The cognitive games that I will explain this article will serve to improve various cognitive functions such as language, memory, attention, guidance … Your brain makes it possible for you to develop your life day by day with normality. All those tasks and behaviors you perform would not be possible without your help.
Try to think of some action you can do without the help of your brain ?? if you can not think of any, quiet, it does not exist. As all the information passes and leaves from the brain. From the most basic functions such as breathing, and that the heart does not stop beating, until solving a math problem.
People who have some type of brain injury whose brain does not work optimally, have limited functions in which you may have never thought, and which are very essential to be able to lead a normal life.
Functions such as tasting the food, combing your hair, recognizing the face of your friends and acquaintances are cognitive functions that, having been completely integrated into your brain function, you may not imagine the complexity involved in carrying them out correctly.
The brain has a wide range of possibilities, but today I will focus on explaining the cognitive part of our mind. So in this publication we are going to talk about cognition, that although it may sound to you, you may not really know what that word refers to, and what elements or functions it implies mentally.
Cognition is a term that refers to those mental processes that are involved in obtaining knowledge and being able to understand things well. The cognitive functions are of superior level, that is to say, that are those that we have for being a developed species, and that they left, according to the evolutionary science, with the phylogenetic step of the species.
But cognition can deteriorate as a result of diseases, and even with the simple passage of years. But calm, I have good news, cognition is also sensitive to changes made by the subject on it, that is, you can train, maintain and even improve.
Now you know what cognition is, but maybe if I explain what cognitive functions are in a specific way, it’s even clearer to you.
What are the cognitive functions?
The mental processes make the subject have an active role in their day to day. Cognitive functions can be grouped according to the purpose or function of the process. Then I leave here a classification of cognitive functions, with which you will surely understand the concept of cognition:
- Orientation: It is the capacity that allows us to be aware of the situation in which we find ourselves at each moment. Orientation can be personal, which refers to our own history and identity, temporal or spatial. Knowing where your house is, how old you are or what your name is, is knowledge that gives guidance.
- Attention: we call attention to the ability to remain activated before a given stimulus, in order to have a good processing of the information. It can be sustained, selective or alternating attention.
- Praxias: Praxias are those skills that help us move voluntarily. Such as writing with a pencil or sticking out your tongue.
- Memory: memory is the ability to encode, store and retrieve information. There are several types of memory, such as semantics, episodic, and procedural.
- Visuospatial skills: is based on the ability to represent, analyze and manipulate an object mentally. As for example to know if a certain object will fit in a box without introducing it in it to verify it.
- Gnosias: refers to the ability to be able to give meaning to the information we capture through the senses. That is, thanks to this function you can recognize smells, textures, flavors ??
- Executive functions: are those skills that are aimed at achieving objective objectives. They would be the following: working memory, planning, reasoning, flexibility, inhibition, decision making, time estimation, execution of double task or multitasking.
- Language: this helps us to communicate, and all its aspects are considered cognitive functions, such as expression, comprehension, vocabulary, denomination, fluency, discrimination, repetition, writing and reading.
- Social cognition: social cognition is considered to be the set of cognitive and emotional processes that work with social information. As an example we can take the theory of the mind.
What does cognition imply?
Therefore, as a summary, and to emphasize the work that your mind must carry out in order to develop a certain function, we explain what tasks cognition carries out in a general way:
- Cognition involves transforming sensory information . That is, as your body receives information from the world around us, before that information reaches the central, or the brain, this information must be transformed so that the brain understands that information. For you to understand, let’s say that the stimuli are in a language that the brain must translate to understand that they are trying to communicate.
- Cognition implies the reduction of sensory information : this means that the world in which we live is in constant movement, and infinity of stimuli arrive at each moment. So the brain has the ability to take only the relevant information for you, and also order and reduce it so that energy expenditure is not huge. For example, think at this time about the pressure exerted on your foot, the shoe you are wearing. This feeling is not new, only that your brain has described it as not relevant, until you have given the order to transmit that information. Imagine that all the stimuli that come to us, our mind would give the same importance ?. it would be crazy!
