you are considering a research study of your own on the effectiveness of the Interactive
    Metronome for reading achievement, relieving symptoms of ADHD, or some other application.

Conway, Andrew R.A., Kane, M.J., Bunting, M.F., Hambrick, D. Zach, Wilhelm, O., and Engle, R.W. (2005). Working
memory span tasks: A methodological review and user’s guide. Bulletin & Review, 12(5), 769-786.

  • Fink and Neubauer (2005) showed that more intelligent (or “brighter”) individuals perform better on cognitive
    tasks for two reasons: 1) they have more capacity in working memory (the ability to hold and manipulate
    information in temporary memory storage) and 2) their brain can process information more rapidly. They
    demonstrated that those individuals with higher intelligence, as a result of these two factors, have a tendency
    to estimate time much more accurately. Researchers (Taub et al., 2007) theorize that “cross-domain effects” of
    Interactive Metronome® training (or its effect on so many different cognitive and motor abilities) may be
    attributed to its effect on these critical skills: attention, processing speed, and working memory.

Fink, A, Neubauer, A.C. (2005). Individual differences in time estimation related to cognitive ability, speed of
information processing and working memory. Intelligence, 33, 5-26.

  • In this study (Hall & Blasko, 2005), the authors show further evidence that the less prone to distraction a
    person is, the better his working memory will operate. Why is this important? Because working memory is linked
    to a whole host of cognitive abilities…it may be considered a gateway or bottleneck for higher level thinking,
    memory storage and retrieval, and learning. Interactive Metronome® is a timing intervention that works at the
    core of our thinking, at the level of attentional control, processing speed, and working memory…skills that are
    governed by our internal mental clock. Training takes a comparatively short period of time to complete (weeks)
    and can be completed in a clinic setting with professional guidance or in the comfort of your home with a
    virtual coach.

Hall, M.D. & Blasko, D.G. (2005). Attentional interference in judgments of musical timbre: Individual
differences in working memory. The Journal of General Psychology, 132(1), 94-112.

  • Our ability to control what we pay attention to, when, why, and how long has been given several names,
    including: the supervisory attention system, executive control, or the central executive. No matter what it is
    called, researchers feel it is critically important to be able to focus and direct our attention in order to
    have adequate mental resources in working memory to perform everyday cognitive (thinking) tasks. In this
    article, Barrett et al (2004) do a thorough job describing in detail exactly what is involved in both the
    attentional control system and working memory and how they influence how we think and perform cognitive tasks.
    It is interesting how some researchers find this relationship between attention and working memory to be
    reversed, that greater working memory capacity enables the individual to focus and direct attention better. More
    importantly, we can see from the literature that the abilities of attention and working memory (and I might add
    information processing speed) are critical good cognitive performance (i.e., academically, professionally,
    interpersonally). The neural basis for each of these skills is “temporal processing,” or timing in the brain.
    According to a mental timing theory proposed by several scientists, processing speed and working memory share a
    limited pool of cognitive resources. When information processing is slowed or inefficient, working memory
    suffers and the person then has less attentional resources to devote to tasks. After studying the effect of
    Interactive Metronome® (IM) on reading achievement, Taub et al (2007) proposed that IM training increases our
    brain’s clock speed or temporal processing (the ability to process information more rapidly and fluently)
    thereby increasing the efficiency of attention and working memory. This in turn leads to better cognitive
    performance.

Barrett, L.F., Tugade, M.M., and Engle, R. (2004). Individual differences in working memory capacity and
dual-process theories of the mind. Psychological Bulletin, 130(4), 553-573.

