Cognition refers to the mental process of knowing. In other words, cognitive skills are abilities that make it possible for us to comprehend things. From processing information, sustaining attention, inhibiting responses, flexibility in thought process, retaining memory, and recognizing patterns, these cognitive skills determine how we engage in our daily lives.
Not so surprisingly, one’s cognitive abilities also play a significant role in academics and career. In fact, many standardized tests are designed for the aspirants to combine these cognitive abilities to excel. Not only that, but these skills are also considered an indicator of how well a person can perform at their jobs. Personality tests have become a necessary step in the corporate hiring process.
On the brighter side, it is indeed possible to improve one’s cognitive abilities. A group of neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, found out that the reasoning training included in the LSAT prep resources like Common LSAT Flaws book has helped reinforce the brain’s circuits. Students who landed a good LSAT percentile might have even gained a few points upgrade in their IQ scores after the training.
Looking at it from the other end, you can work on your cognitive skills to perform better in several areas in your life. Read more to find out what influences your cognitive functioning so you can tweak your habits for the best benefits.
There is consistent evidence suggesting that physical activity is beneficial across all age groups for their health and psychological well being. It can also be highly effective in modifying and enhancing cognitive abilities. A 2018 study observed that targeted exercises with a change in intensity could increase working memory and cognitive flexibility. With high-intensity training, one can even improve the speed of information processing.
In a research article published in the Journal of International Students, a survey was conducted on international students pursuing their education in the US. The results showed that the students gained cognitive skills related to their language abilities. This further led to clear and convincing writing skills and better academic performances.
This is one example that openness to new experiences that are more demanding can induce noticeable benefits to the mind and brain. Stay active and keeping your brain engaged can help improve your cognition.
The complexity of creativity originates from distinct cognitive processes. It hinges on these skills, developed after critical thinking, or from the ability to envision something out of nothing. Creativity is also one way to reinforce the connectivity of different brain regions for better cognitive function. For instance, playing an instrument strengthens how the brain communicates to different areas within the network. It could help you work on your critical thinking and divided attention.
Numerous studies show that too much or too little sleep are directly associated with poorer cognitive function. Sleep deprivation can lead to a lack of attention, decision making, and difficulty in retaining memory. On the other hand, sleeping for more than eight hours can also be detrimental to your reasoning skills and different cognitive abilities. While sleep is essential for all bodily functions, a good night’s sleep can boost your performance beyond the usual boundaries.
Cognitive skills can play a vital role in your success. They can help you be a strong performer with a better understanding of materials, critical thinking, and reasoning. When you focus on developing and ignoring them, you can excel in all areas of life; be it in academics or your job.