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Creative Thoughts

Understanding, retaining and using information.



Girls Talking

Comprehension and utilization of language for communication.




Effectively planning, initiating and completing tasks.




Cognitive skills are needed to process information. In order to learn, retain and use our knowledge, we need to be able to use all of these skills effectively:

  • Attend to incoming information (sustained, selective and divided attention).

  • Quickly process all the details (processing speed).

  • Remember what we heard, saw or read (working, short-term and long-term memory).

  • Decide what to do with the information (reasoning and problem solving skills). 

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Linguistics is the study of language. In order to communicate effectively we need to have a good command of these language skills:

  • Form: the sounds, words, and sentences (language) we use to convey information (phonology, morphology and syntax).

  • Content: putting sounds, words, and sentences together in a way that has meaning (semantics).

  • Use: following the socially driven rules to utilize language for a purpose (pragmatics).

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Executive Functions

Executive functions are higher level cognitive functions that continue to develop into early

adulthood. These skills are essential to:

  • Organize/Set Goals

  • Plan/Prioritize

  • Initiate/Implement

  • Following through

  • Evaluate/Make changes

  • Self-monitor

  • Control emotions

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Putting it all together:


  • Successful functioning is dependent on effective communication.


  • Effective communication relies on fluid cognition.       


  • Cognitive stress makes thinking and reasoning more difficult.

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson for January 09, 1995

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