Our scientific approach builds upon decades of neuroscience and clinical research ​​

Our mechanism of action

Auditory-Motor Entrainment

Music has been demonstrated to activate the human brain to an extent unlike any other stimulus on Earth. Research shows that music has the ability to activate areas of the brain that are responsible for movement, language, attention, memory, executive function, and emotion.

As it relates to walking, there is profound evidence that rhythm is able to engage the motor system to improve functional outcomes1.

Studies have shown that there is rich connectivity between the auditory and motor systems via multiple cortical and subcortical networks2.

Specifically, it has been shown that the auditory and motor system can synchronize subconsciously to an external auditory rhythmic cue, a phenomenon known as “auditory-motor entrainment” (also referred to as “entrainment”).

The auditory rhythm provides a consistent temporal structure for synchronization between these two systems3.

Entrainment serves as the foundation for our platform.

  1. Michael H. Thaut, Entrainment and the Motor System, Music Therapy Perspectives, Volume 31, Issue 1, 2013, Pages 31–34,
  2. Zatorre, R., Chen, J. & Penhune, V. When the brain plays music: auditory–motor interactions in music perception and production. Nat Rev Neurosci 8, 547–558 (2007).
  3.  Thaut, M. H., McIntosh, G. C., & Hoemberg, V. (2015). Neurobiological foundations of neurologic music therapy: rhythmic entrainment and the motor system. Frontiers in psychology, 5, 1185.
Play Video
Clinician delivering Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation (RAS), the intervention utilized in our platform.

Entrainment for walking

Over the last thirty years, entrainment has been used as the foundation of a standardized clinical intervention, termed “Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation” (RAS).

Robust clinical research has demonstrated the ability to improve functional outcomes in walking following neurologic disease and injury, including stroke1, Parkinson’s disease2, and multiple sclerosis 3.

The outcomes of RAS can carry over into daily use after the intervention is used, which can produce immediate improvements in walking speed 4, stride length 5, and symmetry 6. It can even reduce falls 7.

  1. Suh, J. H., Han, S. J., Jeon, S. Y., Kim, H. J., Lee, J. E., Yoon, T. S., & Chong, H. J. (2014). Effect of rhythmic auditory stimulation on gait and balance in hemiplegic stroke patients. NeuroRehabilitation, 34(1), 193–199.
  2.  Yuko Koshimori, Michael H. Thaut, Future perspectives on neural mechanisms underlying rhythm and music based neurorehabilitation in Parkinson’s disease, Ageing Research Reviews, Volume 47, 2018, Pages 133-139, ISSN 1568-1637,
  3. Shahraki, M., Sohrabi, M., Taheri Torbati, H. R., Nikkhah, K., & NaeimiKia, M. (2017). Effect of rhythmic auditory stimulation on gait kinematic parameters of patients with multiple sclerosis. Journal of medicine and life, 10(1), 33–37.
  4. Cha, Y., Kim, Y., & Chung, Y. (2014). Immediate effects of rhythmic auditory stimulation with tempo changes on gait in stroke patients. Journal of physical therapy science, 26(4), 479–482.
  5.  Bella, S., Benoit, CE., Farrugia, N. et al. Gait improvement via rhythmic stimulation in Parkinson’s disease is linked to rhythmic skills. Sci Rep 7, 42005 (2017).
  6. Cha, Y., Kim, Y., & Chung, Y. (2014). Immediate effects of rhythmic auditory stimulation with tempo changes on gait in stroke patients. Journal of physical therapy science, 26(4), 479–482.
  7. Thaut, M. H., Rice, R. R., Janzen, T. B., Hurt-Thaut, C. P., & Mcintosh, G. C. (2018). Rhythmic auditory stimulation for reduction of falls in Parkinson’s disease: A randomized controlled study. Clinical Rehabilitation, 33(1), 34-43. doi:10.1177/0269215518788615

Scientific Publications

Our technology is based on three decades of neuroscience research. We’ve compiled a list of some publications about how music can be used to improve walking for those who want to learn more.

Proof-of-Concept Automation of a Progressive and Individualized Rhythm-Based Walking Training Program After Stroke

Click below to read our feasibility study, published in Volume 34, Issue 11 of Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, a journal established by the American Society of Neurorehabilitation.

MedRhythms is developing innovative technologies that aim to improve walking. Best of all, they can be used from home.

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