  • Here again, Field & Groeger (2004) show the intimate relationship between working memory and timing in the
    brain or “temporal processing.” In the discussion, it is noted that previous research has shown that when we
    hold AND manipulate information in our working memory (i.e., making a mental comparison or problem-solving) and
    we ADD an additional mental task to working memory (or increase “cognitive load”), this new information
    interferes with the information being held in memory for the first task. In this study, the authors show that
    when we simply HOLD information in working memory but do not actively manipulate it for a purpose and then ADD
    another mental task (again, increasing “cognitive load”), the second task information ALSO interferes with
    first. When we talk about “interference,” we mean that information about the first and second task get confused
    with one another or that the second set of information causes some of the first to be forgotten or recalled
    inaccurately. We see this quite a bit after concussion or traumatic brain injury where the person can recall the
    information, but the information gets mixed up. Here is an example: The person may be told at the same time that
    he has a doctor appointment on Tuesday @ 1:00 and a hair appointment on Friday @ 4:15. He may recall this after
    a short time delay and intervening activity as a hair appointment on Tuesday @ 1:00 and a doctor appointment on
    Friday @ 4:15. Interactive Metronome® is a treatment that addresses the underlying timing deficit in working
    memory, improving the ability to process, store, and retrieve information more accurately.

Field, D. T. & Groeger, J.A. (2004). Temporal interval production and short-term memory. Perception &
Psychophysics, 66(5), 808-819.

  • The rate & synchronization of timing in the brain have a great influence on our ability to control our
    attention, direct it where it needs to be, tune out distractions, maintain and update information about what we
    are supposed to be doing “right now” in working memory (“inhibition”), and, of course, make all this happen
    seamlessly without hiccups. In this study, researchers provided further evidence that working memory is central
    to our ability to function in the world and that it is greatly affected by how well we can direct the focus of
    our attention. Those that have more of a problem with focus have more trouble recalling information accurately
    or at all about what they are supposed to be doing at the moment. Do you know anyone with this trouble? It is
    quite common these days with the increase in childhood developmental disorders and the increase in Traumatic
    Brain Injury and Concussion as a result of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Interactive Metronome®, a
    treatment tool that improves timing in the brain, is currently used to help children overcome learning obstacles
    and at multiple VA hospitals with our veterans who have difficulty with focus, memory and other cognitive
    difficulties that interfere with their functional independence upon return to civilian life. We thank them for
    their service to our country and wish them all the best in their recovery!!

Unsworth, N., Schrock, J.C., and Engle, R.W. (2004). Working memory capacity and the antisaccade task: individual
differences in voluntary saccade control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition,
30(6), 1302-1321.

  • Palladino et al. (2003) studied 20 subjects to determine whether there was a difference in how the brain handles
    information when it is presented verbally versus visually. They did find that there is a difference in processes
    involved in working memory depending on how the information is presented. Complex thinking involved in tasks
    like reading comprehension depend upon working memory. It has been reported that working memory is very
    sensitive to intrusion errors (or corruption from information that is not relevant to the task at hand that
    enters the mix). Humans possess a very important skill called inhibition, which is the ability to filter
    information to only keep in active working memory was is important to the task and discard the rest. Filtering
    may not occur if the person cannot selectively attend to incoming information, mentally manipulate information
    for comparison, and/or keep up with the pace of incoming information (slower processing speed). Many studies
    have reported on the central role of “temporal processing” or timing in the brain in working memory. Researchers
    who studied the Interactive Metronome® (IM) specifically, a patented program that improves timing in the brain,
    theorize that IM improves timing in the brain by increasing the flow and efficiency of information processing,
    an important precursor to working memory function.

Palladino, P., Mammarella, N., and Vecchia, T. (2003). Modality-specific effects in the inhibitory mechanisms: The
interaction of peripheral and central components in working memory. Brain and Cognition, 53, 263-267.

  • What we can probably say for certain is that the brain does keep time; precisely HOW it does that is still up
    for debate. There are several predominant theories that are keeping many researchers busy! Here, Rosenbaum
    (2002) puts forth yet another theory. Have you read the literature on mental timing theory? What do you think?
    Regardless of how the brain does it, we know that a person can improve timing in the brain with specific
    practice. Interactive Metronome® improves timing in the brain through progressive exercises & feedback that
    can be customized to suit the needs or interests of the individual (i.e., practicing repetitive movements for
    self-feeding or self-care, or simulating sports or incorporating play).

