To Comprehend Cognition and understand what it’s about it takes a Human (not an animal) Brain and Mind. Read on, you are a Cognitive Being.
If you understand the meanings of such words as ‘comprehend, understand, human, brain, mind’, even if you can’t exactly define them or even fathom how they work, you have cognitive capabilities.
Cognition is a mental activity (as opposed to a physical activity) that takes place on certain levels that I’ll enumerate. The origin of the word ‘mental’ is from the latin ‘mentalis, ment, mens’ or mind. You’ve heard of MENSA International, the High IQ Society, their name is associated with the mind.
Cognition is the use of the mind. It involves rational thinking, learning, reasoning to acquire and process information,
There are levels or stages of progression in cognition. I mention this because we now see journalistic reports of animal cognition. I confirm, yes, animals do have a ‘level’ of cognitive ability, but it stops as the base of Mount Everest whereas man can conquer the summit and even fly over it into the far reaches of outer space.
Here’s a short list of degrees of cognition
- Information: data, facts, something that is actually real… it includes a dream, a mental image, an idea. The latter are not physical but they are reality and do exist… even if they are imagined.
- Knowledge: fitting data and information together, categorizing, organizing subjects. How this data relates to that data, the relationship between various bits of information, (remember the story of the blind men who were each shown a part of an elephant: leg, trunk, side… each thought it was a tree, snake, wall…) Analyzing information gives each of us our overview, our worldview.
- Understanding: This is the ability to comprehend, master and interpret our resevoir of knowledge. Terms that apply to this aspect of cognition are: perception, insight and discernment.
- Cognition: Points 1-5 are all part of cognition but I’ve added this as a separate step because of human cognition and what it’s able to accomplish. Here’s the short form with a few ideas: the ability to draw conclusions from the interpretation and meaning of the analysis and processing of understanding and knowledge.
Man can multi-task: Take a telephone call during a conversation with a third party, answer an SMS during a meeting, doodle ideas associated with a project while listening to a documentary, relate info from source A to sources B and C. Retrieve and associate memories.
Examples of Human Cognitive Abilities
- Social cognition: Think and interact with others (dating, marriage… going to school, new job)
- Thinking Behavior: pessimism/optimism, preparing a team/individual for an important game. Teaching kids/adolescents/adults new knowledge, skills and how to use them. Logical, sequential lessons and classes.
- Profiling: We see a lot of this in police series on TV.
- News analysis: Editorialists, debaters, explainers, experts in a particular field.
- Counselors: Marriage, youth, family counselors.
- The Explanation Series: These blog posts and the upcoming books: Inventory and Audit of the Universe are an analysis of known information, knowledge and understanding.
5. Wisdom: I added this aptitude because it is the USE of and part of our cognition. The application and how we use the Information, Knowledge and Understanding we have obtained individually or collectively as the human race. This can be for better or worse… but that’s another subject.
Man has immense cognitive abilities and has and is accumulating more and more knowledge. What is humanity doing with it’s cognition? That power, yes, power to be able to shape himself as he decides. These are questions we will continue to ask and answer as we proceed with The Explanation.
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