Cognition: what does it mean?


‘Cognition’ is a word with a large scope of meaning. I'll begin with the definition given in The New Oxford American Dictionary.

the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses--resulting in a perception, sensation, notion, or intuition.

It is understandable that this definition may still leave some with questions. I will define some of these terms in following pages; I will not discuss all of these aspects of cognition--but will focus on sensation and perception.

The word 'cognition', as well as 'cognitive', is used by many different fields of study. It is important to note that some of these fields use this term differently and have complex debates over the details of it's meaning, how to describe the processes, and also how to most accurately study it. Neuroanthropology is somewhat of a newcomer to this debate, but has no less stake in it.

I will begin with a neuroscience perspective on cognition, sensation, and perception; and then I will revisit all of these terms from a neuroanthropology perspective.


> Continue to the Neuroscience Perspective <