He did psychiatric training in New York and practiced there throughout his life. One of his goals was to broaden the field of psychoanalysis beyond medical practitioners.
He began work at Bell Labs in 1967. His work earlier in the 1960s had required him to build specialized machinery to represent his complex tempo changes and cue the musicians. In 1964, he created a punched paper tape reader by which rhythms could be represented by holes arranged to represent any rhythmic relationship. In 1967, he approached Max Mathews with his work, hoping to move a step further by working with the computers at Bell. At that time, GROOVE was just being put together, and Ghent worked with Moore to develop it. Ghent was composing for the the Mimi Garrard Dance Company, and he was exploring ways of synchronizing lighting and music. His Phosphones was the most famous piece to be created with the GROOVE system. One set of instructions controlled audio playback, and a complementary set controlled lighting dimmers. The timbres of the percussive sounds, and their rhythms are constantly shifting. It recalls Gann's comments about the use of the computer as an instrument to create long-term, gradual changes in sound qualities.