Rosenbaum, D.A. (2002). Time, space, and short-term memory. Brain and Cognition, 48, 52-65.

  • The human brain keeps time. Time is essential for understanding & producing intelligible speech, focusing
    attention, for reading, writing and other academic skills, and the list goes on and on… According to scientists,
    we must focus and engage our attention, control what we are focused on, tune out distractions, and hold &
    update information about the task in working memory in order for the brain to do the work of keeping time
    accurately. One of the predominant theories about how the manages time-related information is called the
    “pacemaker accumulator model.” This theory suggests that our brain emits timed neural impulses until a certain
    number are accumulated (equaling a target duration of time, in milliseconds). Each time the brain handles
    information, the electrical circuits and impulses get to work and must do so in a very precisely timed,
    synchronized manner. When a short-circuit happens or there is not the level of precise synchronization or
    coordination of signals within and between centers of the brain, it shows in our performance on mental and
    physical tasks (i.e., ability to focus, to understand and follow directions, to read, to spell, organize
    thoughts, produce language, and write legibly, and to coordinate motor movements for walking, running, jumping,
    climbing….) Fortunately, timing in the brain is a skill that can be shaped and improved with specific training.
    Key to training is “feedback” so you know what you are doing wrong and can correct it. The Interactive Metronome®
    is the ONLY brain fitness tool that provides feedback for timing in the brain each and every move, allowing you
    to progressively get more and more precise. More precise timing leads to improvement in the problem areas listed
    above.

Fortin, C. (1999). Short-term memory time interval production. International Journal of Psychology,
34(5/6), 308-316.

Mental Timing

  • Here is another study, one of MANY, that show a clear relationship between working memory and timing in the
    brain (Fortin et al., 2007). Essentially, if timing in the brain is disrupted, then working memory does not work
    very efficiently or effectively leading to a host of problems at home, school, work, and play. If you’ve been
    searching the Internet for a program or treatment to address school performance, a developmental delay or
    disorder, or overall brain fitness, then you’ve surely seen all the buzz about the importance of working memory
    for cognitive performance. Given the importance of timing in the brain for working memory, and thus cognitive
    performance, it is critical to assess timing in the brain to see if that is the root of the problem. Interactive
    Metronome is a patented program that both assesses and improves timing in the brain, providing measurable scores
    each step of the way. Persons may then derive more benefit from the various cognitive fitness programs available
    once his/her brain is focusing, processing information, and utilizing cognitive resources like working memory
    more efficiently and effectively.

Fortin, C., Champagnea, J, and Poirier, M. (2007). Temporal order in memory and interval timing: An interference
analysis. Acta Psychologica, 126(1), 18-33.

  • I like this description about timing in the brain by Dr. Penny Lewis (2006). “Time measurement [in the brain] is
    fundamental to almost everything we do: music and speech, for instance, are just time-coded variations in sound,
    and movements are carefully timed contractions of muscles. We perceive our lives as a flow of events in time,
    and plan our futures in the same way. If our timing system gets damaged, as it does in patients with Parkinson’s
    Disease, Schizophrenia, and certain types of brain injury, all of these abilities can be impaired.” Did you
    realize that mental timing was so important? Why do we still conduct therapies without incorporating timing and
    rhythm? Certainly, after review of the ever-growing body of research demonstrating its importance, we now know
    how important timing is to speech, language, cognition, and motor skills. Surely, we will begin to incorporate
    the foundational skill of timing more and more into our interventions for children and adults who are seeking
    greater achievement, independence, and quality of life. Interactive Metronome® (IM) is a patented treatment tool
    for doing just that. It has been successfully used with individuals of all ages, from early intervention with
    infants to treat hemiplegia, sensory, communication/language, and cognitive skills to geriatric patients with
    aphasia, decreased independence with self-care and basic ADLs, cognitive impairments that affect safety
    judgment, and increased fall risk.

