Cognition / Motivation

Cognition includes a complex set of processes such as attention, learning and memory. Cognition can be defined as the capacity to attend, encode, consolidate, store and retrieve recent and remotely stored fact (semantic), experience-based (episodic) memory and rules (procedural memory). Different brain regions, circuits, and substrates subserve different types of memory. While long-term memory for experiences and fact-based information are generally supported by many regions of the brain, short-term memory involves primarily the prefrontal cortex and certain areas of the posterior cortex and the hippocampus. Attentional function is also mediated by multiple substrates, with a major role played by cholinergic signaling in the prefrontal cortex. In addition, the prefrontal cortex is important in executive function, a crucial element of cognition that includes inhibitory response control, ability to choose between alternatives and behavioral flexibility. Cognitive impairment is a defining feature of several neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s Disease and Huntington’s Disease.

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  • PsychoGenics
  • 215 College Road, Paramus, NJ 07652
  • Tel: (914) 406-8000
  • Fax: (914) 406-8090