In the simplest sense, cognition refers to thinking. Going a bit further with cognition relates it to reasoning and logic, but also unconscious actions (interpreting data from our senses or giving us feelings).
“The old metaphor for human cognition was the computer—a logical information-processing machine. You can’t spell cognition without the cog.”
While some of our thoughts are black and white, there is a lot in between upon closer inspection. Cognition research doesn’t just focus on our thinking, but also our memories, attention, retention, reasoning, use of logic, and reasoning. The effect of personal experiences on cognition is also a large factor in cognitive development.
Cognitive Reasoning & Decision Making
What separates humans from other animals is our ability to think using higher-level mental processes. The research focused on how & why we make decisions (by fast or slow thinking) is ongoing and still trying to determine, well, how & why.
Fast thinking represents intuitive thinking–knee-jerk reactions or gut feelings. This type of thinking is almost a reflex; automatic and just about impossible to turn off.
On the other hand, slow thinking is focused on taking data, analyzing it, and eventually reaching a conclusion based on consciously reviewing the data. Slow thinking isn’t necessarily better than fast thinking, as biases or other forms of subjective logic can affect our thought processes.
Cognitive Learning, Metacognition, & Memory
Our memories are exclusively subjective and are not totally accurate recollections of our past experiences. Many people unconsciously create false memories or details of memories to fulfill psychological needs or desires. Even sensory data, both short- and long-term, can have large impacts on our memories and cognition.
The word metacognition implies critical thinking–thinking about our thinking. Being metacognitively aware allows us to identify potentially damaging mental processes and help us become as objective as possible.
Cognition and Nutrition
Many of our research studies try to map the links between nutrition and cognition. Diets and nutrition can drastically change how not just our bodies function, but also our minds. Discovering links between mental performance and nutrition are important in order to continually improve our diets.
Nutritional and cognitive links from our research focus on food & supplements and how they affect us. These studies are continually being conducted in order to get the necessary data to draw conclusions (leading to more focused studies & research).
Research at Biofortis
Biofortis is dedicated to protecting consumer health throughout the world by delivering a wide range of testing and consultancy services to the food, supplement, and nutrition industries. Biofortis supports this mission in two ways—through clinical trials and sensory and consumer insights testing.
We specialize in clinical research targeting foods, ingredients, and dietary supplements that affect body structures, function, and overall health. Contact us with any clinical trial or scientific consulting needs.