Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Brain rhythm treatment efficacy: Can we fine-tune our brains?

It was recently brought to my attention that the link to a previously posted report I produced with Amy Vega (from Interactive Metronome) was dead. Earthlink (my server host) had informed me I was over I started some mass file deletion. This report was a victim of the purge. As I skimmed the report I realized that it is still a nice synthesis of the efficacy of a general class of research on brain rhythm training interventions. Below was our general conclusion. I would recommend that people who have not read the report revisit that post (with the fixed link) to understand why I continue to be intrigued by brain timing research and the potential for brain timing based interventions.

General conclusion:

...given the converging research that points toward a possible neurologically-based domain-general internal mental-timing mechanism (i.e., a potentially modifiable internal brain clock), it is possible that the efficacy of all four classes of rhythm-based treatments are operating (in their own way) on “fine tuning the temporal resolution of the human brain clock.” Our temporal resolution fine-tuning hypothesis is consistent with the temporal resolution power (TRP) hypothesis (Rammsayer & Brandler, 2002, 2007) that indicates that oscillatory brain process are responsible for the efficiency and speed of neural-based information processing. We hypothesize, via the temporal resolution fine-tuning hypothesis, that the positive outcomes for rhythm perception and production based treatments may be due to these treatments increasing the efficiency and speed of information processing in brain-based neural networks responsible for the planning, execution and synchronization of complex human behaviors.

We urge both academic and applied researchers to embrace the temporal processing (mental timing) theory--diagnostic/classification--treatment literature reviewed in this report and increase efforts to understand the links between the three legs of the mental timing stool. The positive effects of current “brain rhythm” treatment programs for many types of disorders, across a variety of human performance domains, is encouraging, particularly when placed in the context of the emerging science and theory of the human brain clock.

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