CogniFit's Science blog: Cognitive Abilities That Affect Our Everyday Life

Cognitive Abilities That Affect Our Everyday Life

Cognitive abilities often go unnoticed simply because of the fact that we use them just about every day. Cognition is essentially how a person understands and acts in the world. Each of the many abilities that are cognitive can be viewed as mental skills. With that, here are some of the brain functions that are thrown into the mix.

Perception
First on the list of cognitive abilities is a big one; perception. This skill truly gets put to work every day, every minute, and just about every second. It is the recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli like smell, touch, hearing and seeing. Without these capabilities it is difficult to imagine life even being possible.

Attention
Attention is the next brain function that involves the ability to sustain concentration on a particular object, action or thought. We live in a world that is full of movements, sounds, actions and demands. It is vital we stay focused on one thing at a time to make it through the day. Our attention enables us to manage competing demands throughout the environment.

Memory
Something that often gets overlooked until it fades away is memory. This is one of the more important cognitive abilities as it gives us the power to remember everything from when our best friend’s birthday is to where we last put our keys. It comes in a short-term/working memory with limited storage as well as a long-term memory capable of unlimited storage.

Motor
Motor skills give us the ability to mobilize our muscles and our body. Without these skills, we would be unable to manipulate objects and do the things that make the human species so remarkable. A simple way to test your motor skills include tapping your right hand on the top of your head while making a circular movement with your left hand on your stomach and then switching at the same time.

Language
Another brain function to make the list of cognitive abilities is language. Without this function we would not be able to communicate amongst each other, which is a vital piece to our society. Everything from translating sounds into words to generating verbal output is made possible thanks to our brilliant brain function.

The list of cognitive abilities within the human species is stunning. This is just a short list of everything we are capable of doing thanks to the many brain functions that keep us walking, talking, learning, thinking, eating and sleeping every day.