Lewis, P.A. (2006). Emotion, memory, and the perception of time. The University of Liverpool. Unpublished white
paper.

  • These statements were made by Lewis & Walsh (2005), prominent neuroscientists who study timing in the brain.
    “Our brains measure time continuously. We are aware of how long we have been doing a particular thing, how long
    it has been since we last slept, and how long it will be until lunch or dinner. We are ready, at any moment, to
    make complex movements requiring muscle coordination with microsecond accuracy, or to decode temporally complex
    auditory signals in the form of speech or music. Our timing abilities are impressive, diverse and worthy of
    investigation. But they are not very well understood.” In this paper entitled, Time Perception: Components of
    the Brain’s Clock, they briefly outline the problems with identifying the exact mechanism for human time
    estimation. “Regardless of their diversity, the models [or theories about timing in the brain] all agree that
    temporal information is processed in many ways: it is remembered, compared to other temporal information,
    combined with sensory information, and used in the production of motor outputs.” While we wait for
    neuroscientists to refine their methodology and identify the holy grail of mental timing, we don’t have to wait
    before we introduce the concept of timing into habilitation & rehabilitation programs for individuals with
    developmental disorders, acquired brain injury from TBI or stroke, or certain degenerative diseases. There
    exists a growing body of literature describing the neural timing deficits in ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism, Reading
    Disorders, Auditory Processing Disorder, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s. By addressing timing in the brain with
    Interactive Metronome® (IM) alongside functional therapy interventions you are not only addressing areas of
    ability that impact achievement and independence but also the heart of the problem, that of deficient timing.
    This can only lead to more efficient treatment and better overall outcome.

Lewis, P.A. & Walsh, V. (2005). Time perception: Components of the brain’s clock. Current Biology, 15(10),
R389-R391.

  • Did you know that your brain has an “internal clock” that keeps time? And that it does so at various intervals:
    microseconds, milliseconds, seconds, minutes, and hours? Timing in the brain (or what scientists call “temporal
    processing”) is responsible for detecting where a sound is coming from as sound hits one hear microseconds
    before the other, for waking up and putting to sleep our brain every 12 hours or so, and for focusing attention,
    reading comprehension, remembering information, processing speech and motor coordination (millisecond timing).
    This information comes from a paper titled The Neural Basis of Temporal Processing by Mauk & Buonomano
    (2004), probably my favorite paper on human timing. Having used Interactive Metronome® (IM) in a rehabilitation
    setting for individuals with traumatic brain injury, stroke, and other neurological disorders for several years
    and now in the capacity as the Clinical Education Director for Interactive Metronome® where I speak to other IM
    providers regularly, I often see the tremendous impact of IM training on persons with a variety of developmental
    and acquired disorders. This study really helps us to understand why timing in the brain is so important to all
    of the skills we address in our therapies (speech, language, cognition, behavior, vision, motor skills, and
    sensory processing). I strongly encourage you to read it. It will help you understand that timing is at the
    heart of virtually all we do.

Mauk, M.D. & Buonomano, D.V. (2004). The neural basis of temporal processing. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27,
307-340.

  • In this 2004 issue of Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Nobre & O’Reilly comment on an important research study
    by Coull et al. (2004) that showed involvement of the fronto-striatal loop in mental timing-related cognitive
    and motor functions. This area of the brain has been implicated in the skills of sequencing, attention-shifting
    and decision-making, particularly under time-pressure, as well as the planning and sequencing of motor
    movements. Here is yet another connection between thinking and motor skills…they appear to share at least some
    of the same neural circuitry. Perhaps this, at least in part, explains why the overwhelming majority of
    individuals who complete Interactive Metronome® (IM) training typically demonstrate improvement in BOTH cognitive
    and motor skills. IM training involves synchronizing the body to move to a steady beat. Immediate feedback is
    provided (audio, visual, or both) to help the individual improve their overall mental and physical timing skills
    that form the basis for speech, language, thinking, behavior, and coordinated movement.

