Everyday our mind is bombarded with all kinds information. Very often we fail to cope with all this information overload and become easy to manipulate. To prevent ourselves from this, we should explore how our cognitive system works in order to have a more insightful outlook for the processes in our minds.
What exactly is our cognitive system?
The cognitive system is a mental system that is comprised by the sensory system, the thoughts, and by the imagination. The components of the cognitive system are interrelated in a complex manner in order to provide our complete mental picture of the world.
The cognitive system is a hierarchical structure, the components of which are organized this way: sensation → perception → thinking → imagination.
The sensory system
Sensation is the simplest psychic process. It is the shape of every single characteristic of objects and phenomena. Perception is a combination of sensations forming a completed picture.
Sensations are classified either by the organ that creates them (for example optical, auditory, etc.) or by the environment where they were created (the internal environment – the organism itself, or the external environment).
The process of thinking results in creating a general notion of reality and finding regularities, characteristics and specific relations between objects and/or phenomena. It is a unity of analysis and synthesis of information, accomplished by differentiating and then comparing characteristics, taking apart the non-significant ones and creating a general view, all happening in the order presented. Thinking is a process that needs a certain period of time. It is highly likely that a new process of creating a thought is affected by processes that happened before.
Imagination combines the process of thinking with memory (our former experience). It is similar to thinking and helps in situations where we do not have all the information we need. Imagination during work allows us foresee what the product of out labor will be. It may happen either unintentionally or actively (recreating an image or creating a new one). Imagination is encouraged in the process of learning and mastering skills. Imagination can lead to creating images where different characteristics are combined (even impossible combinations), images where the different parts have different proportions or measures (for example, hyperbole) or finding similarities between diverse objects.