COGNITION is the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. COGNITIVE SKILLS are the vehicle for cognition.
Cognitive skills are the basic skills the brain relies on to carry out functions of cognition and to make sense of our experiencies. This includes perception, memory, logic, reasoning, processing speed, and visual processing, among others.
Here’s a brief description of some cognitive skills:
1. Long-term memory. Enables you to recall information stored in the past. When information is transferred from short-term to long-term memory, the brain functions as a library. Facts, events, calculation, and procedures that occur more than a minute ago are at your disposal if they are retrieved.
2. Visual processing. Enables you to think in visual images. It is the organization of visual stimuli obtained from the environment. Visual processing allows us to comprehend spatial relationships and to think in visual images. Jigsaw puzzles are an ideal example of visual processing.
3. Processing speed. Enables you to perform tasks quickly and accurately. Is the speed in which the brain takes in data from the senses, processes its meaning, and then responds. Delays in processing speed do not indicate ignorance. It is not that the person does not know. Their brain just needs extra time to process information.
4. Logic and reasoning. Enables you to reason, form ideas, solve problems, and draw conclusions. The information stored in long-term memory is key for implementing logic and reasoning because it provides former experiences in which to organize relationships from learning. Problem solving emphasized in logic and reasoning is pertinent in daily tasks.
5. Perception. Is the state of awareness through the five senses. With perception, we identify stimuli by what we hear, see, touch, taste, or smell.
Ways to improve cognitive function
- Solve all types of puzzles.
- Reduce stress.
- Play boardgames.
- Practice mindfulness meditation.
- Learn something new.
- Get enough sleep.