When your listening is challenged, the auditory system, which is a powerful sensory integrator, is disrupted. This disruption can have major repercussions for your personal development and wellbeing. By working on the reception and integration of sound through your ears, the Tomatis® Method helps you stimulate your brain effectively and minimize listening challenges. By creating links between psychology, anatomy and physiology, the Tomatis Method® takes you in the universe of neuroscience and cognitive science.
Have you ever tried to get someone’s attention by clicking your fingers? You use the element of surprise to capture attention. Indeed, the brain is very sensitive to changes that it cannot predict.
Attention is the capacity to select and maintain awareness of an exterior event or a thought. It corresponds to the general waking state and to vigilance, which allows the nervous system to be receptive to any form of incoming information. Attention disorders affect both children and adults and involve an inability to focus and sustain attention. A specific modality of attention is the capacity of dividing one’s attention between several sources of stimulation. An attention deficiency impacts many cognitive functions and is not only very costly in a cognitive sense, but is also a source of difficulty and even considerable suffering for a child in a school setting or any learning environment.
The Tomatis® procedure is based on the ‘Electronic Gating that brings about a perceptual sound contrast meant to constantly surprise the brain so that it stays alert and attentive. The goal is to help the brain develop automatic mechanisms for detecting changes, which will consequently reinforce selective attention.
Over 80% of sensory stimulation comes from your ear. Whether you’re awake or asleep, your ear is constantly bombarding your brain with stimuli. From the fourth month of pregnancy, the fetus ear is the first fully functional organ.
The human ear called the Cochlea is responsible for “cortical energizing”. The ear needs to be stimulated to energize the brain and the body. Sound is necessary for our personal fulfillment. The richer the music is in high frequency harmonics, the more efficient is its effect. Sounds that are rich in high frequency harmonics stimulate a vast neural network, called the “reticular formation”, which controls the overall activity level of the brain.
That’s why we mainly use Mozart violin concertos, with well-known beneficial effects.
Have you ever noticed how your voice can change when you are overcome by emotion? In such situations, you need a few seconds to restore your normal voice. This is because the auditory feedback loop is disrupted, which means that your brain is not able to correctly analyze the sounds of your voice. In fact, the fundamental principle of the Tomatis® Method is that any influence on the mechanisms of reception and analysis of an acoustic message will affect the way in which this message is reproduced. To function properly, this audio-vocal loop draws on the abilities of auditory discrimination, phonological awareness and integration of rhythm that each person activates effortlessly. These skills are natural to human function and go far beyond speech. They are necessary for all learning processes.
The Tomatis® Method greatly impacts the auditory feedback loop. During active sessions, you are listening to your own voice, which is modulated through the “Electronic Gating”. The gating is activated based on your voice intensity and frequency to focus on high frequencies. These frequencies are very important for language acquisition. This effect challenges your brain, which needs to adapt to this alternative modulation. As a result, you are better able to integrate the patterns and rhythm of your own voice.
The ear not only receives sound but also determines your balance, rhythm and coordination. Try covering an ear while walking and you will see that you suffer significant loss of balance.
Balance depends on the vestibule, the part of the inner ear that informs the brain of the slightest body movement. The ear is therefore involved in controlling posture and maintaining balance. Through its action on the vestibule, the Tomatis Method allows the body to regain verticality by repositioning the skeleton. Indeed, under the sustained effect of listening sessions, the consistency of the messages sent to the brain via the vestibule of both the right and left ears is synchronized. As a result, motor responses are noticeably less uncoordinated, and become more fluid and better organized. This is why the Tomatis® Method has beneficial effects on motor disorders. Moreover, the vestibule plays a fundamental role in integrating the rhythms of both music and language due to its intricate network of connections to the brain.