Q. Cognitive definition — What are cognitive skills?
Cognitive Skills: What are they?
Who hasn’t had the frustrating experience of trying to run the latest software on an outdated computer? Or asking a computer with a small processor or insufficient memory to handle several complex tasks at once? In order to handle information and tasks with ease, a computer needs the right hardware and underlying systems (think processor, RAM and hard drive). If these underlying systems aren’t up to speed, it doesn’t matter what cool programs or impressive data you load into the computer: Everything’s going to run slowly. Cognitive skills serve your brain in the very same way.
Raise your hand if you need a faster, smarter brain.
A simple way to define cognitive skills is to describe them as the underlying brain skills that make it possible for us to think, remember and learn. These are the skills that allow us to process the huge influx of information we receive each and every day at work, at school and in life. If your cognitive skills aren’t up to speed, no matter what kind of information you try to grasp—or how many times you try to grasp it—the process can feel sluggish and slow. This is why brain training and tutoring are so completely different. Tutoring re-teaches information you didn’t quite grasp the first time around. This is fine if the reason the information didn’t “stick” was because the information was presented poorly. But 80% of all learning struggles aren’t due to poorly taught information—they are the result of one or more cognitive skills weaknesses. If the reason you didn’t grasp the information the first time around is because of a processing weakness in your brain, you don’t need to be re-taught the information. You need to upgrade your brain.
Brain training rewires the brain so that it can function faster and more efficiently than ever before. This makes thinking, learning, and processing information easier than ever before.
Key categories of cognitive skills
To define cognitive skills, it’s important to know that they include a wide variety of abilities. These abilities are necessary for analyzing sounds and images, recalling information, making associations between different pieces of information, and maintaining focus on a given task. Here are the core areas of cognitive skills, all of which can be targeted and strengthened by LearningRx Brain Training programs:
- Processing Speed: This is the speed at which your brain processes information. Faster processing speed means more efficient thinking and learning.
- Auditory Processing: This is the ability to analyze, blend and segment sounds. It’s also known as phonemic awareness. Surprisingly, auditory processing is crucial not just for speaking, but also for reading and spelling. This is because when you read, you need to be able to identify the individual and blended sounds that make each word unique and recognizable.
- Visual Processing: This is the ability to perceive, analyze and think in visual images. Visual processing is imperative for reading, remembering, walking, driving, playing sports and literally thousands of other tasks you do every day.
- Long-Term Memory: This is the “library” of facts and knowledge you have accumulated in the past.
- Short-Term Memory: Also called working memory, this skill handles the dynamic job of keeping at the forefront of your mind the information you need to complete immediate and short-term tasks.
- Logic and Reasoning: This is the ability to reason, form concepts, and solve problems using unfamiliar information or new procedures. It enables you to create correlations, solve problems, plan ahead and draw conclusions.
- Attention Skills: There are three types of attention skills. Sustained Attention is the ability to stay focused and on-task for a period of time.Selective Attention is the ability to quickly sort through incoming information and stay focused on one thing in spite of distractions. Divided Attention is the ability to multi-task.
Cognitive Weakness in Any of These Areas Can Make Life More Difficult Than it Needs to Be
We ask our brains to read, think, remember and process information all day, every day, which is why functioning with any cognitive weakness at all can be exhausting. Whether your goal is to thrive in school, at work or in life, a faster, smarter brain simply makes life easier. No one needs to settle for the brain they believe they were born with. Because of the brain’s incredible abilities to adapt and grow, anyone can have a faster, smarter brain. Brain training rewires brains and changes lives. For more information on how brain training can improve your life or the life of someone you love, take one of the following steps:
- Find a LearningRx Brain Training Center near you and schedule an assessment. It’s your first step to a faster, smarter brain.
- Learn more about the research behind brain training.
- Read testimonials of men, women and children who have experienced the life-changing benefits of LearningRx Brain Training programs.