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.
The brain as a set of networks: Fine tuning your networks
Man has always known that the brain is the center of human behavior. Early attempts at understanding which locations in the brain controlled different functions were non-scientific and included such practices asphrenology. This pseudoscience believed that by feeling the bumps of a person’s head it was possible to draw conclusions about specific brain functions and traits of the person.
Eventually brain science revealed that different regions of the brain where specialized for different specific cognitive processes (but it was not related to the phrenological brain bump maps). This has been called the modular or functional specialization view of the brain, which is grounded in the conclusion that different brain areas acted more-or-less as independent mechanisms for completing specific cognitive functions.
My personal and professional experience and task analysis of IM-Home: Focus and controlled attention.
I am departing from my original plan for this post, as I want to share my personal experience with IM-Home to date. I have completed my 16th session and have been task analyzing the demands of the IM.
My first conclusion is that IM is challenging! When I tell others that I am using a high-tech "clapping" machine that uses a cowbell sound, I am typically greeted with skepticism, much like my original skepticism. It sounds simple and easy. Trust me--it is a very cognitively demanding therapy.
Being an extremely visually oriented person with expertise in the analysis of numbers (applied psychometrics and statistics), I immediately gravitated to the IM visual and numeric feedback on the computer screen. In fact, I focused almost exclusively on the numbers. I more-or-less ignored the auditory feedback in my ears. Within a week I found it relatively easy to be "on target" and when off target, quickly and automatically adjust my pace to be in synch with my tireless IM taskmaster. However, I found that when I was in a groove and being "super right- on" (exactly on the beat) for a number of consecutive trials, my mind would start to wander to random thoughts. No sooner would my mind wander for a brief second then...
??A link has now been established between ADHD & timing. Genes that control circadian rhythm do not function properly in ADHD adults, which also may explain why these individual have poor sleep patterns and suffer from depression. Theoretically if they are put back “on time” symptoms would improve. IM (Link to IM-Home) is the only measurable therapeutic device that works on timing in the brain.
Do you remember Congresswoman Gabby Giffords? Well in the 10 months since a bullet left her in critical condition and suffering from aphasia—the inability to speak- Mrs. Giffords is now singing thanks to music therapy!
“I am now convinced that the IM-effect is impacting a fundamental and critical cognitive mechanism (or set of mechanisms) involved in a wide array of human cognitive and motor performance domains.”
Cognitive and intelligence researchers have long sought for (and argued about) the “holy grail”of intelligence—an underlying core essence or mechanism that plays a role in most all intellectual and human performance situations. It is typically referred to as g, or general intelligence. The general consensus touches on the concept of neural efficiency. Such a general mechanism or process is considered a domain-general cognitive mechanism as it works across multiple domains of human ability, or in other words...if you improve this one area of ability, it in turn improves several areas of ability in the same person like cognitive skills (focus, attention, memory), speech/language abilities (articulation, auditory processing, reading), and motor skills (coordination, gait, balance). It works across multiple domains of human ability. Some have referred to such general mechanisms...
The Brain Clock: My journey to understand the science of mental timing interventions
“Run Gordon Run…this sounds like high-tech snake oil!”
That was my knee-jerk advice to friend and colleague, Dr. Gordon Taub, when he called me in 2004 to assess my interest in consulting on a “synchronized metronome tapping” (SMT) invention called Interactive Metronome (IM). IM was supposedly directed at improving the academic achievement of elementary school students. My skepticism was grounded on the fact that for many years in education (and special education in particular), non-academic interventions focused on remediating underlying cognitive deficits (e.g., psycholinguistic process training; visual-motor or spatial integration training; motor planning retraining) were subsequently found to be ineffective in improving reading, writing and math. Yes, performance could be improved on tests of the specific cognitive processes trained, but the results did not transfer to academic improvement in the classroom.
By the early to mid-1980’s non-academic cognitive process intervention programs had been debunked as ineffective for improving school achievement. It was from this skeptical lens that I offered Dr. Taub my advice. I went as far as telling Dr. Taub that I could not risk my professional reputation by being associated with yet another “magic bullet” claim for school learning, especially for “at risk” learners. The magic bullet lesson had been burned well into my school psychology psyche after...