“Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimension.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Cognitive Skills

Cognitive skills refer to the mental processes our brains use to take in, give meaning to, manipulate, store and retrieve information about the outside world.  Cognitive skills also include the processes that help us learn and think, solve problems, collaborate and create.

This model of mental processing identifies some of the critical steps in learning and classifies functions into four main stages of procesing: Reception, Perception, Memory and Thinking.

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Reception

Reception is the initial step in the learning sequence and involves taking in information through our sense:  sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.  The enormous amount of information available to our senses must be compared, sorted, organized, and then filtered to eliminate irrelevant information and enable relevant information to flow through to other processes. Our brains take just fractions of a second to determine what is relevant and what to discard, and we are not even aware of it happening; this processing is all nonconscious.  In order to do this we depend on cognitive skills such as various attention skills and the ability to efficiently gather visual inputs.

Perception

At the next stage of the learning sequence, information selected in the Reception stage is further processed to identify and interpret it. This requires retrieving stored information from memory and integrating it with the new information. We must put visual and auditory information together, keep things in a sequence and understand where things are in space and time relative to other things.  Once again, these processes occur within seconds and are performed nonconsciously.

Memory

Memory is essential in all phases of information processing and is integral to any ability to manipulate information, compare, comprehend, and learn. In fact, if we can't remember something, we can't really say that we have learned it. Memory skills range from immediate to long-term depending on the duration of time information is stored.  The only stage at which we are conscious of the information is when we are holding it and manipulating it in working memory.  It is important to recognize that if we don't actively process information in working memory, it is unlikely to be stored in long-term memory.

Working memory is one of a special class of cognitive skills referred to as executive functions.  Executive functions are the directive capacities of our minds.  The other two executive functions are inhibitory control, essential for self-regulation, and cognitive flexibility, which is how we reorient our thoughts when the rules of the world around us change, or when we shift from an external focus to internal reflective thinking.

Thinking

Other higher order executive functions are also part of the thinking stage of the learning sequence.  This is the stage at which we achieve comprehension, make decisions, plan for the future and solve problems. 

BrainWare Safari develops 41 cognitive skills in the areas of Attention, Memory, Visual Processing, Auditory Processing, Thinking and Sensory Integration.

List and Definitions of the Cognitive Skills Developed in BrainWare SAFARI

Cognitive Skills Developed in BrainWare SAFARI by Exercise

Cognitive Skills Developed in BrainWare SAFARI and the Behavioral Impact of Improvement

 

 

Success Stories from Our Users

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Kids Say ... My Teacher Was Very Impressed

by Rachael H. (Age 7)

"I think it was fun and it helps me with my memory. When I had Chinese class, I got all of them right. The teacher was very impressed."

Kids Say ... I Think I’m Smarter

by Tim S. (Age 8)

"You learn and you have fun at the same time. I think I'm smarter because I do BrainWare."

Educators Say ... I Could See Changes in Their Ability to Think Logically

by Michelle Fisher-Jones, Teacher, IN

"It is sad, as an educator, to see many students who come into my class lacking the confidence they need to be successful in school. It is imperative that students are given the opportunities to excel. BrainWare Safari was that opportunity and the students definitely took advantage of it. I could see changes in their ability to think logically and to solve problems. They looked forward to practicing the skills in BrainWare Safari. They just wanted to keep going."

Parents Say ... She Made the Honor Roll

by Patrick T. (Brianna, Age 8, and Angela, Age 10)

"It's been a phenomenal experience to watch both children go through BrainWare Safari, especially Brianna. Brianna was having some challenges in school, and after she completed BrainWare Safari, she made the honor roll, which has been exciting and a very proud moment for me as a father."

Parents Say ... I Was Just the Happiest Mom in Town

by Barb M. (Matt, Age 9)

"I think that all kids have strengths and weakensses and they feel much better about their weaknesses when they know their strengths. BrainWare Safari did that for Matt. I had a hard time believeing the results because he showed such a huge amount of improvement. I took him to a psychologist because I wanted to validate the results. They were all validated. I was just the happiest Mom in town."

Parents Say ... You Can Give This Gift to Your Child

by Cheryl M. (Drew, Age 10)

"It's like the difference between taking your child to a music lesson and sitting and waiting or having the music teacher come to your house. You can manage it, you can get your hands around it, and you can give this gift to your child."

Grandparents Say ... More Focused in School

by Donna C. (Brendan (Age 12)

"The first time Brendan used BrainWare Safari, he became so thoroughly engaged with the activities that he did not want to stop. He actually set his alarm clock an hour early the next morning so he could do more BrainWare before leaving for school. When his parents went to their parent-teacher conference recently, after he had been using the program for several weeks, his teacher was very impressed. She observed that he is more focused in school and more confident in his ability to independently complete his classroom and homework assignments."

Kids Say ... I’ve Gotten Better at Listening

by Drew D. (Age 10)

"I've gotten better at listening. I used to misunderstand stuff because I didn't read the instructions and got right to work, but BrainWare Safari taught me to slow down and double-check my work."

Clinicians Say ... Skills Children Will Apply Every Day of Their Lives

by Russell Osnes, OD

"Our brains are constantly changing and developing. The more we exercise them, the faster we learn, and the better we process the information we receive. Working on the 41 cognitive skills encompassed in BrainWare Safari can help kids perform better, do tasks more efficiently, remember what they've been studying in school better, and be able to stay on task longer. The skills children learn in BrainWare Safari they will apply every day of their lives."

Parents Say ... Skills Quickly Transferred to Other Things

by Matt H., Father of a 7-Year-Old with Autism

"At the end of first grade, my son's teacher noted that, though he did exceptionally well academically, he had two major gaps--his ability to focus and his abstract thinking skills. Shortly thereafter, I heard about BrainWare Safari and we decided to give it a try. At first, the product frustrated my son. My wife worked with him on Rhythm Ribbet, just listening to the beat. A few minutes later, he ran into the kitchen screaming, 'I did it! I did it!" About two days later, I saw something amazing. My son was working on BrainWare Safari and he would visibly focus. He would lean forward in the chair and his entire expression would change. We had never seen this before from him. He quickly transferred this skill to other things--homework, games, puzzles. We thank you for an amazing product."

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