You may have heard of the term cognition many times before. You may roughly know that it is related to human’s brain and intelligence. However, you may not be aware that your brain performs an enormous amount of cognitive work all the time since you wake up in the morning, starting from taking in information to putting it to work.

Good cognition contributes to the brain’s smooth and effective daily performance. In contrast, poor cognition may result in difficult living and learning.

What exactly are cognition and cognitive skills? Why do you need to know all this?

What is cognition?

The word comes from the Latin root cognoscere, which means “to know”.  It usually refers to everything that is related to gaining knowledge and comprehension. Our cognition is the accumulation of information that we have acquired through learning or experience.

What are Cognitive Skills?

Cognition skills are essential skills we use to perform mental activities, including thinking, remembering, learning and reasoning. It allows us to live effectively and interact intelligently with the world around us.

With strong cognitive skills, thinking and learning become easier.

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What are Cognitive Processes?

Cognitive processes refer to a number of tasks the brain performs.

They are the procedures we use to process information, hold attention, store and retrieve memories and incorporate new knowledge to our existing knowledge in order to make appropriate decisions or actions. There are different types of cognitive processes:

Basic Level

  • PERCEPTION: This allows us to make sense of the world through stimuli that we receive from our different senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.
  • ATTENTION : This allows us to concentrate on specific stimuli or activities and ignore all other irrelevant stimuli. The nature of our attention can vary depending on what we need in our daily lives. It can also change over our lifetime.
  • MEMORY: This allows us to code, store, and recover information we learned previously. Memory is also a foundation for learning.

High Level

  • INTELLIGENCE: According to some psychologists, there is not only one but several different types of intelligence. Naturalistic intelligence, linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, and musical intelligence are some examples.
  • LANGUAGE: It is the ability to express our thoughts and feelings and communicate with others by producing and comprehending different sounds, words and letters in a certain way.
  • THOUGHT: This is fundamental for all cognitive processes. It refers to tasks related to reasoning, synthesis, problem-solving and decision-making and so on. We use it to incorporate all the information we’ve received and to establish relationships between events and knowledge.
Cognitive abilities help you think, learn, remember and reason.

Why are Cognitive Skills Important to You?

First things first, in the overwhelming world flooded with all kinds of distractions, strong cognitive skills help us to think clearly, stay focused on tasks and get important things done.

If you’re experiencing one of the following issues, you may have one or more weak cognitive skills:

  • Memory decline
  • Learning difficulties
  • Poor concentration
  • Impulsiveness
  • Attention issues / ADHD
  • Mental processing speed decline
  • etc.

Each cognitive skill plays an important part in processing new information while retaining old information. Many of them, especially attention, memory, logical reasoning and problem solving, are used to identify and separate good learners from their counterparts.

When working together in harmony, they allow our brain to perform mental activities seamlessly and effectively. The better we process information, the better we learn, think, remember and make decisions.

The better cognitive skills we have, the better we learn, think, remember and make decisions.

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Benefits of strong cognitive skills in adults and children are alike to some extent. Good mental performance improves quality of life in many core areas. Whether you are a student looking to perform well in academia, a professional seeking to advance their career, or a person having a genuine interest in keeping their brain sharp, it is essential to begin with supporting the brain health consistently and over a long period of time. If you are interested and would like to find out more, you might find this article helpful.

All rights reserved. Used by Permission of Gamma High IQ Society and DeepGamma.

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