Cognition refers to the mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge and understanding. These processes include thinking, knowing, remembering, judging, and problem-solving. These are higher-level functions of the brain and encompass language, imagination, perception, and planning.

Cognition is central to how we interact with the world. Through cognitive processes, we interpret and respond to our environment, make decisions, solve problems, and learn from experiences.

Cognitive processes can be conscious or unconscious, concrete or abstract. They allow us to transform sensory input into meaningful information. Cognitive processes also enable complex interactions and allow us to relate to others and to understand their thoughts and emotions.

Cognition is studied in various disciplines such as psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy. Researchers study cognition to understand how mental processes work, how they develop, and how they can be enhanced or impaired.

Cognitive abilities can be affected by a variety of factors, including age, stress, and neurological disorders. Many mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia, are associated with cognitive impairments. Cognitive therapies aim to improve these abilities and to help individuals manage their symptoms.

The study of cognition also extends to artificial intelligence (AI). Researchers in AI use models of human cognition to develop machines and software that can mimic human thinking and problem-solving.