6 Main Alterations in Cognitive Processes

Six Important alterations in cognitive processes are as follows: 1. Attention 2. Perception 3. Memory 4. Thinking 5. Intelligence 6. Aptitudes.

1. Attention:

Alterations expected in attention process include distraction, division and variations in span of attention. Most of all distraction should be avoided; otherwise the work process will get affected.


Distraction of attention can be overcome by keeping ourselves actively involved, develop interest in the work we are doing, make distraction a part of work. For example, listening to music while working, talking to somebody while riding a bicycle, etc.

2. Perception:

Alterations in perception include illusions, hallucinations and changes in sensory awareness like anesthesia (loss of sensitivity), hyperesthesia (excessive sensitivity), hypoesthesia (diminished tactile sensitivity), par aesthesia (partial sensation), etc.

3. Memory:

Alterations include different types of amnesia, fugue, Korsakoff’s syndrome, Alzheimer disease, par amnesia and confabulation, hyper amnesia, forgetting, Deja vu (an illusion of recognition), traumatic automatism (remembering traumatic experiences involuntarily).

4. Thinking:

Confused thoughts, lack of logical connections between thought and speech, thought disorder, delusions, hallucinations, thought block, flight of ideas or derailment, rhyming, punning (confusion between similar sounding words but have different meanings) are the examples of alterations in thinking..

5. Intelligence:


Alterations include mental retardation, giftedness, autistic savant, Aspergers’ syndrome (a childhood disorder), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), autism, etc.

6. Aptitudes:

Alterations in different aptitudes refer to variations in degree of aptitudes among people. Some people may have extraordinary level of aptitude, but another person may have very low level of the same and in some other person it may be fully absent.

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