Cognition refers to the ability of the mind to carry out with dexterity all the functions that it is capable of executing which involve the processes of attention, reasoning, memory, problem solving and decision making as well as complex functions that have become second nature to us like juggling various languages and understanding the meaning of each.
So basically, the way our brains handle and process all the information pouring in from our sensory perceptions as well as from previous knowledge to formulate a thought or a plan of action related to that information is called cognition.
What is cognitive testing?
Cognitive testing is the process by which one determine the function of a person’s cognition and assess their mental prowess using a set of pre-determined cognitive tests that are designed to gather information about all the processes that are involved in the process of cognition.
What are the main cognitive processes that are evaluated in cognitive testing?
The main areas of mental function that Cognitive testing focuses on are Attention, Memory and Executive function. Each of these can be further broken down into their daughter-areas that assess a particular function.
For instance, the brain has the ability to store memories in more than one form, the simplest example of which is short and long term memory which are both assessed separately in cognitive testing.
How cognitive testing is carried out?
Since the complete evaluation of cognition involves a number of different tests that can be chosen to better fit the testing bracket into which a particular person can be placed, the process is mostly carried out over a period of two half-days with two to three hours of evaluation per day.
For kids, the parents can be allowed to accompany the child but this increases the likelihood of their not being entirely attentive to the cause.
Older adults and the elderly should be able to manage well on their own as the tests are usually carried out using pen and paper, or the newer electronic methods that are popular these days.
Are there any disadvantages to cognitive testing?
No, the process is quite simple and straightforward and mainly involves analytical and problem solving queries in the form of puzzles or logical reasoning.
However for kid who have been subjected to the test because they have been facing difficulty in school, the parents might be disappointed with the results instead of accepting reality.
Assessing the cognitive function can be helpful in the early diagnosis of several neurological diseases in kids as well as facilitating the monitoring of evolved disease process in the elderly to establish a timeline for the progression of disease which can help improve the overall treatment plan.
Cognitive testing is the process by which one determine the function of a person’s cognition and assess their mental prowess using a set of pre-determined tests that are designed to gather information about all the processes that are involved in the process of cognition.