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14 Key Cognitive Skills
Contextual Memory

Contextual Memory

Contextual Memory

The ability to memorize and discriminate the actual source of a specific memory.

Have you ever heard a song and wondered where you heard it before? Contextual memory is the mechanism that allows you to remember this type of information.


Divided Attention

Divided Attention

Divided Attention

The ability to execute more than one task at a time

When you’re cooking dinner and having a phone conversation at the same time, divided attention allows you to avoid burning up the soup, while you listen to the punch line of the joke your friend is telling you.



Eye-Hand CoOrdination

Eye Hand Coordination

Eye-Hand Coordination

The degree to which the hand and eye are synchronized

When you’re threading a needle, your brain directs your hand to the proper place by interpreting the visual stimuli it receives.



Inhibition

Inhibition

Inhibition

The ability to ignore irrelevant information while performing a task

When you're at a restaurant having a conversation with a friend, your inhibition comes into play by filtering out background noise and visual distractions, allowing you to stay focused on your conversation.



Naming

Naming

Naming

The ability to recall and retrieve a word

You’re walking down the street and you see someone you met last year. You think for a brief moment before remembering his name and saying hello.



Planning

Planning

Planning

The ability to anticipate and develop the best way to execute a task

On those days when you have several errands to do, planning allows you to organize your tasks in a logical practical order so you can finish them all.



Shifting

Shifting

Shifting

The ability to redirect your attention from one channel of information to another

If you’re reading a book and you hear the sound of your child or grandchild crying in the next room, you are able to interrupt what you’re doing and quickly shift your attention to the baby’s needs.



Spatial Perception

Spatial Perception

Spatial Perception

The ability to evaluate how things are arranged in space and investigate their relation to the environment


When you’re walking in a crowded street, your spatial perception allows you to navigate through the crowd without bumping into anyone.



Speed of Processing

Speed of Processing and Response Time

Speed of Processing and Response Time

The ability to perceive a simple stimulus and responding to it


While you are fast-forwarding a vacation movie to show your friend a particular scene, your speed of processing allows you to quickly scan the images as they race by on the screen so you can press the "Play" button at the right moment.



Updating

Updating

Updating

The ability to respond in a flexible and adaptive manner in order to keep up with the changes in the environment.


During the period of road repairs, updating allows you to change your permanent route and use the new route home until the repairs are finished.



Auditory Short Term Memory

Auditory Short Term Memory

Auditory Short Term Memory

The ability to remember auditory information over a brief period of time (in the order of seconds).

When learning a to play an instrument, your Auditory Short Term Memory allows you to listen to the notes the teacher play and repeat it successfully.



Visual Scanning

Visual Scanning

Visual Scanning

The ability to find relevant information in your surroundings


When you arrive at a crowded restaurant, good visual scanning allows you to quickly locate and identify the person you’re meeting.


Visual Short Term Memory

Visual Short Term Memory

Visual Short-Term Memory

The ability to temporarily keep a small amount of visual information active and available in your memory

When you’re trying on clothes, you are able to mentally compare your image in the outfit you’re wearing now with the one you were wearing a few moments ago.


Working Memory

Working Memory

Working Memory

The span of information that can be manipulated while performing a task


As you listen to a story, you use your working memory to remember what you’ve already heard so you can understand the entire structure of the story.
 

 

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