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Name

Dwane Allen, Ph.D.

Title

Assistant Professor

Department

Teacher Education

Phone: (940) 898-2845

Email Address

dwaneallen1@twu.edu

Web Page URL

     

Description of Research Activities

Since the onset of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States’ military has seen increasing numbers of its personnel return home with TBI.  A 2007 Veteran Affairs (VA) report estimated the number of combat veterans with TBI who return home at approximately 6% (Maze, 2007).  However, numerous media reports indicate that 6% is a significant underestimation (Schutte, 2007; Mason, 2007; Munsey, 2007; Glasser, 2007; Mraz, 2007). Members of the U.S. armed forces who are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan are reported to be at a much greater risk of sustaining TBI than any combat veterans that returned home after previous wars.  Adams (2007) estimates the Vietnam War produced approximately 14 to 18% of all veterans with a brain injury.  However, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center estimates 30%  of those admitted between January 2003 and May 2005 had some type of brain injury (Adams, 2007). 

Traumatic Brain Injuries cause persistent cognitive impairments which negatively affect basic processes such as attention, perception, language, memory, abstract reasoning, and academic abilities (Farmer, Clippard, Luehr-Wiemann, Wright, & Owings, 1997). The proposed study will attempt to alleviate cognitive symptoms for adults diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury through Interactive Metromone Therapy.  Interactive Metronome is a neuro-motor assessment & therapy tool used to improve the neurological processes of motor planning and sequencing. The IM program provides a structured, goal-oriented process that challenges the individual to synchronize a range of hand and foot exercises to a precise computer-generated reference tone heard through headphones. The individual attempts to match the rhythmic beat with repetitive motor actions as an auditory-visual guidance system provides immediate feedback measured in milliseconds.  Research has shown significant improvement for individuals with attention, concentration, language, emotional, and social deficits (Libkuman & Otani, 2002).

Description and Objectives of the Proposed Research – The objective of the proposed study is to identify cognitive, emotional, and academic deficits and improve these deficits within 2.5 months for individuals medically diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury. Criteria for participants include (a) a medically diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury; (b) no Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychotic Disorder or Personality Disorder diagnosis within twelve months; (b) no substance abuse diagnosis within twelve months; (c) average mental ability as perceived through a mental status exam or clinical interview; and (d) willingness to commitment to 2.5 months of therapy at a frequency of twice a week for 60 minutes per session. Within each session, participants will partake in a rhythmic synchronization metronome-based therapy (Interactive Metronome Therapy). During IM therapy participants wear a headphone and listen to a reoccurring metronome beat. As they listen to the beat, they engage in physical movements such as clapping hand-to-hand with a sensor on one palm as they match their physical movement to the presentation of the beat (e.g., clap at the beat). The goal of IM training is to reduce the mean negative synchronization error during normal tracking of the regularly occurring metronome beat (clapping prior to or past the beat).

IM training is expected to produce positive significant improvements in the timing and rhythmicity which will have transfer effects on cognitive and academic areas. For example, participants are expected to improve their concentration, attention, motor control, and impulsive behaviors. Likewise, individuals are expected to improve automaticity which will positively improve academic fluency abilities (Libkuman & Otani, 2002).



Key Words:
Traumatic Brain Injury; Neurocognitive Rehabilition; Interactive Metronome; ADHD; Asperger's

page last updated 9/7/2013 11:57 AM