The Cerebellar Cha-cha-cha

Some on here may know, I have a personal interest in auditory biofeedback and stroke recovery. It appears to be an area that is still in its infancy, and I guess that makes it fair game for survivors to conduct their own assessments and observations. I recently read a study about a cerebellar stroke survivor who had seven cerebellar strokes, and was a participant in a music therapy study where some improvement and progress was achieved over his symptoms.

The basis of the study was a “Therapy [that] focused particularly on facilitating the CS survivor to produce his own exact and fluent movement and generate his own vocal cues via rhythmic reciting and chanting.”. And part of the discussion suggested, “The use of self-generated vocal cues would be a particularly interesting focus for further research.”. I agree.

I mentioned to @jonnypike22 on his post that the vermis, which separates both sides of the cerebellum is like an integrator for sensory input (particularly audio) and locomotion. If the brain can invent sound that doesn’t exist (tinnitus) and turn up the volume on pitch (auditory overload), then it also makes sense it works the other way. That sound is a powerful tool at our disposal when improving our brain’s state of function.

I don’t expect anyone to read the aforementioned study, but I wanted to post about it because adding sound to a rehabilitation routine may just help things a little. It’s not just about listening to some music, but about focussing on rhythm, rhyme, and vocal cues to guide the brain back into a state of homeostasis. Something that can be applied to everything we do, and not just to the periods of time we exercise.


@Rups thank you for the post, really useful. I have been using binaural music which I find really useful for focus (great for the brain fog) and a different frequencies for sleep.


@Rups thank you for posting this. I will have a read later. I have awful tinnitus & auditory overload so anything that might help turn the volume down a bit is worth a try in my book.

Thank you. :blush::blush:


Aye, I have auditory overload too; clangs, knocks, bangs, sneezes, loud thumps agitate me. Auditory biofeedback is more about audio cues, so when it is performed in a clinical environment, they use bleeps at different tones. It can be soft thrumming, humming, or vocal cues. Interestingly, when I was learning to walk properly again, I would count my steps, but my reasoning for doing so at the time was to do with using numbers to focus the brain. They call it mind-blanking, and counting is a way to achieve that, but I think, in hindsight, it wasn’t the mind-blanking I was primarily benefiting from but from the rhythmic sound of counting and locomotion. This is what I think resolved my hypometria.

At the moment, I am experimenting with writing and reading along with the sound of a ticking clock. My mother passed away when I was three, and earlier this year my sister came to visit. She told me that my mother collected clocks, I never knew this. My father had inherited her clocks, and we always had a couple in each room but I thought he had purchased them; heavy marble things, some brass, and others simple wood. As I have a problem with the damage to the right side of my cerebellum, by virtue of incorrectly passing sentences at times, I thought that this calming, rhythmic sound that I would have listened to in my early stages might assist my brain with focussing on passing sentences correctly the first time round.

I like to do Luohan Patting, which is about stimulating the nerve endings, but I think it also assists coordination because of the rhythmic tapping involved.

I too enjoy peace and quiet, before stroke I would do most activities in silence. Each to their own, but I never understood why some people garden with headphones on, when there is the orchestra of nature to listen to. Audio cues have a different function, as I am intrigued if language can help retrain the brain.

In any case, a lot of this is still being researched by medical scientists, surprisingly, as sound therapy has been with us for a rather long time. I guess, it’s only just being applied to stroke rehabilitation as they unravel more about the brain’s auditory response. They mention the Motor Learning Model which is used for regular stroke cases, but this is what they have to say about cerebellar stroke …

“However, these methods are aimed at typical stroke survivors who are paralyzed or paretic, such that they are less beneficial for CS survivors, whose needs involve motor timing and coordination along with cognitive and affective challenges. It is therefore useful to look beyond traditional physiotherapy to meet the needs of CS survivors.”


Shwmae @Mrs5K, it’s a tricky one. Just in the way we retrain our brains to operate physical functions, there should be a way for our brains to understand pitch and organise sound again.


I’ve only just begun listening to clock ticking, so I guess I’ll have a better idea of its potential benefits down the line. I assume it must relax my brain in some way, as in the past before stroke I would sometimes put my wristwatch to my ear to listen to the tick and focus my brain a little. At the moment, I am using it to focus a rhythm with writing and reading, in order to get my sentences right the first time, and not have to go back and edit. One of the consequences of cerebellar stroke is not being able to recognise the patterns in things, so I think my issue is not the individual sentences, it is when I write an individual sentence as part of a whole paragraph.

They are just starting to unravel the cerebellum’s role in sensory signals, did you know that animal whiskers send signals through an animal’s cerebellum? They think the cerebellum is an integrator for the senses, so it helps the other parts of the brain make sense of sight, touch, smell, and taste.

Luohan Patting is patting parts of the body in a rhythmic way. Up and down the arms, the legs, the buttocks, the tummy, the neck, and parts of the head. I do the head parts at night before sleeping. I just like it. For some reason I respond well to it.

I don’t mean to bamboozle too much, sometimes I need to get things out of my head, but also want to share a collective resource that potentially helps us, since we aren’t getting a lot of guidance from our health system, it’s sort of DIY stroke recovery for many of us. :woozy_face:


I find your posts really interesting and thought provoking, there is such a lot to learn about how the brain functions. I did a lot of research following my stroke and have used acupuncture really successfully, I would be interested to hear if anyone else has benefited from using it?

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You’re so right! At age 7 my daughter was diagnosed as dyslexic and the psychiatrist said she’d never be able to learn times tables etc. By accident I found if I or she sang them (visions of infinite permutations) to whatever tune, she could remember them - not if spoken. The brain is a cunning organ …


Shwmae Magga, indeed, there is more activity in the right hemisphere when we sing. I had mainly left brain damage, but I also had some right brain damage. So, if the right hemisphere has been preserved, then it can fully utilise the function of singing in lieu of comprehension and cohesion through speech. :grin:

Loshy, thanks for your good wishes. My dyslexic daughter is now 42 with a child of her own and she works in media, which plays to her strengths. I find so many of those learning strategies very useful now that I’m teaching refugees. Hope your days are improving. Magga

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