How People Think: "The Brain's Inner Workings: Cognition" NIMH narrated by Tom Bosley 7min





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Published on Feb 2, 2012

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"...from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) - this video narrated by Tom Bosley looks at the neurological basis of higher brain function. Learn how different human behaviors and functions can be isolated to specific areas of the brain, and how with the help of imaging techniques like MRI we can visualize brain activity in a way that gives insight into how the brain functions and allows scientists to develop..."

Public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.


In science, cognition refers to mental processes. These processes include attention, remembering, producing and understanding language, solving problems, and making decisions. Cognition is studied in various disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, linguistics,science and computer science. Usage of the term varies in different disciplines; for example in psychology and cognitive science, it usually refers to an information processing view of an individual's psychological functions. It is also used in a branch of social psychology called social cognition to explain attitudes, attribution and groups dynamics.

The term cognition (Latin: cognoscere, "to know", "to conceptualize" or "to recognize") refers to a faculty for the processing of information, applying knowledge, and changing preferences. Cognition, or cognitive processes, can be natural or artificial, conscious or unconscious. These processes are analyzed from different perspectives within different contexts, notably in the fields of linguistics, anesthesia, neurology and psychiatry, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, systemics, computer science and creed. Within psychology or philosophy, the concept of cognition is closely related to abstract concepts such as mind, intelligence, cognition is used to refer to the mental functions, mental processes (thoughts) and states of intelligent entities (humans, human organizations, highly autonomous machines and artificial intelligences).

For years, sociologists and psychologists have conducted studies on cognitive development or the construction of human thought or mental processes.

Jean Piaget was one of the more important and influential people in the field of Developmental Psychology. He believed that humans are unique in comparison to animals because we have the ability to do "abstract symbolic reasoning." His work can be compared to Lev Vygotsky, Sigmund Freud, and Erik Erikson who were also great contributors in the field of Developmental Psychology...

While few people would deny that cognitive processes are a function of the brain, a cognitive theory will not necessarily make reference to the brain or other biological process (compare neurocognitive). It may purely describe behavior in terms of information flow or function. Relatively recent fields of study such as cognitive science and neuropsychology aim to bridge this gap, using cognitive paradigms to understand how the brain implements these information-processing functions (see also cognitive neuroscience), or how pure information-processing systems (e.g., computers) can simulate cognition (see also artificial intelligence). The branch of psychology that studies brain injury to infer normal cognitive function is called cognitive neuropsychology. The links of cognition to evolutionary demands are studied through the investigation of animal cognition. And conversely, evolutionary-based perspectives can inform hypotheses about cognitive functional systems evolutionary psychology.

The theoretical school of thought derived from the cognitive approach is often called cognitivism.

The phenomenal success of the cognitive approach can be seen by its current dominance as the core model in contemporary psychology (usurping behaviorism in the late 1950s). Cognition is severely damaged in dementia...


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