This is a monumental day. My “new brain” is working much more effectively than I ever imagined. My once-overwhelmingly messy office is becoming more easily organized with this improved brain function ability. As a frequent user of The Listening Program® (TLP), I recognize occasional surges of improvement. They are cause to celebrate.
I’m on my second week of using BrainBuilder® to increase my focus. Spurts of increased ability followed by lack of awareness with incorrect responses during the exercises were obvious. Thus, my number 1 client must be myself. I listen to one TLP SPECTRUM Module (I’m on #78) combined with the inTime Base schedule (I am on week 4) 5 days/week.
In non-technical language, my brain has obviously had some loose ends, inabilities and disconnections. I have struggled with a life-long challenge in the area of task performance. Nowhere has my “disconnect” manifested itself more than in my home office. It has been an area to avoid until today.
Loose cords, stacks of papers and incomplete notebooks are now coming together without effort and are being shelved in easy-to-find places. Along with a sense of satisfaction comes the impression I will be able to maintain this order. My brain seems to be learning to work in harmony with my energy and desires.
I just connected my ergonomic keyboard to my Mac. It is connected to a new larger screen. Now I can go to work with greater comfort. Most of all, my brain seems more connected.
I just had to take a break from my work to note the miracle.
New Waves Headphones
We are now shipping a new headphone with the Waves multi-sensory audio system.
The new Waves headphone is comparable in performance to the prior model, utilizing the same bone conductor, self-adjusting headband design, floating bone conductor mount and cable. The difference lies in the headphone body itself and ear cup design.
The new ear cups pivot slightly which provide improved ergonomics (fit) and comfort, especially for children. These are closed rather than semi-open, and we are very happy with the acoustic performance. Although they are technically considered a closed design, like the prior model they do not completely isolate background sound, and the soundstage is very wide allowing for clear listening discrimination.
A bonus in the design is the L and R markings on the inside of the ear cups for easier identification of the left and right sides. The model number and price remain the same as the prior headphone, and the new Waves headphones is designed to work with the current Waves amplifier.
There are no more of the old headphones in stock so any warranty replacements will be for the new one. So look forward to receiving the new Waves headphones on your next order.
Not familiar with Waves or bone conduction technology? Learn more here.
New Study Shows Quantitative Benefits in Children With Autism, ADHD and Other Needs When Using The Listening Program
Advanced Brain Technologies, creators of The Listening Program®, a provider of evidence-based music programs and products for improving brain function, today announced the publication of a new study titled “A Quantitative Summary of The Listening Program (TLP) Efficacy Studies: What Areas Were Found to Improve by TLP Intervention?” that shows quantitative benefits in children with autism, ADHD, and other needs when using The Listening Program method of music listening therapy. The research article was first published in the journal Occupational Therapy International as an online early view. Sadako Vargus, EdD, OTR co-authored the study with Jay R. Lucker, EdD, CCC-A/SLP, FAAA.
The study presents a quantitative summary of existing research examining the effects of The Listening Program (TLP) method of music listening therapy on various functions in children. Nine studies were used, looking at TLP intervention effects across studies, within each study and for various outcome measures. The studies looked at TLP intervention on children with autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, learning disabilities, auditory processing disorders, ADHD, Rett syndrome, dyspraxia, cerebral palsy, fibromyalgia, arthritis and stroke.
The magnitude of the TLP effect size revealed statistical significance with effect sizes ranging from very large to small with a mean value of medium across all studies. Two studies yielded significantly larger effect size than the other studies. One of these studies examined the improvement in auditory processing for children identified with autism. The other study examined improvement in academically related skills of underachieving school children. Larger effect sizes were obtained for research that examined auditory processing and listening skills, although all revealed positive changes.
This study suggests that the The Listening Program may be an effective therapeutic modality for children with wide ranging needs, in particular those with auditory processing deficits, autism, and who struggle with academics in school.
Our sincere thanks go out to the authors, Drs. Sadako Vargus and Jay R. Lucker for this important contribution to the evidence base which supports our work here at Advanced Brain Technologies.
inTime and OPERA??- Setting the Stage for Change (Part 2)
Brain change through music listening! It can happen. But how? The research and ideas of neuroscientist Ani Patel, PhD help us understand. According to Dr. Patel, who studies music and language, music processing has the potential to meet five essential conditions which engage adaptive plasticity in speech processing networks (Patel, 2011). He refers to them collectively as OPERA. inTime, along with other The Listening Program products, meets these conditions.
