Processing Speed

Interactive Metronome unquestionably improves processing speed, as demonstrated in several research studies. A brief phenomenological exploration may offer insight into how.

Imagine looking at 100 toy cars, spread across a table in front of you. Your task: arrange them in order from longest to shortest. Processing speed is a measure of how quickly you complete this or similar tasks. If you struggle with motor coordination, a researcher may rightly conclude that this car-sorting test isn’t a valid measure of how quickly you think. If your vision is impaired, a researcher may reach a similar conclusion: poor vision confounds the test. If you struggle with closure, is your poor closure likewise confounding the test?

Closure is the ability to temporarily but decisively arrive at a plausible sense of the whole, spontaneously filling in whatever details are missing in the process. Closure lets you realize, “I have enough information to move forward.” Closure convinces you, “I don’t have to keep thinking about what I don’t know.”


When judging the length of the car, do you count its plastic fenders? Do you count a hood ornament that’s bent forward? Are you supposed to sequence the cars by average length (determining the mean position of a curved front) or maximum length (judging based on the farthest points the fronts and rears extend to)?

If you have normal closure, you might simply answer 1) yes, 2) no, 3) maximum… then move on to complete the task. A person with poor closure, however, might consider such questions—hundreds of times, over and over—before he’s finished sorting the cars. He might be thinking quite quickly. There may be no problem with his processing speed per se—but he might still take longer to complete the task, because there’s more he’s thinking about. There’s more he’s processing.

IM and Closure

When our director, Matthew McNatt, completed Interactive Metronome training, he was already an adult with a background in education, philosophy, and psychology. He also came to the training with some profound difficulties. When he noticed tremendous differences as a result of IM training, he was thus in a unique position to give voice to particular aspects of those differences.

Drawing upon the differences he articulated, he has asked questions related specifically to closure, for years, to clients and other adults who have benefited from Interactive Metronome. Their reports, coupled with his own experiences, let him say with confidence: Interactive Metronome improves closure. Substantially. Whether for this reason alone, or for other reasons as well, Interactive Metronome also nets gains when measuring processing speed.