It’s a weekday afternoon at the Camarillo Boys & Girls Club and about a dozen children ages 5 to 8 enter the computer room. Each puts on headphones, straps a round plastic button to one hand and starts clapping.
Most of these children are struggling in school, and some have learning disabilities such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder.
They are participating in a three- to four-week pilot program called Hardy Brain Camp, a unique form of therapy designed to help the young pupils focus and succeed in school.
Heuser Chiropractic is featured in the news as a provider of Interactive Metronome (IM). Therapists soon realized that IM can be used to help not only people with ADHD, but people suffering from Cerebral Palsy, Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Malachi, 25, who has suffered from TBI while overseas with the Army says that IM has helped his focus and saw great improvement.
Some parents have asked me if they could just use a regular musical metronome and get the same results as Interactive Metronome at home or IM-Home. A standard metronome is typically used by musicians to help them practice the tempo of music. They have also been used in traditional therapy to help patients with their timing and rhythm, however there is one piece that is missing. – FEEDBACK!
The "Time Doc" (K. McGrew) Voice of America interview on focus and "quieting the busy mind"
Why is a scholar in intelligence theory and testing spending time working with and researching the brain-clock based neurotechnology of Interactive Metronome? I have now explained this connection on my recent Internet radio show interview. In it you will learn why IM technology appears to increase focus (controlled attention; working memory) in a manner similar to mindfulness meditation and other brain fitness programs. You will learn that these technologies help to "quiet the busy" mind that is due to the default brain network, via the strengthening of the salience and central executive networks. The connection with general intelligence (g) is also discussed via Jensen's neural efficiency hypothesis and the temporal g notion of neural efficiency. If you want to read more, check out the Time Doc's posts at the IM-Home blog (check for posts under my name or under the category of "science"... and be sure to click on "see other stories" if it does not give you all the posts) These include the Time Doc's own personal experience with the IM-Home brain clock based technology... Read more...
IM is measuring and changing something real and important
No human investigation can be called real science if it cannot be demonstrated mathematically
Leonardo da Vinci, Treatise on Painting (1651)
Progress in science depends on new techniques, new discoveries and new ideas, probably in that order
Sydney Brenner (1980)
At the core of the IM intervention technology is a precise measurement system. To users and clinicians the IM measurement system is transparent. Yet, without the valid and precise measurement system, IM would not work.
In my “Brain or neural efficiency: Is it quickness or timing?” post, I advanced the hypothesis that the effectiveness of Interactive Metronome may be due to IM operating on a fundamental dimension of brain or neural efficiency, which intelligence scholars also relate to general intelligence (g). I have also suggested that this mechanism improves control of attention and may allow individuals to “quiet a busy mind”and invoke “on-demand focus.”
As an applied intelligence test developer (click here), I have been intrigued by the underlying precise millisecond-based measurement system which is the heart of IM technology. IM technology would not work if the underlying measurement system could not reliably measure differences in synchronized metronome tapping between individuals and changes within the same individual over repeated sessions.
Fastening New Skills with the Interactive Metronome - George’s Story.
George is a 78-year-old man, receiving Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy to address functional movement problems as a result of his moderate to severe Parkinson’s disease.
As an OT new to the IM program I was interested to see whether the program would help to alleviate the tremor in both of his hands as he tried in vain to manage his fasteners, buttons and zippers when dressing. I knew from experience that helping clients in this area with traditional therapy techniques (repetition/adaptation/compensation) was often arduous, frustrating and time-consuming.
Undaunted, I looked to the fact that the IM program had helped with many of my clients who had motor problems and set out enthusiastically to help George to “fine tune” his fine motor skills.
I’ve been an OT for 20 years now and have seen many patients with the diagnosis of Developmental Delay. As these children age, some of them do “catch up” but others tend to develop at their own pace. Sometimes other syndromes or conditions or influences are impacting these children as well. One day a mother was talking to me after our OT session and she stated – “He is just marching to the beat of his own drummer!” and that has stuck with me for the past 15 or so years. Well, that statement in itself has a rhythmical reference to it, so I thought why not try IM with some of my patients who had Developmental Delays and see if it would be helpful.
A 12-year-old boy was my first prospect. I had known him and worked with him since he was 18 months old. I reviewed with mom what I had learned, and let her know that I thought this might be a good option for her son who was struggling in school and was very slow and awkward in general. She agreed, knowing that at the very least it would be a good workout for him and that he would have to do some good motor planning during the tasks. She committed to coming in 2x/week before school...
There has been more than one occasion when behavioral issues really impact the outcome of our IM sessions and the changes that can take place. Sometimes honestly the kids just aren’t interested in what you want them to do, and they want to do it their own way. Sometimes there are behavioral issues that have become intertwined in their environment, and they need a fresh start. This can definitely have an impact on the effectiveness of your IM sessions, and what progress you see both in the clinic, and in their other environments.