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It's a Team Thing
 

Cartoon of inside a brain with different cartoon characters doing didderent things: looking through a telescope through the eyes, at a switchboard at a notice board - there is a teleporter machine tooCognitive functions are brain activities that help you plan, communicate and make decisions.

They involve parts of the brain (the team) talking to each other but in MS, communication between these team members can slow down or get confused.

Every day, your cognitive function allows you to go about your business seamlessly – to plan your actions, remember important tasks and details and generally get things done. We never really notice it unless things start to go wrong. But scientists study this kind of brain activity and think about it a lot, and they call it cognitive function.

Cognition is the general term that science uses to cover many aspects of ‘higher’ brain function such as memory, attention, language, reasoning, thinking, problem-solving, planning and making decisions.

Together, those brain activities make up your cognitive function, which you rely on to carry out tasks from the habitual – like getting dressed or brushing your teeth– right through to learning a whole new language, learning how to parent, dealing with challenging situations in real life or even getting to the next level on a console game.

For cognitive function to work well, different parts of the brain need to ‘talk’ to each other to process information as a team. The outer layer or brain cortex helps us to perceive things, to understand and appreciate what is going on and to communicate to others. The hippocampus, which looks a bit like a sea-horse, is important for learning and memory. The thalamus is like a relay station to gather information coming in from our senses: it screens the information for the important bits and sends those off to the cortex for processing. These are just some of the team members that need to ‘talk’ to each other through electrical signals in the nervous system for cognitive function to work well.

Back to Cognition 101

 
 
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