Autistic Songs

Alan Griswold


Previous Table of Contents Next

Music and Ravenís Progressive Matrices

The Ravenís Progressive Matrices intelligence test may be the nearest thing humans have to a pure space and time test. The Ravenís spatial/temporal problem domain, natural to autistic perception and cognition, helps explain why autistic individuals perform so differentially well on that particular test.

Yet there is at least one other human endeavor that shares a similar structure to the Ravenís test—namely music. The roles played by rhythm, melody and harmony are quite analogous to the roles played by time, space and conceptual pattern in Ravenís, and the well-documented affinity and natural ability many autistic individuals evince for music is further suggestive of an underlying connection.

Time, space, geometry, arithmetic, logic, melody, harmony, rhythm, games, rules, syntax—these concepts run along the contours and fault lines of autistic cognition. Understanding their inter-connectedness helps to highlight the nature of autistic perception and helps to characterize autistic contribution to human endeavor. Music and the Ravenís intelligence test are not random gewgaws from the stream of life—their prominence derives from their correlation to the forces driving the human species forward.

Copyright © 2011 by Alan Griswold
All rights reserved.