Research has found musical training to affect structural and neurochemical brain change, and to positively influence several aspects of speech processing (i.e. auditory attention, auditory figure ground, phonological processing, enhanced sensitivity to vocal affect and speech intonation, and auditory working memory). Recognizing that music and speech are both forms of communication that depend upon experience-based brain change within auditory networks, a theory of how music processing can affect speech processing provides us with a strong model for considering the “how’s” related to music-listening and changes in other areas.
OPERA conditions include overlap, precision, emotion, repetition and attention (Patel, 2011, 2014). How music processing associated with inTime may be affecting change in speech processing is a discussion of cross-domain plasticity, or change in neural processing in one domain (in this case, speech processing) stimulated by experience in another (inTime music listening, beat/pulse & rhythm activities).
Overlap is the first of the conditions needed for adaptive cross-domain plasticity. Acoustic features (as opposed to perceptual attributes) important to both speech and music must be processed by anatomical overlapping networks in brain. The overlap between processing acoustic elements in music and in speech exists in subcortical structures of the auditory pathway. inTime, with its organic emphasis on enhancing acoustic features, particularly time and frequency, stimulates these overlapping networks.
Precision, the second condition, specifies that for the neural encoding of speech to be influenced by musical training, music must place higher demands on the nervous system than speech does in terms of the precision needed for the sound stimulus to be represented within the nervous system. Based on his own review of research, including research related to pitch perception and timing, Dr. Patel believes that this is so, that music can place a higher demand on the system for the precision of encoding of acoustic features than what is demanded for speech processing. Both the percussion and combined instrumental sections of inTime, offer the listener musical sequences abundant with variations in duration, intensity and tone within a complex yet accessible polymetric and polyrhythmic structure. With this structure we believe the nervous system demands are high, but opportunities for brain and body to sync up with the beat/pulse are readily and naturally available.
Emotion, Repetition and Attention are an essential combination in promoting plasticity. A strong emotional response to the musical experience/stimulation is rewarding to the listener and to the listener’s brain. Focused attention enhances the encoding of particular acoustic features via cortical-subcortical and other descending connections. Repetition, critical both in terms of input and output, helps form connections. Recognizing the value of emotional reward, the music of inTime was designed to feel good. We want listeners to love to listen! In addition to the general appeal of the World Music genre, balance between novelty and familiarity and between predictability and surprise, and puzzles presented both rhythmically and spectrally, serve to emotionally engage and motivate the listener. Attention while listening to inTime music is supported primarily by the use of percussive sound and through deliberate use of contrast in both volume and sound frequencies, as well as through emotional reward. Listening is scheduled over the span of a few to several months for the purposes of repetition and duration with ongoing steady beat and rhythmic influences to develop and sustain synchrony.
Dr. Patel’s OPERA hypothesis, as related to speech processing, helps us understand how inTime can be used to affect interaction. Lasting change in brain structure and function in response to music stimulation that activates key neural networks, calls for processing at comparatively high levels, feels good, evokes our attention, and continues over time…neural plasticity! …inTime and OPERA.
Learn more about inTime or call 801-622-5676
Advanced Brain Technologies is Now an Approved Provider for TRICARE ECHO
Today Advanced Brain Technologies (ABT) announces that it is now an approved provider for the TRICARE Extended Care Health Option (ECHO), making its innovative neuroscience based music programs for brain training available to qualifying beneficiaries with special needs, which can be covered with little to no out of pocket expense.
The Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) provides financial assistance to beneficiaries with special needs for an integrated set of services and supplies. The following beneficiaries who are diagnosed with moderate or severe mental retardation, a serious physical disability, or an extraordinary physical or psychological condition may qualify for ECHO; active duty family members, family members of activated National Guard/Reserve members, family members who are covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program, children or spouses of former service members who are victims of abuse and qualify for the Transitional Compensation Program, family members of deceased active duty sponsors while they are considered “transitional survivors.” Children may remain eligible for ECHO beyond the usual age limits in some circumstances.
Advanced Brain Technologies is working closely with its extensive national network of trained providers serving US military families, and is also assisting military families with benefits information directly. Our family advisors will help you to understand if a child qualifies for ECHO, and then explain how to easily get set up to receive their benefits including the suite of ABT neuroscience based music programs for brain training which offer support to children with autism, ADHD, and qualifying mental, learning or physical disabilities.
