brain and neurons

Cognitive Skills Linked

An article by Karen Hopkin in the May 3, 2010 Scientific American points out the interdependence of the cognitive skills:

"a study in the journal Nature Neuroscience suggests that the brain actually links the audio with the visual. Because simply seeing a vase shatter activates the part of the brain that handles sound...Scientists [Antonio Damasio et al.] placed volunteers in an MRI scanner and showed them a series of nine silent videos. The clips showed things like the breaking vase, a cow mooing or a violin being played. And in the subjects' brains, the auditory cortex -- which handles sounds -- was not only activated by the sights, but it would categorize them. So the patterns of activity that represent a howling dog and a chainsaw were distinct."




What are cognitive skills?

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Cognitive Skills are thinking skills. They allow you to take in information from the senses, and process it, store it, and recall it. Higher level skills include things like interpretation, manipulation, classification and evaluation based on existing knowledge, and making decisions. These higher level skills depend on the underlying cognitive skills such as memory, processing speed, attention, visual processing, and auditory processing, which themselves have some finer sub-skills.

These skills all work together to make learning possible; the better they all work, the more efficient (and fun!) the learning experience can be. If there are one or two skills that are deficient, the whole learning process can suffer. Think about a car where one cylinder isn't firing. It will get there, but it will move very slowly.

For this reason, if there is a deficiency in the lower level skills, then normal teaching or tutoring will not be as effective. However, if the underlying skills can be developed, that may open the door to a much more successful result. The good news is, recent research into brain plasticity has proven that the portions of the brain governing the cognitive skills can be developed using the proper exercise and stimulation.

That is the basis of the Student Transformation System™. We start with brain training, using recognized, research-based computer software, to begin developing the underlying cognitive skills. Then, while continuing to develop them further, we use what we have already accomplished to focus on your specific academic or behavioral goals, integrating them with academic work with input from the classroom teacher(s). We literally transform your student!