Nobre, A.C. & O’Reilly, J. (2004). Time is of the essence. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8(9), 387-389.

  • There is a definite trend we see among individuals who undergo Interactive Metronome® (IM) training, a program
    that improves timing in the brain or what is known as “temporal processing.” They typically demonstrate improved
    motor coordination and ability to focus. Most also experience other benefits like improved reading comprehension
    and fluency, less aggression and better self-control, more legible handwriting, etc. This study may help us
    understand why we typically see improvement in BOTH cognitive and motor skills once timing skills are improved.
    Rubia & Smith (2004) show with fMRI that both motor timing and the timing associated with cognitive
    abilities are controlled by the same regions of the brain, “suggesting that both functions are probably
    inseparable and mediated by common neural networks.” This is a good read for anyone interested in learning more
    about the specific brain structures and “networks” involved in human timing and their relation to cognitive and
    motor skills. In many conditions, like ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Parkinson’s, Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, …we
    see that the person’s ability to achieve and be more independent is impacted by deficits in BOTH cognitive and
    motor skills. Interactive Metronome®, a patented treatment modality commonly used in therapy for these
    conditions, is the only program that addresses both of these skills simultaneously.

Rubia, K. & Smith, A. (2004). The neural correlates of cognitive time management: A review. Acta Neurobiologiae
Experimentalis, 64, 329-340.

  • Here is another favorite of mine when it comes to papers describing the human clock system, How Do We Tell Time?
    (Buonomano & Karmarker, 2002). It is easy to read, a huge bonus (you know what I mean if you have been
    following this stuff!!!), and goes into detail about the various levels of timing in the brain: microseconds,
    milliseconds, seconds, circadian rhythms… The authors also discuss the various theories that abound such as
    whether we have a distributed network of clocks or whether there is one central clock that does it all. All???
    Right, the brain clock is intimately involved in our abilities to do the following: understand and produce
    intelligible speech (articulation, phonological processing disorders), read and write, organize our thoughts and
    communicate our ideas clearly and concisely (like I am doing!), attend to task, switch attention from one thing
    to another, multitask (mothers, you know what this one is!), sequence the steps to perform everyday tasks,
    listen to a class lecture and take notes, remember and learn new information, reach for a glass of water without
    knocking it over, walk with good speed, symmetry, and balance, and on and on… You might be asking by now, “What
    is wrong with my clock, with my child’s clock, with my significant other’s clock??” as you or they may be
    displaying difficulty with some of the skills I just described. The brain’s clock can be disrupted (and the
    synchronicity of it can be out of whack) when there is a problem with childhood development (ADHD, Autism,
    Dyslexia…), injury to the brain (Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, Aneurysm…), or disease (Schizophrenia,
    Parkinson’s, Huntington’s…). The Interactive Metronome® is a patented, flexible program that improves timing and
    synchronization in the brain. Professionals can easily incorporate IM training into treatment for speech,
    language, cognition, and motor skills (i.e., professionals in Speech & Language Therapy, Cognitive
    Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychology Services, etc).

Buonomano, D.V. & Karmarker, U.R. (2002). How do we tell time? Neuroscientist, 8(42), 42-51.

  • Scientists agree that our brain contains a “clock,” or at least one, maybe more than one. What they can’t
    precisely agree on, but generally seem to understand each other’s viewpoints on, is the central location of the
    ticker… Is it in the basal ganglia, the striatum, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the cerebellum??? There
    are good arguments for each location, … perhaps they are all involved and work in a “network” of sorts or
    perhaps they are all individual clocks that keep time in our brain for various different functions … processing
    speech or music, coordinating movements, paying attention, etc. Dr. Penny Lewis, in this 2002 article titled
    Finding the Timer, discusses new and important research by Constantinidis et al. (2002) that may help shed more
    light on the location and mechanism for mental timing. Of course, more research has been published since then,
    but are we any closer to knowing?? Fortunately, we don’t have to know the exact location of the ticker to know
    how important it is or that we professionals absolutely must assess and treat timing in the brain just as we do
    the various skills that are controlled by timing in the brain!! Interactive Metronome® is an assessment and
    treatment tool that measures timing in the brain and improves it. It is flexible and is ideally administered
    alongside other functional interventions to build and strengthen abilities.

