To know, or not to know.

What is cognition?

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

What are Cognitive Processes?

Cognitive processes refer to a number of tasks our 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 as followed:

Basic Level

  • PERCEPTION: This allows us to make sense of the world through stimuli that we receive from our different senses, like sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.
  • ATTENTION : This allows us to concentrate on specific stimuli or activity 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 changes 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 be producing and comprehending different sounds, words and letters in a precise way. Language development is produced throughout our lifetime.
  • THOUGHT: This is fundamental for all cognitive processes. It refers to tasks related to reasoning, synthesis, problem-solving and decision-making, etc. We use it to incorporate all of the information we’ve received and to establish relationships between events and knowledge.

Our brain performs an enormous amount of cognitive work all the time, starting from taking in information to putting it to work. This allows us to interact intelligently with the world around us.

Good news is, our cognitive processes can be improved with the right techniques. And the best time to start it is now.