Cognition is the act of thinking, perceiving, and understanding. It's cognition that makes it possible for you to learn a foreign language.

The word cognition is most often used in scholarly or formal writing about learning and thinking, though you can also use it to describe what happens when you use your brain power to complete a crossword puzzle or remember math equations for a test. Cognition comes from the Latin verb cognoscere, meaning "a getting to know, or knowledge," combining com-, "together," and gnoscere, "to know."

Definitions of cognition

n the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning

knowledge, noesis
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brain, head, mind, nous, psyche
that which is responsible for one's thoughts and feelings; the seat of the faculty of reason
an abstract mental location
general knowledge, public knowledge
knowledge that is available to anyone
the body of ideas that determine the knowledge that is intellectually certain at any particular time
ability, power
possession of the qualities (especially mental qualities) required to do something or get something done
lack of ability (especially mental ability) to do something
all of the words in a language; all word forms having meaning or grammatical function
lexicon, mental lexicon, vocabulary
a language user's knowledge of words
knowledge of how something is usually done
cognitive factor
something immaterial (as a circumstance or influence) that contributes to producing a result
a person or thing equal to another in value, measure, force, effect, significance, etc.
cognitive operation, cognitive process, mental process, operation, process
(psychology) the performance of some composite cognitive activity; an operation that affects mental contents
process, unconscious process
a mental process that you are not directly aware of
knowledge gained by perceiving
the complex composition of knowledge as elements and their combinations
cognitive content, content, mental object
the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned
knowledge acquired through study or experience or instruction
all that is remembered of the past as preserved in writing; a body of knowledge
attitude, mental attitude
a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways
sleep talking, somniloquism, somniloquy
uttering speech while asleep
an informal British expression for head or mind
common knowledge
anything generally known to everyone
public awareness
open, surface
information that has become public
tabula rasa
a young mind not yet affected by experience (according to John Locke)
(psychoanalysis) the conscious mind
unconscious, unconscious mind
that part of the mind wherein psychic activity takes place of which the person is unaware
subconscious, subconscious mind
psychic activity just below the level of awareness
the (technical) knowledge and skill required to do something
the ability to lead
the ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience
inherent ability
the ability to speak two languages colloquially
capacity, mental ability
the power to learn or retain knowledge; in law, the ability to understand the facts and significance of your behavior
creative thinking, creativeness, creativity
the ability to create
the ability to think and act independently
science, skill
ability to produce solutions in some problem domain
accomplishment, acquirement, acquisition, attainment, skill
an ability that has been acquired by training
superior skill
more than ordinary ability
block, mental block
an inability to remember or think of something you normally can do; often caused by emotional tension
a poor ability to understand or to profit from experience
a lack of aptitude
lack of intellectual power
a lack of cognitive skill
analphabetism, illiteracy
an inability to read
a lack of creativity
faculty, mental faculty, module
one of the inherent cognitive or perceptual powers of the mind
custom, tradition
a specific practice of long standing
convention, formula, normal, pattern, rule
something regarded as a normative example
heritage, legacy
practices that are handed down from the past by tradition
divine guidance, inspiration
(theology) a special influence of a divinity on the minds of human beings
a factor causing trouble in achieving a positive result or tending to produce a negative result
causal factor, determinant, determinative, determiner, determining factor
a determining or causal element or factor
counterpart, opposite number, vis-a-vis
a person or thing having the same function or characteristics as another
replacement, substitute
a person or thing that takes or can take the place of another
basic cognitive process
cognitive processes involved in obtaining and storing knowledge
discernment, perceptiveness
perception of that which is obscure
insight, penetration
clear or deep perception of a situation
range or scope of what is perceived
arrangement, organisation, organization, system
an organized structure for arranging or classifying
higher cognitive process
cognitive processes that presuppose the availability of knowledge and put it to use
an inability to understand
an inherited pattern of thought or action
the focus of cognitions or feelings
food, food for thought, intellectual nourishment
anything that provides mental stimulus for thinking
noumenon, thing-in-itself
the intellectual conception of a thing as it is in itself, not as it is known through perception
universe, universe of discourse
everything stated or assumed in a given discussion
issue, matter, subject, topic
some situation or event that is thought about
an important question that is in dispute and must be settled
data point, datum
an item of factual information derived from measurement or research
acquaintance, conversance, conversancy, familiarity
personal knowledge or information about someone or something
a piece of information about circumstances that exist or events that have occurred
example, illustration, instance, representative
an item of information that is typical of a class or group
circumstance, condition, consideration
information that should be kept in mind when making a decision
background, background knowledge
information that is essential to understanding a situation or problem
a piece of stored information that is used to identify an item in an information storage and retrieval system
evidence, grounds
your basis for belief or disbelief; knowledge on which to base belief
information that supports a probabilistic estimate of future events
inside information that something is going to happen
input, stimulant, stimulation, stimulus
any stimulating information or event; acts to arouse action
idea, thought
the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about
center, centre, core, essence, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness, kernel, marrow, meat, nitty-gritty, nub, pith, substance, sum
the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
accumulated knowledge or erudition or enlightenment
internal representation, mental representation, representation
a presentation to the mind in the form of an idea or image
form, pattern, shape
a perceptual structure
any cognitive content held as true
disbelief, unbelief
a rejection of belief
heresy, unorthodoxy
a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion
end, goal
the state of affairs that a plan is intended to achieve and that (when achieved) terminates behavior intended to achieve it
knowledge acquired by learning and instruction
the content of direct observation or participation in an event
acculturation, culture
all the knowledge and values shared by a society
lore, traditional knowledge
knowledge gained through tradition or anecdote
the lack of knowledge or education
domain, knowledge base, knowledge domain
the content of a particular field of knowledge
knowledge about knowledge
phrase structure, sentence structure, syntax
the grammatical arrangement of words in sentences
morphology, sound structure, syllable structure, word structure
the admissible arrangement of sounds in words
acceptance, credence
the mental attitude that something is believable and should be accepted as true
the attitudes and behavior that are characteristic of a particular social group or organization
defensive, defensive attitude
an attitude of defensiveness (especially in the phrase `on the defensive')
a no-nonsense attitude in business or politics
high horse
an attitude of arrogant superiority
an attitude characteristic of Southerners (especially in the US)
mentality, mind-set, mindset, outlook
a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations
the attitude (of a person or a government) that subordinates should be controlled in a fatherly way for their own good
position, posture, stance
a rationalized mental attitude
disposition, inclination, tendency
an attitude of mind especially one that favors one alternative over others
willingness to recognize and respect the beliefs or practices of others
unwillingness to recognize and respect differences in opinions or beliefs
esteem, regard, respect
an attitude of admiration or esteem
a disrespectful mental attitude
a reverent mental attitude
an irreverent mental attitude
an integrated set of attitudes and beliefs
(psychoanalysis) an unconscious process whereby two ideas or images combine into a single symbol; especially in dreams
layer, level, stratum
an abstract place usually conceived as having depth
defence, defence mechanism, defence reaction, defense, defense mechanism, defense reaction
(psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires
Type of:
psychological feature
a feature of the mental life of a living organism

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