Cognition is defined as the action and effect of knowing. The word comes from the Latin cognitio which in turn is made up of particles with , which means ‘together’ or ‘everything’, and gnōscō or gnōscere, which means ‘to know’ or ‘to have a notion’.
Thus, cognition is a faculty of the living being that allows him to record and interpret the information he receives through experience, perception and subjectivity.
The process of cognition involves the use of mental skills such as attention, memory, feelings, reasoning, the ability to solve problems, decision making and, finally, learning.
The use of the term cognition is very recurrent in disciplines such as psychology, neurology, sociology, philosophy, anthropology and information sciences. The latter implies that today it is theorized about the possibility of carrying cognitive processes by non-human entities.
Cognition in psychology
For psychology, cognition is a complex process in which different stages are met:
- Perception: it is related to the capture of external and internal stimuli through the senses.
- The attention: process in which the entity focuses its mental abilities on the information it is receiving.
- Learning and memory: the first involves the acquisition of new knowledge or the modification and expansion of previous knowledge, while the second involves the ability to store, code and retrieve that information.
- Language: whether oral, written or gestural, allows the communication of acquired knowledge.
- Emotion: its processes are similar to “rational” cognition.
- Reasoning and problem solving: el reasoning allows to evaluate the information obtained and facilitates the identification of solutions.
- Metacognition: referred to the awareness that the subject develops about their own learning.