This article describes the cognitive functions which refer to the ability of a person to think.


The cognitive functions are broken down into several areas that are all related and involve learning and problem-solving, and consist of the following:

  • The intelligence quotient IQ
    • Measures your cognitive capacity.
    • IQ tests are usually given when young.
    • Can provide a benchmark to show whether later health problems are affecting a person’s cognitive ability.
  • Memory
    • The memory domain represents your ability to remember things and is divided into two areas:
    •  Episodic memorise details from a story.
    • Working memory keeps information in mind, such as telephone nos.
    • Diseases such as Alzheimer’s tend to affect the memory first.
  • The speed domain. 
    • Represents how fast you can think.
  • Reasoning. 
    • Represents your ability to solve problems, especially when processing non-verbal information.
  • Verbal fluency  
    • Represents your ability to work with verbal information. 
  • Visual-spatial ability.
    • Deals with your ability to interact with physical objects.

Consider the cognitive functions you are using when reading this article.