Improve The Way You Use Your Brain

Understanding the individual cognitive skills helps to understand how they impact learning. These skills can be identified as:

Processing Speed:
The efficiency in which the brain processes the data it receives. Faster processing speed leads to more efficient thinking and learning.

Auditory Processing:
This is the specific skill of processing sounds. We break this skill down into three measurable areas that greatly impact the way we live. These are analyzing, segmenting, and blending sounds. For example, when you hear a word, you are required to hear the individual and blended sounds that make that word unique and recognizable. When you read a word, you must recreate the individual and blended sounds to form a word in your mind or to speak it. When a word you read is unfamiliar, you must decode it and correctly assign sounds to the letter or letter combinations. As you get older you start to loose the ability to discriminate between these subtle sounds and tones.

Visual Processing:
This is the ability to receive and manipulate visual information. Puzzles are a great illustration in the function of visual processing. Visualization (creating mental images) also greatly affects reading comprehension and long-term memory.

Memory:
Memory skills fall into two broad categories: long term storage and recall memory and short-term working memory. Long term memory becomes the “library” of facts upon which we build our concepts and accumulate knowledge. Working memory handles the dynamic job of holding data particulars during the learning experience while we are receiving multiple bits of new information. We then combine and process that information to create new concepts and understanding.

Logic and Reasoning:
These skills are necessary to create those new and likely relationships between information we take in as we learn. We use these skills to compare new data with recalled facts stored in long term memory. Problem solving and planning are also greatly impacted by logic and reasoning skills.

Attention Skills:
The last broad area we work on in training is attention. Attention breaks down into a few areas:
1. Sustained Attention is the ability to stay focused and on task.
2. Divided Attention is the ability to focus on several important points simultaneously.
3. Selected Attention skills enable a student to quickly sort and discard distractions or irrelevant incoming information and remain focused on the important information or instruction.

It’s not difficult to see how these apply to learning situations, and how, if they are weak or missing, they would hinder learning. If you or your child is suffering from one of more weak cognitive skill, learning will be difficult or near impossible.