ADHD and Brain Connectivity

Check out our friend Dr. Kevin McGrew's blog about ADHD and brain connectivity. In it, he explores the science behind white matter connections and how it affects children with ADHD. Read more information on ADHD and several other neurological conditions, research and interesting science over on www.brainclock.net.

It All Matters: White Matter and You

We have talked before about how fast your brain really is, but how do those signals get to their final destination? Check out our exploration of white matter tracts and how they relate to your brain's overall health and functionality.

“Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think”

Your brain is an incredibly fast, effective and efficient machine that makes about 10,402,560,000,000,000,000,000 calculations per day if everything is running smoothly. That also leaves a lot of room for error. So how does that three pound fat ball on your shoulders control all of that information? Read more to find out about brain communication and information processing.

Not Just Brain Training

Brain health and neuroplasticity have become all the rage. Lumosity commercials are a mainstay on cable television, often interrupting tv shows like Brain Games. There is no end to the options when it comes to brain training, but do any of these programs work? Scientist say yes, but there could be a catch. Read more to find out how IM's unique and patented system challenges thinking and movement simultaneously, leading to long lasting improvements in functional brain networks.

Brain Awareness Week

Brains! Believe it are not, they aren’t just a delicious meal for zombies! That wrinkled ball of fat and nerves is the only thing keeping you alive and this week it's our job to make you aware of how important the brain is.

Who Needs A Watch?

Two clocks!? Holy cow, I'm already late according to the one on the wall. New research suggests that the brain actually has two clocks working simultaneously, and possibly competing with each other. Find out why timing is even more important now than ever.

The Ability to Synchronize Motor Movements to a Steady Beat is Linked to a Person’s Ability to Process Speech & Language and Read

A new study by Tierney & Kraus (2013) from Northwestern University’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory helps shed more light on why synchronizing motor movements to a steady beat results in faster, more accurate auditory processing, reading, and language processing.  Their landmark study of 124 high school students highlights a neural structure called the inferior colliculus (IC) that serves as a way station for timing information between subcortical auditory structures, cerebral cortex, and the cerebellum. Tierny & Kraus have found the "first evidence linking [motor] beat synchronization ability to individual differences in auditory system function." Continue reading for more information on this groundbreaking research.

Individualized IM “on-demand focus” training

 

As summarized in prior posts, neurocognitive research suggests that the predominant gear of our minds transmission is neutral.  Our mental engine is working (idling) but to those observing us, our brain is not moving—we often do not appear cognitively engaged in any complex thinking or processing.

The typical person spends up to half their time engaged in the spontaneous chasing of miscellaneous thoughts down various rabbit holes of our minds.  Our thought promiscuous mind wanders here-and-there when daydreaming (“zoning out”) or becoming trapped in a cycle of negative unchecked thoughts (e.g., rumination over negative unhappy thoughts; mania; obsessions).  However, the unconstrained busy or wandering mind can also produce creative insights and thoughts.   An unquiet or busy mind can be good or bad depending on the demands facing the individual at any given time.  More importantly, the amount of optimal mind wandering may vary for different people.

RAPT: Attention and focus

 

I have been reading Winfred Gallagher’s 2009 book “RAPT:  Attention and the focused life.”  In many of my blog posts I maintain that Interactive Metronome (IM) training requires controlled attention—focus.  I have further suggested that “on demand focus” is a potentially powerful tool.  By this I mean one wants to train your brain to invoke focused attention when facing cognitively demanding tasks.  However, 100% laser beam focus is not attainable, nor would one want to constantly be super focused.   The mind wandering of the default brain networkneeds to be shut down to focus.  However, unfettered mind wandering can allow for creative thought (and also the flip side—ruminations of irrational or bad thoughts).

ADHD as a brain network dysfunction—IM as a tool to “fine tune” and control this network.

ADHD as a brain network dysfunction—IM as a tool to “fine tune” and control this network.

The explosion of research on large scale brain networks, and the “resting state” or “default mode or default network” in particular, has been dizzying.  I previously reviewedkey brain network research describing the interaction between the default, salience (attention) and executive controlled networks.  The most important conclusion, which was reinforced by my personal experiencewith Interactive Metronome (IM), is that problems with controlled attention (focus) may be responsible for a number of the behavioral symptoms of ADHD—and this is due to the poor ability to suppress the random self-talk “background noise” of the default brain network.  [Click herefor related IM-HOME ADHD posts; click herefor ADHD- related Brain Clock.]

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