April D. Christoperson, OTR/L, Director of Occupational Therapy, The Shandy Clinic , Colorado Springs, Colorado said “The ECHO program has opened so many doors for our active duty military members and their families! With the option of using ECHO funding for The Listening Program, inTime, Sleep Genius and other Advanced Brain Technologies (ABT) products, our therapists have been able to recommend home programming options for special needs children that previously put a large financial burden on the family. Now, when a child is eligible for ECHO funding it is so easy to obtain the equipment and start the training in clinic with our providers – ensuring a seamless transition to in-home use. We are so grateful for the support and training that ABT offers our clinicians and families – what a blessing!”
Advanced Brain Technologies solutions are GSA and TRICARE approved, and offered to active duty military members, their family members, and veterans through clinics, military and VA hospitals across the United States. Visit our U.S. Military Resource Center
Do you have a family member enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), and are enrolled in ECHO, or would like to learn if they qualify? Contact us at 888-228-1798 to speak with a family advisor or click here.
Are you a therapist who would like to learn more about serving the military population? Sign up for this free on-demand webinar.
inTime and OPERA?? – Yes!..Believe It or Not! (Part 1 of 2)
inTime, Advanced Brain Technologies’ rhythm and sound frequency-based music listening method, was launched on February 7, 2014. It is a program of firsts for music listening therapy –the first listening program to be of the world music genre and rooted in rhythmic percussion music, the first music listening therapy to emphasize both temporal (time) structure and frequency, the first program to be entirely originally composed and psychoacoustically crafted to enrich each of the four basic acoustic features – time, frequency, amplitude and spatiality, and the first Advanced Brain Technologies program to include activities in the method. Within these past two years, nearly 400 providers from 21 countries have attended training courses; listeners have reported inspiring changes linked to inTime; and research has taken place and is underway, including the first controlled group study of inTime outcomes.
During the period of inTime’s creation and production, neuroscientist Ani Patel, PhD introduced OPERA (no you haven’t missed something… Dr. Patel is not composing operas!). Rather, as a researcher and theorist, he has offered a hypothesis that specifies why musical training benefits neural encoding of speech, or neurons’ representation of speech stimulation with electrical signals. He proposed that music processing has the potential to meet five conditions which engage adaptive plasticity in speech processing networks, OPERA (Patel, 2011).
OPERA – essential conditions for adaptive neural plasticity
Overlap – There is an anatomical overlap in brain networks that process acoustic features used in both music and speech.
Precision – In comparison to speech, music places higher demand for precision of processing within shared brain networks.
Emotion – Musical activities that engage shared networks evoke strong positive emotions,
Repetition – repeat frequently,
Attention – and are associated with focused attention.
With the expansion of OPERA (Patel, 2014), Dr. Patel proposed that when sensory or cognitive processing mechanisms are shared between music and speech, and a comparatively higher demand is placed on these mechanisms through music, the “stage is set” for enhanced speech processing thru musical training. When those higher demands combine with music’s emotional rewards, frequent repletion and focused attention, neural plasticity is activated. With neural plasticity, lasting change in brain structure and function is possible, impacting speech processing. The OPERA hypothesis is now a subject of research.
Meeting the OPERA conditions with inTime
When I first read of Dr. Patel’s proposed explanation, well after inTime was released, I was struck by how inTime and other ABT music-listening programs help meet the five conditions he identified as essential for neural change. I also found myself thinking more broadly – What if ‘speech processing’ was replaced by ‘auditory processing’ or ‘auditory-language processing’, or even ‘auditory-motor processing’, especially since ‘speech’ is an auditory stimulus? Wouldn’t OPERA still apply?
As always, Dr. Patel gives us food for thought. Whether OPERA is applied specifically to speech processing or not, this hypothesis helps us identify a collection of elements that may be stimulating neural changes that underlie the behavioral change we note with our listeners. Part 2 of this blog, inTime and OPERA: Setting the Stage for Change will discuss inTime and each of OPERA’s five conditions.
Learn more about inTime or call 801-622-5676
Patel, A. (2011). Why would music training benefit the neural encoding of speech? The OPERA hypothesis. Frontiers in Psychology.
