“Timing is EVERYTHING in the brain!”
WHAT IS INTERACTIVE METRONOME
Interactive Metronome® (IM) is an evidence-based training and assessment tool.
IM is a Brain Fitness Program that can help with the timing of the brain, which is critical for proper brain functioning and communication.
Timing in the brain is an involved and invaluable process necessary for speech, coordination and the learning of intricate physical and cognitive tasks.
When your child’s brain timing is off, it can create issues with:
• Motor tics
• Neurological issues
IM is proven to improve:
• Executive functioning
• Motor skills
• Sensory Issues
Dr. Anderson has used Interactive Metronome to help children with such issues as:
• Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Sensory Processing Disorders
• Learning disabilities
• Developmental Delays
• Cerebral Palsy
• Auditory Processing Disorder
• Gross Motor problems
• Fine Motor Issues
• Traumatic Brain Injury
• Athletic Performance
How does IM work?
This unique, non-invasive therapy of Interactive Metronome helps to reset the timing in the brain at the millisecond level, by ‘training the brain’ to plan, sequence and process information more effectively through repetition of interactive exercises
Children ideally wear headphones and hold a sensor in one hand while they stand in front of a computer screen listening to a beat that is programmed at a specific rate for that person.
Each time they hear the metronome beat, they tap the sensor and the computer measures their performance to 2/1000th of a second.
On the screen, they see feedback that tells them if they’re off the beat – too fast or too slow – and by how much so they can correct it.
It may not seem like much, but inside the brain, there’s a lot going on. With every beat, the brain has to judge how much movement needs to occur and how fast or slow it needs to go for that movement to happen.
When you put the audio, visual, and movement all together, neural connections are created and that connectivity between all the areas of the brain becomes hard wired. This is why consistency with the IM is so important for the best results.
There is also a foot pad for tapping with the feet. This usually trained after the upper body becomes more coordinated.
Speakers can be used if headphones are not tolerated or if a parent must aid the child with the clapping.
There are also interactive “games” that can be used to help keep children motivated.
What Happens in the Brain as a result of IM training?
Multiple functional MRI studies show that IM training leads to changes in several brain regions, including the cerebellum, prefrontal cortex (PFC), basal ganglia, and cingulate gyrus.
The cerebellum (Latin for “little brain”), is involved with motor and thought coordination and is essential for processing complex information and then appropriately responding.
The PFC is responsible for impulse control, focus, and organization.
The basal ganglia play an important role in integrating feeling and movement, as well as setting the body’s anxiety levels.
The cingulate gyrus is involved in cognitive flexibility.
Interactive Metronome and ADHD
Focus and concentration are dependent on BRAIN timing.
There is a paper from Harvard Medical School: Profound Effects of Interactive Metronome and Brain Balance Exercises on a Subset of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
The specific aims of this study were:
I. To test whether Interactive Metronome Training and Brain Balance Exercises could achieve measurable improvements in attention, impulse control and activity on the Quotient ADHD System and in spatial working memory and spatial span on CANTAB.
II. To identify brain changes associated with beneficial effects of Interactive Metronome Training and Brain Balance exercises.
Interactive Metronome training was associated with increased connectivity between:
• the hippocampus (memory and learning)
• and the angular gyrus (language and number processing, memory retrieval, handwriting, ability to calculate mathematically and left/right discrimination, attention)
• precuneus (with episodic memory, visuospatial processing, self awareness),
• middle temporal gyrus (accessing word meaning while reading), lateral occipital cortex (visual interpretation),
• supramarginal gyrus (language perception and processing), cingulate gyrus (emotional response) and
• frontal pole (monitor action outcomes)
These language structures typically reside in the left hemisphere, and are most directly involved with intrinsic timing, rather than timing based on coordinated motor movements, which is primarily a cerebellar function. (see video on Functional Disconnection Syndrome for more information about brain hemispheric function.)
DOWNLOAD a Special Report for what goes on in the brain of a child with ADHD!
Interactive Metronome and Learning Disorders
A study from Baylor University revealed that students who received “just 15 minutes of IM training, four days a week”, in addition to language and reading intervention, demonstrated significant improvement in reading rate, fluency and comprehension over students who just received language and reading instruction.
Interactive Metronome and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) presents a unique set of challenges; children diagnosed with ASD typically have an assortment of social and communication troubles, as well as possible behavioral issues and problems controlling their emotions.
Children on the Autistic Spectrum are often intelligent and may have a tendency for savant intelligence in a particular area.
Timing of the brain is a domain-general mechanism and it is the basis for attention, working memory and processing speed, all of which are critical for social interaction, attention, handwriting, behavior and language development. Domain-general mechanisms are “jack-of-all-trades” mechanisms that function across a wide range of processes.
IM is the only training program that improves timing in the brain in an organized, systematic, flexible and engaging format. Research shows that combining whole body movements with cognitive tasks leads to overall better outcomes.
The Convenience of IM-Home
IM-Home makes it so easy to incorporate IM into your life, no matter where in the world you live!
Evaluations can be done in office if you are local or done using the IM home unit using video conferencing.
A home IM unit will be given to you or shipped to you.
Once an evaluation is done, Dr. Anderson creates a training program specific to your child’s needs and capabilities, which she monitors electronically.
Dr. Anderson receives an email every time your child completes a session.
She also asks for feedback from the parents- verbally and using video- in order to tweak the program, if necessary.
Please contact our office today to see if Interactive Metronome and IM-Home can help your child!