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Definitions of Cognition
- Cognition/knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning.
- The mental act or process by which knowledge is acquired, including perception, intuition, and reasoning.
- The mental faculty of knowing, which includes perceiving, recognizing, conceiving, judging, reasoning, and imagining.
- The mental process of knowing, including awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment. The American Heritage® Science Dictionary © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
- The mental act or process by which knowledge is acquired, including perception, intuition, and reasoning or the knowledge that results from such an act or process. Word Origin. 15th century: from Latin cognitiō from cognōscere from co- (intensive) + nōscere to learn; see know. Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
- The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.
Synonyms: perception, discernment, apprehension, learning, understanding, comprehension, insight.
- Late Middle English: from Latin cognitio(n), from cognoscere ‘get to know.’
Excerpted from Wikipedia on Cognition:
"The term cognition is used in several loosely related ways to refer to a faculty for the human-like processing of information, applying knowledge and changing preferences.
Cognition or cognitive processes can be natural and artificial, conscious and not conscious; therefore, they are analyzed from different perspectives and in different contexts, in anesthesia, neurology, psychology, philosophy, systemics and computer science.
The concept of cognition is closely related to such abstract concepts as mind, reasoning, perception, intelligence, learning, and many others that describe numerous capabilities of the human mind and the expected properties of artificial or synthetic intelligence.
Cognition is an abstract property of advanced living organisms; therefore, it is studied as a direct property of a brain or of an abstract mind on subsymbolic and symbolic levels.
In psychology and in artificial intelligence, cognition is used to refer to the mental functions, mental processes and states of intelligent entities (humans, human organizations, highly autonomous robots), with a particular focus toward the study of such mental processes as comprehension, inferencing, decision-making, planning and learning (See also cognitive science and cognitivism).Recently, advanced cognitive researchers have been especially focused on the capacities of abstraction, generalization, concretization/specialization and meta-reasoning which descriptions involve such concepts as beliefs, knowledge, desires, preferences and intentions of intelligent individuals/objects/agents/systems."
Excerpted from Wikipedia on Intention: "The embodiment hypothesis holds that cognition arises out of an individual’s physical interactions with the environment. In this way, environment and behavior are an integral part of cognition and what psychologists conceive of as ‘mental representations’ are indistinguishable from perception and action. The ontogenetic development of social cognition may be thought of as intertwined with the developmental pointing actions. According to this perspective, gestures are not just indicators of development but play a key role in how children come to develop advanced social cognition, including understanding of object-directed relations and human intentions. In particular, engaging in physical actions oneself may provide insight into the structure of another’s actions (eventually leading to a more nuanced understanding of another’s mind)."
Human versus Animal Cognition
Marc Hauser on Human Cognition:
"In new work presented for the first time at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science 2008, Marc Hauser, professor of psychology, biological anthropology, and organismic and evolutionary biology in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences, presents his theory of "humaniqueness," the factors that make human cognition special. He presents four evolved mechanisms of human thought that give us access to a wide range of information and the ability to find creative solutions to new problems based on access to this information."
"Hauser presents four distinguishing ingredients of human cognition, and shows how these capacities make human thought unique. These four novel components of human thought are the ability to combine and recombine different types of information and knowledge in order to gain new understanding; to apply the same "rule" or solution to one problem to a different and new situation; to create and easily understand symbolic representations of computation and sensory input; and to detach modes of thought from raw sensory and perceptual input."
Internet Resources on Cognition