Patel, A. (2014). Can nonlinguistic musical training change the way the brain processes speech? The expanded OPERA hypothesis. Hearing Research. 308, 98-108.
Advanced Brain Technologies Partners with Pathways for Veterans to Offer Effective Brain Training Solutions to Help Veterans Find Purpose and Return to Civilian Life
Today Advanced Brain Technologies (ABT) announces that it is partnering with Pathways for Veterans to offer its neuroscience based music programs for brain training to provide relief to veterans suffering from symptoms of PTSD, TBI, anxiety and insomnia.
According to the National Center for PTSD at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 15% of veterans of the Vietnam War were diagnosed with PTSD in the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study. 12% of Gulf War veterans and 11-20% of veterans of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have PTSD in a given year; with 70-90% of patients with PTSD suffering from sleep disturbances.
Pathways for Veterans is implementing Advanced Brain Technologies solutions, The Listening Program® and Sleep Genius into their Pathways 16 week feasibility for employment programs. Known as the “At Ease Reset Protocol” these programs were specifically designed to help the Veterans Administrations and their Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors better serve veterans, many of whom may qualify for Chapter 31 and 38 benefits. When veterans have the experience of being heard, they are more likely to make better choices transitioning back to civilian life. Veterans were trained to complete their mission, which in turn gives them purpose. Veterans who have lost their sense of purpose can continue to make poor choices which adversely affect their health and wellbeing, including the likelihood of finding employment.
Gary Ferguson, founder of Pathways for Veterans said: “Wow, finally a game changer for veterans with PTSD, TBI, anxiety and insomnia! Having personally experienced these symptoms in varying degrees for over 50 years, I had given up hope that I would ever find relief in my lifetime. My faith has been renewed after experiencing The Listening Program. Having worked with countless numbers of veterans over the years, The Listening Program represents a renewed hope for our veteran community and their families. Advanced Brain Technologies and their extraordinary staff have a lot in common with veterans. They have heart and I now have peace of mind”.
The Listening Program and Sleep Genius are safe, effective, and easy-to-use programs which have been shown to significantly reduce stress related dysfunction, and to improve sleep in adults. Advanced Brain Technologies solutions are both GSA and TRICARE approved, and offered to veterans through VA hospitals across the United States.
Are you a veteran with symptoms of PTSD, TBI, anxiety, or insomnia and want to benefit from this extraordinary partnership? Register online now by clicking here.
Asperger Syndrome and inTime: Marian, Adult Case Report
Asperger syndrome (AS) is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), one of a distinct group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by social impairment, communication difficulties, and restrictive, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. AS is also sometimes called high-functioning autism (HFA), and is viewed as being on the mild end of the ASD spectrum with symptoms that differ in degree from autistic disorder. Source: NIH
Professionals working with children and adults diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and their family members are obviously interested in doing all they can to help these individuals function at their greatest potential. In this pursuit many therapy options may be explored, including music listening therapy.
Recently a case report was submitted to us about 25 year old woman in Ireland with Asperger Syndrome. Her name is Marian, and she’s been receiving music listening therapy, The Listening Program (TLP) as a primary therapeutic modality with great success since 2003. In the report Marian’s provider, Leonie Maria Smith, a chartered physiotherapist, summarizes her TLP listening experience, and carefully documents the exciting changes which unfolded after she started using inTime, the rhythm based music listening therapy method from Advanced Brain Technologies.
Marian’s changes after starting inTime were meaningful and self-evident. She has made significant progress playing the piano, receiving honors in the Royal Irish Academy state musical examinations. She demonstrated improvements in auditory processing skills as shown through the Test of Auditory and Visual Skills (TAVS). Marian’s reports and those of her parents, along with clinical observations, indicate improvements in her ability to find and keep a steady beat and/or rhythm/pattern, her posture and quality of movement, her auditory processing, voice, decision-making, flexibility and confidence. These improvements have contributed to positive change in Marian’s musicianship, sociability, and daily living.
As Marian’s parents were fascinated by the results of their daughter using inTime, they both started their own listening and have improved their stress levels, a common report from adult listeners.
This account exemplifies a family’s use of inTime, demonstrating customized programming, benefits relative to individual needs and goals, and enjoyment of the program.
Learn more about inTime by calling 801-622-5676 or click here.
