Description of the Interactive Metronome – FAQs

What is the Interactive Metronome?

The interactive Metronome ® (IM) is a computer-based program designed to improve timing, attention, and coordination in children and adults with a wide range of cognitive and physical difficulties.  As an assessment and treatment tool, IM provides a non-invasive way to stimulate learning and development.

How does IM work?

The number and duration of sessions required varies depending on the individual client needs.  The program involves the client performing 13 different hand and foot exercises to a rhythmic beat for a high number of repetitions while auditory guide tones provide immediate feedback, letting the client know if the response was on time, early or late.  The difference between the client’s action and the actual beat is measured in milliseconds and presented as a score.  By keeping the beat, the brain is trained to plan, sequence, and process effectively.  Research has shown that the brain learns through repetitions of precise activities.  In turn, this produces measurable gains in physical and cognitive abilities, along with improved social-emotional behaviors.

What are the benefits?

Research studies have identified five core areas of statistically significant improvements gained through the IM program including the following:  Attention and Focus, Motor Control/Coordination, Language Processing, Reading and Math Fluency, and Ability to Regulate Aggression/Impulsivity.  In addition, significant correlations have been found between IM and academic achievement in mathematics, language, reading, and attention to task.  The IM program has also proven to be a powerful tool for improving both the physical and cognitive aspects of athletic performance.

To view these clinical research studies please visit

Who can benefit from going through the IM program?

IM can benefit children and adults who have trouble with motor control/coordination, paying attention, and learning.  As with any intervention, the varying degrees of severity affect the immediacy of the outcome.  As long as the client is able to perform repetitive movements, positive results from the IM program should be seen over time.

Can IM be used with all ages and capacity levels?

IM’s adaptive design can be used with a broad spectrum of clients as long as they are “developmentally” 6 years of age or older.  IM providers have treated clients from pediatric to geriatric.

Description of Service


Typically, IM training program requires a minimum of 16 – 18 sessions, conducted over a nine week period.  The optimum session frequency is 2 to 3 times per week.  Scheduling IM less than twice a week may not produce desired results.  The sessions are typically 60 minutes long.  IM should be viewed as light exercise.  When doing IM, the client should wear clothing that is comfortable, that allows free mobility without distractions and not interfere, i.e., snag on the trigger.   Flat-soled shoes such as sneakers or running shoes should be worn (no “flip-flops, high heels, or excessively clunky shoes).


The screening is designed to assess whether Interactive Metronome training program is likely to be suitable for the individual based on the assessment data, along with the individual’s self-report, then coaches’ report (if student-athlete), and the researchers.  The screening is not for a diagnosis or an evaluation for any particular condition, nor is it meant to replace either.  IM is a compliment to therapies including medications to improve the core mental process of timing, sequencing, and planning that can underlie certain functional deficiencies.  The benefits of IM to any particular individual may not be predictable and will depend upon circumstances unique to the individual.  The success of the IM training program depends, in part, on the effort, motivation and diligence in performing the IM exercises.