Lewis, P.A. (2002). Finding the timer. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6(5), 195-196.

  • Here is a novel research idea. Rao et al. (2001) examined the various areas of the brain known to be involved in
    mental timing under fMRI during a time-perception task to see how timing in the brain unfolded in a sequential
    way. For example, they noticed that the basal ganglia lit up first and that it was uniquely associated with
    encoding time intervals. Also engaged early in the process were other parts of the neural timing network
    responsible for attention and temporary maintenance (or recall if you will) of time intervals in memory. Later
    in the process, as the brain compared current timing information to that from memory (is this the same, more, or
    less amount of time?), the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was activated. Also, late to activate was the
    cerebellum. “Our results illustrate a dynamic network of cortical-subcortical activation associated with
    different components of temporal information processing.” What does this mean? Areas of the brain known to be
    involved in attention, memory/learning, and motor skills are part of this brain network for timing. Timing in
    the brain, in turn, determines how well a person can focus, learn, and move. Interactive Metronome® is a patented
    training program that improves timing in the brain through a series of mind-body exercises that require a person
    to move to a steady beat. Most critically, immediate feedback is provided after each movement to help a person
    know how far off the beat (s)he is and make corrections to improve timing & rhythm. Improvement in focus,
    memory, reading, and motor skills occurs as a result of improved mental timing skills.

Rao, S.M., Mayer, A.R., and Harrington, D.L. (2001). The evolution of brain activation during temporal processing.
Nature Neuroscience, 4(3), 317-323.

Motor Skills

  • Here is a fascinating study in Cortex that looked at the brain under fMRI while listening to rhythmic auditory
    sounds. Bengtsson et al (2009) found that areas of the brain involved in motor planning and sequencing (or
    preparing motor sequences) were activated while listening to rhythmic sound. Interactive Metronome® (IM) training
    improves motor planning and sequencing (and thus motor coordination) through a series of progressive exercises
    that are synchronized to a steady auditory rhythm. As the person performs each distinct movement, audio and/or
    visual feedback is provided in milliseconds to improve “temporal processing” for fine and gross motor
    coordination.

Bengtsson, S.L., Ullen, F., Ehrsson, H.H., Hashimoto, T., Kito, T., Naito, E., Forssberg, H., and Sadato, N. (2009).
Listening to rhythms activates motor and premotor cortices. Cortex, 45, 62-71.

  • In this study by Jantzen et al. (2007), the authors identified that timing in the brain for motor coordination
    relies upon a “network of brain areas engaged to meet the specific sensory, motor and cognitive demands of the
    associated coordination behavior.” While looking at the brain under fMRI during synchronous movement they were
    able to tease out regions of the brain involved in interval timing for motor activity and to show that
    information about timing from the environment (or context) influences internal timing for coordinated movement.
    Interactive Metronome® training promotes synchronization within this neural network for more coordinated movement
    through a series of progressive exercises that are performed to a steady beat. Millisecond feedback for
    mental/interval timing is provided following each movement to help refine timing skills and coordination.

Jantzen, K.J., Oullier, O., Marshall, M., Steinberg, F.L., and Kelso, J.A.Ss. (2007). A parametric fMRI
investigation of context effects on sensorimotor timing and coordination. Neuropsychologia, 45, 673-684.