- Cognition involves the elaboration of information : your brain has the capacity to reconstruct and elaborate a meaningful story from little information. Normally, this added information means that those details that we do not remember or that we do not have access to reconstitute what we do know, giving coherence to what we are trying to reconstruct.
- Cognition involves storing information and recovery : we need a warehouse where we keep all the information we think is important so that when we use it again we have it accessible and available. That store, dear reader, is your brain.
- Cognition implies the use of information : it is all the previous processes that allow us to use the information we need at each moment, and to be able to interact with the world around us in an optimal and efficient way.
10 home and virtual cognitive games
As I mentioned earlier, cognition is plastic, this means that it can be maintained and modified. Thanks to the games that I will propose to you next you can make your cognitive capacity to be developed even more and that in the day to day this is translated in an improvement in the functioning of the mind in contact with the context that surrounds you and the demands that arise from it.
In everyday life you can make some games that will help you improve your cognitive functions, these are some that can help you:
1- Memorize your day to day
At the end of the day before going to bed, try to remember aspects that have happened during the day, for example, that you have had breakfast, remember one of the news you saw in the newspaper, which was the last person you spoke with by phone.??
This exercise in addition to improving your memory, will also improve your concentrationand attention, since knowing that at the end of the day you will try to remember some events of the day, you will pay more attention to those tasks that you are going to do.
2- Play bingo
Believe it or not, playing bingo makes you train some of your cognitive functions such as recognition, discrimination of stimuli, agility and speed in the search for symbols, and motor coordination between hand, hearing and sight. Remember to exercise caution and moderation when playing, as it can become an addictive activity.
It is a numerical puzzle that you have surely seen. The resolution of the game requires patience, and concentration. With this exercise, functions such as perception, deductive analysis, planning, coordination and working memory are developed .
The game consists of filling with numbers a grid of 81 squares, which at the same time are subdivided into smaller squares of 3 x 3 squares. The numbers used are numbers from 1 to 9, and the grid already has some written numbers. The rules are two:
- No number should be repeated in the same row, column or region.
- And there is only one solution.
4- Find the way
When you are somewhere unknown to you, try while you are walking to look at the context, such as a sign, a sign, a certain store … this will help you find your way back. This exercise will not only improve your memory and attention, you will also exercise your guidance capacity.
On the internet we also find a lot of brain training programs, with which certainly in addition to improving cognition you have a lot of fun.
It is a brain training program that has more than 40 games so you can work on the areas of memory, attention, flexibility, speed of processing and problem solving.
This personalized training program was created by a company dedicated to brain training and neuroscience. This program is available for computer, and for iOS.
6- Memory Trainer
It is an application created by the company Urbian. This application has been designed with the intention of improving memory and attention from a playful and fun aspect. The application is available for Android on Google Play.
7- Fit Brains Trainer
It is a brain training program designed by a group of neuroscientists. It includes training sessions to improve the areas of memory, mental agility, concentration, deduction and visual perception. You can find it for computer and for mobile phones with iOs and Android operating system.
8- Brain Lab
It is recommended for all ages, and helps improve memory, logic, calculation and visual skills. One of the curiosities of this application is that it allows you to compete with other players who are around the world and share scores on Facebook. You can buy it in the App Store or google play for free.
Create a personalized training regimen for your cognitive needs that will be adjusted continuously according to your progress. It is a training program where various universities of the world collaborate, which allows you to carry out the training according to your abilities, and the progress you get when using the program.
Works cognitive areas such as Processing Speed, Reaction to change, Hand-Eye Coordination, Inhibition, Divided Attention, Response Time and planning among others. It is available on your computer from your portal and for mobile phones with iOs.
10- Brain metrix
It is an educational website in English dedicated to brain training. On the web we can find a great diversity of games for cognitive training.
You already know that the brain is like a muscle, you have to exercise it to work properly. Keep him active and happy.