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hierarchy of cognitive domains

  • the following is from basic to advanced cognition



  • spatial attention
    • ability to prioritise signals from a given spatial location
  • selective or focused attention
    • ability to prioritise some forms of information and to suppress others on the basis of a functional goal
  • divided attention
    • ability to share attention between simultaneous tasks
  • arousal or sustained attention
    • ability to self-maintain an alert or ready to respond state
deficits in attention may cause
  • difficulty listening or concentrating on a task
  • difficulty following conversational speech
  • reduced ability to decide on importance of information
  • difficulty in comprehending written material
  • difficulty in concentrating to the end of a meal
  • easily distracted eg. burning toast making breakfast, difficulty shopping with a shopping list
  • difficulty in writing down messages whilst listening to a conversation on a phone

basic motor and sensory functioning

language and communication

spatial functions / praxis

  • orientation in space
  • enables safe locomotion
  • facilitates interaction with other objects and people
  • allows for the expression and understanding of visual symbols of communication
  • spatial neglect of one side in a stroke
    • bumping into objects
    • difficulty putting clothes on
    • unsafe crossing roads
    • unable to locate digits on one side of a phone
    • unable to be aware of persons on the neglected side

memory functions

  • see also: memory
  • implicit memory
    • priming and conditioning
    • procedural (motor skills)
  • explicit memory
    • events (episodic)
    • semantic (facts)
  • working memory
    • new learning requires:
      • registration
      • acquisition (encoding)
      • storage and rehearsal
      • retrieval
  • forgetting
    • active loss of memories appears to be an important physiologic process to allow further memories
    • process may involve the protein scribble which appears to combine the Rac1 and dopamine pathways together into a single dynamic pathway that controls active forgetting
deficits in memory
  • difficulty remembering what they were going to say
  • disorientation to time, place, person
  • inability to recall how to perform tasks
  • failure to remember safety precautions
  • inability to learn strategies

executive functions

  • complex functions such as:
    • adaptive behaviour
    • abstract conceptual thinking
    • set shifting and mental flexibility
    • problem solving
    • planning and organisation
    • sequencing of behaviour
    • personality factors such as motivation, inhibition.
n_cognition.txt · Last modified: 2019/08/27 08:59 (external edit)