  • Movement requires precise timing, especially that of athletes, musicians, and skilled workers. This article by
    Larue (2005) delves into the timing mechanisms within the brain that govern movement. What I particularly like
    about this paper is its readability as I am not a neuroscientist but am keenly interested in timing in the brain
    and the interplay between temporal processing, cognition, and coordinated movement. The author discusses unique
    versus multiple timing mechanisms, learning timing, the contribution of movement-related feedback to timing, the
    contribution of attention in the learning of timing, and other important topics relating to how timing in the
    brain determines the quality of movement. This article should be of particular interest to anyone who is
    familiar with or uses the Interactive Metronome® in the habilitation or rehabilitation of motor skills. Timing
    & rhythm are essential to movement.

Larue, J. (2005). Initial learning of timing in combined serial movements and a no-movement situation. Music
Perception, 22(3), 509-530.

  • Most of the motor movements involving our arms and hands are bilateral, meaning they involve using both limbs
    together in a coordinated fashion. Examples given in this paper are: typing, using a fork and knife, and
    buttoning a shirt. In this article by Ivry et al (2004), the authors go into significant detail about how the
    two sides of the brain work together to make this possible. They discuss timing in the brain and show how
    thinking and movement work in tandem for coordinated motor movement. Interactive Metronome® is a unique training
    tool that challenges thinking and movement simultaneously as the individual synchronizes movements with a steady
    auditory rhythm. Feedback regarding how close to or how far away from the beat is provided following each
    individual movement to help the individual refine his/her motor skills. Research has shown that listening to
    rhythmic sound activates the centers of the brain involved in coordinated motor planning and sequencing.

Ivry, R., Diedrichsen, J., Spencer, R., Hazeltine, E., and Semien, A. (2004). A cognitive neuroscience perspectivce
on bimanual coordination and interference. In S.P. Swinnen & J. Duysens (Eds.), Neuro-Behavioral Determinants of
Interlimb Coordination: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Chapter 9). New York: Springer Publishing.

  • This study by Lewis et al. (2004) shows that our brain learns then retains the temporal (or timing) information
    about particular movement sequences. Once the movement is over-learned (or repeated to the extent we can do it
    without thinking) we can continue the movement on “autopilot” so to speak. The relevance of the paper here is to
    point out, once again, that movement is governed by timing in the brain and that the brain can learn the
    temporal information necessary for coordinated movement. Interactive Metronome® can be easily integrated into
    habilitation/rehabilitation programs to provide this learning opportunity through exercises requiring
    synchronization of movement with auditory rhythm (and of course, feedback for timing!).

Lewis, P.A., Wing, A.M., Pope, P.A. Praamstra, P., and Miall, R.C. (2004). Brain activity correlates differentially
with increasing temporal complexity of rhythms during initialization, synchronization, and continuation phases of
paced finger tapping. Neuropsychologia, 42(10), 1301-1312.

  • Temporal processing (or the timing of neural oscillations/transmissions) plays a critical role in coordinated
    motor movement. In this paper published in Science, the authors distinguish between “continuous” motor tasks,
    which involves moving steadily and smoothly at a certain pace, versus “discontinuous” motor tasks, which involve
    a succession of stops and starts as a person accomplishes each step of an overall goal (i.e., picking up a
    plate, walking it over to the table, and setting it down). They discuss the role of the cerebellum in each of
    these types of motor tasks and how the timing control for each differs in terms of the brain structures used,
    arguing that the cerebellum is involved only early on in setting the timing goal for continuous, smooth
    movements, but that the cerebellum is involved throughout the movement when it is discontinuous or involves
    several starts and stops by setting several, successive timing goals. Timing in the brain may be disrupted due
    to developmental disorder, trauma, or illness resulting in uncoordinated movement and/or cognitive impairment.
    The Interactive Metronome® is a treatment program that measures and improves temporal processing, or timing in
    the brain, that is critical for movement and thinking.

Spencer, R.M.C., Zelaznik, H.N., Diedrichsen, J., and Ivry, R.B. (2003). Disrupted timing of discontinuous but not
continuous movements by cerebellar lesions. Science, 300(5624), 1437-1442.

