Have you noticed a tool popping up in the VT room that we typically associate with music rather than vision training? A metronome is a device that produces a steady rhythm or beat and is frequently used by musicians to help them keep time while practicing. While metronomes may seem like an odd choice for a visual exercise at first glance, they offer several benefits to vision therapy procedures.
- Improved rhythm – not only can a metronome improve the rhythm of a musician’s playing, it can also improve the rhythm of our eye movements. Vision therapists are trained to use metronomes with various eye tracking activities to help their patients improve in their ability to track smoothly, quickly, and consistently (thus enabling them to become better readers and to be more efficient in visual tasks).
- Improved time awareness – metronomes help us to understand how time is broken into distinct, predictable sections. In this way, they aid patients in gaining a better understanding and control of the passage of time. Since our understanding of time and space are closely connected, using metronomes can also help with improving spatial awareness.
- Cognitive loading – a metronome adds another layer of complexity to vision therapy procedures, enabling the patient to grow in their ability to automatically use visual skills while processing high levels of information.
- Multisensory experiences – the brain learns more easily and is likely to retain information more quickly if more than one sense is included in a learning experience. Using a metronome as an auditory stimulus is just one way that we can make vision therapy a multisensory experience for each patient.
With all these excellent benefits to offer to patients, it’s no surprise that metronomes hold an important place in any vision therapy program!