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Modeling Nuerodiversity – Compassion as a Diagnostic Device

I was reflecting on a meta-use of the cognitive diagnostic framework of The Dao of Jazz, and its use by Educators as a tool by which to model and understand cognitive neurodiversity.

I’m not sure what this game is called yet, so let’s call it The Modeling Neurodiversity Game. This is a high-level Game to be played between Educators, in which each takes turns to model a specific cognitive mal-process – for example not being able to accurately tell left from right – and the other has to identify this access need through use of the Games.

In the above example, it is fairly easy to model this cognitive mal-process. Questions are fine, until page 5, where the learner has to identify C on the Piano keyboard from knowing that C is to the Left of the Two Black Keys.

However, a more sophisticated impairment will be harder to model, as in each cognitive process the modeller must first question themselves : “How would a learner with this cognitive mal-process answer this question?” For example, if the mal-process was an inability to understand the difference repeating and non-repeating patterns, manifesting in being unable to describe what a ‘Unique White Key’ is, in the context of the pattern.

In this situation, the modeller would be under a constant barrage of conflicting potential responses, having first to decide whether the cognitive task in question was affected by the modelled mal-process, and then decide how to answer the question so as to reflect this mal-process in the answer.

This task is exhausting – and exactly mirrors the cognitive anxiety faced by the person with the mal-process encountering inaccessible material.

This is my hypothesis:

By modelling the reverse process in an interaction, an Educator will be able to feel the mal-process in reverse, as a reversed manifestation of the same cognitive anxiety.

By attempting to model the Neurodiversity we are supporting, we can understand how it feels like for the person with the Neurodiversity to engage with the material itself.

For a range of Music Games to perform such cognitive diagnostics with, my Books are available for free download here.

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It also occurred to me that you might consider reaching out to EDIMS in the UK. About a year ago there was talk of starting a working group related to neurodiversity in music studies, but I’m not sure where it stands at the moment.


I was looking for the video you posted about this (C is to the left, I think) Any chance you could include it or another demo in the post? Thanks!

Ed Cubitt
Ed Cubitt
24 juin
En réponse à

I think you're referring to the Course Sample Video - you can find it at - - I will try and embed videos in future posts, thanks for the suggestion!

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