Processing Speed

  • Scalar expectancy theory (SET) is one of the most popular current models of human timing. This article contains
    one of the simplest explanations of SET that I have seen. Wearden (2008) suggests our brain keeps time via a
    pacemaker that starts pulsing at regular intervals as the brain receives information from the environment that
    is timed (i.e., when listening to someone speak). Speech contains many timed elements that must be separately
    interpreted and then integrated to distinguish between sounds, syllables, words and other information like
    intent of the speaker (serious? joking?). Each “pulse” is then collected by something called an “accumulator.”
    The authors discuss how the pacemaker is switched on and off, how the accumulator starts and stops collecting
    the timed information based on the switching on and off of the pacemaker, and about the reference memories for
    time (or # of pulses) that are kept in memory and accessed in order to make a final determination (i.e., in the
    example I gave earlier, the decision would be about what is heard …did he say “burst” or “birth?”).
    Additionally, Wearden provided further evidence that the pace or speed of the brain’s clock can be manipulated
    with specific activities that are repetitive and engage attention. The Interactive Metronome® is a brain fitness
    tool that is used in the treatment of many developmental disorders, acquired brain injuries, progressive
    illnesses, and by those that are feeling the effect of aging or want an academic or athletic advantage. Through
    repetitive exercises aimed at synchronizing timing in the brain, individuals learn better focus, memory, and
    coordination.

Wearden, J.H. (2008). Slowing down an internal clock: Implications for accounts of performance on four timing tasks.
The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61(2), 263-274.

  • Not only are researchers fascinated with the idea that humans possess an “internal clock” … the fact that it
    controls and regulates so many of our human abilities like our thinking (or processing) speed … but they are
    also very interested in seeing if they can manipulate the brain’s clock by speeding it up or slowing it down.
    Previous research has shown that repetitive stimulation has an effect on a person’s internal timing by either
    speeding it up or slowing it down, depending upon the goal and type of stimulation provided. This was again
    demonstrated in a study by Droit-Volet & Wearden (2002) where they provided repetitive stimulation to
    children of a variety of different ages to “speed up” their internal clock or ability to process information
    faster. In my experience with Interactive Metronome® (IM), I have found that the repetitive auditory/visual
    stimulation of IM training has a very definite impact on processing speed. This has been repeatedly evident on
    standardized post-testing. Taub et al (2007) studied the effect of IM training on reading skills in elementary
    school children and proposed that the improvement seen in reading may be attributed to IM’s effect on “clock
    speed.” The repetitive stimulation of Interactive Metronome® both synchronizes and increases the speed of our
    internal clock. This is important because current research in the field of “intelligence” and the neurosciences
    tells us that the faster our “internal clock” operates, the more we are able to reach our potential
    academically, professionally, socially, athletically…

Droit-Volet, S. & Wearden, J. (2002). Speeding up an internal clock in children? Effects of visual flicker on
subjective duration. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 55B(3), 193-211.

  • Researchers have discovered that one way to further prove contemporary theory on human timing (i.e., scalar
    timing theory; pacemaker-accumulator model), is to manipulate “internal clock speed.” In other words, they seek
    to make the brain operate faster or slower by asking individuals to complete specific repeated activities that
    over time have the effect of slowing down the internal clock or speeding it up. Here is yet another study
    (Penton-Voak et al., 1996) where the authors proved that the pace of our internal clock or what is otherwise
    known as our ability to think faster can be sped up. The authors mention something important in that to increase
    our cognitive speed, the stimulation must be repetitive and must engage attention. Interactive Metronome® is
    patented brain training program that provides the right combination to increase mental speed and fitness.

Penton-Voak, I.S., Edwards, H., Percival, A., and Wearden, J.H. (1996). Speeding up and internal clock in humans?
Effects of click trains on subjective duration. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 22(3), 307-320.

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