From ArticleWorld

Cognition is a relatively recent branch of psychology which includes all the mental processes whereby humans receive sensory input, transform it and then recover and use it when appropriate. It is therefore involved in everything people do such as memory, attention, perception, action, problem solving and mental imagery.

The brain is responsible for implementing information processing systems but cognition is also being studied in the field of artificial intelligence as computers can simulate cognition. It is important to understand the way humans take what they see or hear or taste and process the information. Why is it that some of us have better memories than others, how is it that one person has a greater attention span than another, why can one person solve a logistics puzzle and another cannot? In the answers to these questions, lie the basics of human thought and behaviour.


Cognition can be applied to a wide range of areas. In psychology, an understanding of cognition leads to an understanding of human behaviour. In behavioural economics, an understanding of social cognition and how it affects decision making in the marketplace is vital to any strategy a business follows. In linguistics, very young children are able to learn two or three languages easily whilst adults struggle to learn a new language and so cognition needs to be researched.

Development of concepts

Cognition occurs not just as an individual internal process but also in the actions of a group, organization and society. In these groups, action is taken or decisions made on the basis of information processing.