Why Cognitive Skill Milestones Are So Important
Cognitive skills are the core skills your brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason and pay attention. Working together, they take incoming information and move it into the bank of knowledge you use every day at school, at work and in life. Cognitive skills include attention, short-term and long-term memory, logic and reasoning, auditory processing, visual processing and processing speed.
How are cognitive skills developed?
When a child is exposed to stimuli, they take in this information through their senses. This process creates neural pathways in their brain. Neurotransmitters provide the power to move stimuli through these neural pathways.
The brain is not static. As a child grows and is exposed to more stimuli, their brain forms new neural pathways, continues to grow and adds more information to their knowledge bank. This is how the learning process works.
Here’s a closer look: When the brain is exposed to new information, it encounters a series of cognitive gatekeepers. Information initially encounters attention, working memory and processing speed. These gatekeeper skills determine whether or not they will allow this information past the gate for processing.
Once information passes through the gate, it comes into contact with higher-thinking cognitive skills: visual and auditory processing, logic and reasoning and long-term memory. When cognitive skills are strong, all of this information moves into the knowledge bank where it is stored and easily accessed in the future.
The significance of cognitive skill milestones
Ultimately, cognitive skills allow a child to understand the relationship between ideas and cause and effect and develop high-level thinking and analytical skills. They allow a child to turn information over in their brain, add new information to previously stored information, form opinions, reason and make sense of their world.
Cognitive skills develop much like a house under construction. A strong foundation is critical to the integrity and success of the entire structure.
While all children grow and develop at a different rate, in many cases a child may display developmental delays in one or more cognitive areas. This can impede their ability to take in, process, store and access information.
It’s important for parents to have a general idea of normal cognitive skill milestones and keep a watchful eye on their child’s cognitive development.
Fortunately, our brains are flexible organs. Certified LearningRx brain trainers can help strengthen weak cognitive skills. Brain training reinforces and strengthens current neural pathways and creates new neural pathways where they don’t exist, unlocking learning potential and making learning easier and more enjoyable. It can also help to boost already-strong cognitive skills to give your child a competitive edge.