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Interactions across cognitive functions

Our cognitive functions are all related. Different functions are often required to master a single task. E.g. the HAPPYneuron games are presented and sorted into categories, despite the fact that they often stimulate various cognitive aspects. For example, the memory games also require to be particularly attentive so as to ease the memorization process.

Attention and memory

There is great interaction between these two cognitive functions. Our attention is particularly required when we deal with a new kind of information, i.e. when no such information has ever been stored in our memory. Indeed, we only pay little attention to information we are familiar with, such as the furniture arrangement of a close friend's living room.

Our attention will only be drawn to familiar information if it diverges from the usual context, e.g. the armchair that has been moved in our example or if we are looking for a specific object in this particular environment.

Take your name, for example: Hearing it in various contexts will immediately draw your attention, despite the fact that we are more than familiar with it. Ever since we were little we have been conditionned to respond to our name.

Reasoning and other cognitive functions

- Attention:

When solving a problem, our attention skills help us focus, concentrate on the various elements and determine what's most relevant. This will allow to clarify both the goal and the strategy to reach it. Focus helps us resist interferences that may interrupt the reasoning process. It can also help us inhibit automatic and irrelevant answers for the situation, such as stopping at a stop sign when a traffic policeman is actually motioning us to continue.

- Memory:

Our long-term memory plays a major role in reasoning as we can refer to action plans stored in our memory to solve a new problem. Our working memory is also involved. It allows us to memorize essential elements of the problem, such as the goal we have to reach, and to configure them in different ways, just like numbers for mental calculation.

- Mental imagery:

Mental imagery is the ability to mentally visualize an absent object or person. It also eases the reasoning process. It helps create, imagine, anticipate (e.g. our next moves when playing cards or chess), keep an information, compare sitations, mentally rotate an object (e.g. to decide whether the new wallpaper won't clash with the current furniture or whether a hand we are shown out of context is a left or right hand).


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