IM: How It Works

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 ear 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, motor coordination, and several  other human capabilities.

There exists a growing body of literature describing the neural timing deficits in ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism, Reading Disorders, Auditory Processing Disorder, Parkinson’s, and other conditions.  Traumatic Brain Injury  or Stroke may also disrupt timing in the brain. 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 neural timing within and between regions of the brain that are underlying many of the problems you are working on in therapy. This leads to more efficient treatment and better overall treatment outcomes.

IM’s game-like auditory-visual platform engages the patient and provides constant feedback at the millisecond level to promote synchronized timing in the brain. Exercises can be customized and involve a hierarchy of increasingly complex and precisely timed motor movements intertwined with gradually higher & faster cognitive processing, attention and decision-making. It is the only neuro-motor therapy tool that can be used successfully with all patients across the therapy spectrum, even those that require total hands-on assistance due to cognitive and/or physical impairments and those that are very young or elderly.

IM takes therapy to a new level.  Rather than simply performing repetitive movement or cognitive activities to achieve functional gains, therapists that incorporate IM into functional therapy activities report their patients are more engaged, more alert, complete far more repetitions of functional movement patterns and activities in a more precise and timely manner, and demonstrate faster progress toward cognitive, communicative, and physical therapy goals. Patients who are challenged and can see measureable improvements are more motivated to continue their therapy and achieve optimal success.

To learn more about IM you can download the following documents to read the scientific research.

1. The IM Specific Research Booklet contains 19 research studies and white papers on IM total 278 pages. Click here to visit the IM website and download the booklet.

  1. TheIM Research Bibliographyis a listing of all the research references at the basis of IM science.
  2. In 2013 the US Department of Defense & Veterans Brain Injury commission completed research using IM – the paper is titled Effects of Interactive Metronome Therapy on Cognitive Functioning After Blast-Related Brain Injury: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial. This studied concluded that “the addition of IM therapy to SRC (standard rehabilitation care) appears to have a positive effect on neuropsychological outcomes on soldiers who have sustained mild-to-moderate TBI and have persistent cognitive complaints after the period for expected recovery has passed.” More simply stated the study indicates greater improvements and were acquired more quickly. The US Veteran’s Administration has since acquired the equipment and is in process of integrating IM into their rehabilitation programs. Effects of Interactive Metronome Therapy on Cognitive Functioning After Blast-Related Brain Injury-A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial _Nelson et al. Neuropsychology Sep 23 2013