New Research Article Offers Hope for Children with Autism and Auditory Hypersensitivity
Advanced Brain Technologies, creators of The Listening Program®, a provider of neuroscience-based audio and music products for improving brain function, today announced a journal publication of a new peer reviewed article which provides hope for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and auditory hypersensitivity.
A recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that autism spectrum disorder prevalence has significantly increased to over 2% of all children in the United States, with an estimated 1 in 28 boys currently with an autism diagnosis.
Professionals working with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may find that these children are overly sensitive to sounds. These professionals and parents are often concerned as to why children may have auditory hypersensitivities. This recently published review article in journal Autism Research and Treatment discusses the neural mechanisms identified underlying hypersensitive hearing in people. The authors Dr. Jay R. Lucker of Howard University and Alex Doman of Advanced Brain Technologies, focus on brain research to support the idea of the nonclassical auditory pathways being involved in connecting the auditory system with the emotional system of the brain. The authors also discuss brain mechanisms believed to be involved in auditory hypersensitivity. The authors conclude with a discussion of treatments for hypersensitive hearing. These treatments include desensitization training and the use of listening therapies such as The Listening Program®.
Lucker and Doman  and Lucker  discussed the fact that auditory hypersensitivity in children with ASD is more of an emotionally based problem than a specific auditory system problem. In these publications, the authors state that underlying auditory hypersensitivity (or oversensitivity to sounds) involves what are called the nonclassical auditory pathways and limbic system connections. However, the authors do not go very far in describing the brain (or neural) mechanisms involved other than identifying that there is a connection between the auditory system and the limbic system deep in the temporal lobe of the brain. The present paper is a follow-up to these 2012 and 2013 publications. The present paper reviews that what our present research has indicated might be underlying neural mechanisms involved in hypersensitive hearing. Understanding these neural mechanisms will provide the reader with two important factors. First, understanding what is going on with a child who has auditory hypersensitivities is a normal neural reaction, and second, identifying what treatments may be appropriate to help children who are overly sensitive deal more successfully with sound so that they do not have over reactions during listening tasks and, possibly, “shut down” so as to avoid listening and responding to any sounds .
According to Lucker and Doman children with ASD may have negative emotional reactions to some sounds (i.e., auditory hypersensitivity) that can involve some degree of a fight or flight responses. The treatment for these hypersensitive hearing problems is believed to focus on changing the negative emotional reactions to more neutral and, hopefully, positive responses. This can be done through desensitization training which can be in an active form of behavioral reconditioning or a holistic form called in vivo exposure. Additionally, the use of The Listening Program, can lead to more neutral or positive reactions when listening to these annoying sounds.
Learn more about The Listening Program by calling 801-622-5676 or visit http://a.advancedbrain.com/tlp/the_listening_program.jsp
1. J. R. Lucker and A. Doman, “Auditory hypersensitivities and autism spectrum disorders: an emotional response,” Autism Science Digest, vol. 4, pp. 103–108, 2012. View
2. J. R. Lucker, “Auditory hypersensitivity in children with autism spectrum disorders,” Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 184–191, 2013. View at Google Scholar
3. Jay R. Lucker and Alex Doman, “Neural Mechanisms Involved in Hypersensitive Hearing: Helping Children with ASD Who Are Overly Sensitive to Sounds,” Autism Research and Treatment, vol. 2015, Article ID 369035, 8 pages, 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/369035 View
The Sound/Mind Experiment
Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, affecting an estimated 15.7 million adults according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Erin Matlock, founder of the Brain Summit is among those millions, and has lived through a self-described “long and ridiculous battle with depression”. For 10 years, Erin has worked in the brain health and mental health market helping individuals and organizations reach the people who need their help, and in that time has become a good friend to us at Advanced Brain Technologies.
Erin recently reached out to our founder Alex Doman, and asked to go through The Listening Program® (TLP), publicly, with him as her provider. Her intention in sharing her journey with the world, in her quest to get her brain back, is to help you or someone you care for do the same.
This is a first of its kind experiment, as Erin will be posting daily updates about her listening experience online, and as she says, “hopefully we can crowdsource a better brain.”
We hope you’ll join us for The Sound/Brain Experiment. Erin is now in her 4th week of listening, and you can track her live, daily updates on her blog with the good, the bad, and the ugly, and hopefully some help to you too.
Want to learn more about The Listening Program? Give us a call at 801-622-5676.