What are Cognitive Skills?

Cognitive skills are the underlying brain skills that make it possible for us to think, remember and learn. They 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.

Cognitive skills include a wide variety of abilities that are necessary for analyzing sounds and images, recalling information, making associations between different pieces of information, and maintaining focus on a given task.

Some examples of cognitive skills include:

Processing Speed—the speed at which your brain processes information. Faster processing speed means more efficient thinking and learning.

Auditory Processing—the ability to analyze, blend and segment sounds. Auditory processing is crucial for speaking, reading and spelling. When you read, for example, you need to be able to identify the individual and blended sounds that make each word unique and recognizable.

Visual Processing—the ability to perceive, analyze and think in visual images. Visual processing is imperative for reading, remembering, walking, driving, playing sports and thousands of other tasks people perform every day.

Long-Term Memory—the “library” of facts and knowledge a person has 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—the ability to reason, form concepts, and solve problems using unfamiliar information or new procedures. Logic and reasoning enable 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.

Optiminds is a Cognitive, Professional Brain Training Skills Center owned and operated by Jane Stewart, Ph.D. Visit us at: www.optimindsct.com, give us a call at (248) 496-0150 or email us at: jstewart@optimindsct.com.

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