The Interactive Metronome – 21st Century Brain Training
Every breath you take, every move you make (enter the distinct guitar sounds of The Police’s wildly popular 1983 hit) is controlled by your brain’s innate timing system. Whether physical movements or the production of thoughts, your brain’s ability to time these magical feats accurately is the difference between normal everyday functioning and disastrous consequences. Successful brain training can help you avoid the latter!
Most can relate to the impact timing has on the way we move. We’ve all seen someone with Parkinson’s disease or brain injury, or simply decline (i.e. walking, tying shoes, speaking, etc.).
On the other hand, it might be more difficult for one to consider that the disorganized thoughts of schizophrenia. This is in fact a growing area of research where disorganized or uncoordinated thoughts are being related to the uncoordinated motor activity such as walking and speech. When movements are improved through various types of physical training, individuals experience more efficient thought processing and communication of these thoughts. Through this lens, it is quite easy to see how our thoughts, and even emotions, can be impairing by improper mental timing.
Can I improve my brain’s timing???
Musicians, dancers, and other athletes would tell you… Absolutely! Simply involving yourself in activities that revolve around a regular beat or rhythm (cadence) will help to strengthen timing ability. The obvious here would include activities such as music and dance.
But what if there are problems with my brain???
Previously mentioned brain injury and Parkinson’s disease would be natural barriers to improving timing in the brain. Studies also show that key physical abilities (bio-markers) such as balance and eye movements are impaired in those experiencing cognitive decline with aging. Challenges in these and other abilities will undoubtedly have an impact on our ability to improve timing. Addressing the physical and metabolic aspects of these conditions would be the logical first step in improving mental timing. For those with severe impairment, and for those looking to be the best they can be, there are other options.
Can my mental timing be measuring and improved???
Fortunately, yes! With sophisticated measurement and training tools such as the Interactive Metronome, those with neurological conditions and peak performers alike can have their brain’s timing measured quite accurately. This particular program utilizes auditory (sound) cues to first measure and then train one’s mental timing capacities. Through matching body movements to a standardized metronome beat, the computer software can determine how accurately one is timing. Numerous aspects of timing can be measuring including early and late timing tendencies, left vs. right side of body differences, upper vs. lower body timing differences, consistency in timing from one beat to the next, and much more. Armed with this information, experienced clinicians such as those at APEX Brain Centers in Asheville, NC can design and deliver specific Brain Training programs to repair the deficient timing issues to the highest degree possible.
What does this all mean for me???
With intact and efficient mental timing our risk of injury due to falling decreases… Thought processing and problem solving become more efficient… Attention and focus get sharper… Memory formation and retrieval become much easier… Certain unwanted behavioral traits improve… Academics and test-taking require less effort and produce less anxiety… Our limits of physical performance can skyrocket…
I believe you get the point. There are few aspects of humanism that is not positively impacting by an improvement in our brain’s innate timing abilities. Go exercise that rhythm – your brain will thank you!
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