High Cognitive Performance: What Is It & How Do You Achieve It? - Neuvana

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April 07, 2022 7 min read

Do you want to be a better problem-solver? To improve your ability to focus? Perhaps develop more creativity and better memory? If you answer yes to any of those, then chances are that what you're looking for is high cognitive performance. After all, high cognitive performance doesn't just mean being able to do well on tests or remember things for a short period of time: it also means having a better day-to-day life.

Did we get your attention? Good!

In this blog post, we will discuss what high cognitive performance is and how you can achieve it.

What Does High Cognitive Performance Mean?

Let's begin by defining exactly what cognitive performance means.

Essentially, it refers to our cognitive abilities or mental processes. This includes things like our attention span, memory, reaction time, problem-solving ability, and more. Cognitive performance is a measure ofhow well our brain functions. And when we talk about high cognitive performance, we're talking about peak brain function - functioning at our very best.

(Read more aboutpeak performance and accessing your highest potential next)

What Are the Benefits of High Cognitive Performance?

As you might guess, many benefits come with having high cognitive performance. Here are a few examples of how it can benefit us:

So, as you can see, having high cognitive performance can pay off in a number of ways! But how do you achieve it? We'll get to that in a moment. But first…


How Does Cognitive Performance Change as We Age?

It's also worth noting how cognitive performance changes as we age. Further, what defines high cognitive performance versus low cognitive performance can also vary.


Cognitive performance in children

High cognitive performance in children can be difficult to identify because children develop at different paces and have different goals depending on several factors.


However, certain behaviors and traits tend to be associated with high cognitive performers. For example, children who exhibit high cognitive performance often have superior memory skills can think abstractly and have a higher level of executive functioning.


Additionally, high cognitive performers tend to be more creative and adaptable than their peers.


Cognitive performance in adults

What does high cognitive performance look like in adults? Well, for starters, they're able to think abstractly and see the "big picture." They can easily navigate their way around new environments, both physical and mental. High-performing adults also have excellent working memory and can recall information quickly and accurately.


But cognitive performance isn't just about being smart or intelligent. It's also about being able to effectively process and use the information you take in. So another important aspect of high cognitive performance is executive function skills. This includes things like planning, task flexibility, inhibitory control (i.e., self-control), and working memory capacity.

While there is no one-size-fits-all definition of high cognitive performance, those are just some of the traits that point to high cognitive performance in adults.


Cognitive performance in seniors

As for what high cognitive performance looks like in senior citizens, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, seniors who have high cognitive performance tend to be able to process information quickly and accurately. They're also able to remember information better than their peers who don't have high cognitive skills.


In addition, seniors with high cognitive performance tend to be more flexible in their thinking. They're able to see different sides of an issue and make decisions accordingly. Finally, seniors with high cognitive performance often have higher levels of creativity than those without it.


Cognitive changes in older adults

You’ll notice that the cognition skills in young or middle-aged adults tend to sound about the same as they do for senior citizens. So, when it comes to cognitive performance and seniors, it can also be helpful to look for areas in which their skills might be declining rather than looking for areas in which they excel.

Here are some of the most common cognitive changes in older adults:

  • Memory problems: As people age, remembering things can become increasingly difficult. This can range from trouble remembering things that happened decades ago (long-term memory) to things that happened in the recent past (short-term memory).
  • Impaired judgment and decision-making skills: As we get older, we may have trouble making decisions, judging situations accurately, and solving problems effectively.
  • Difficulty with language and communication: Older adults may experience changes in their ability to use or understand words, or they may have trouble finding the right words when speaking. They may also have trouble following conversations or reading text.
  • Changes in visuospatial abilities: Our ability to perceive and interpret the world around us can decline as we age. This can make it difficult to drive, read a map, or judge distances.
  • Difficulty with executive function: Executive function skills help us plan, organize, and complete tasks. As we age, we may have trouble with these skills, which can make it hard to manage our time, stay on track with projects, and stick to a schedule.

How does cognitive performance affect our daily lives?

The truth is, it comes into play in several ways in our daily lives, often without us realizing it.

Here are just a few examples of when we use our cognitive skills on a daily basis:

  • Trying to remember where we parked the car
  • When we're trying to remember a person's name
  • Trying to figure out the best route to take to get to our destination
  • When we need to make a quick decision or judgment

How Can You Achieve High Cognitive Performance?

Now you know what the term means, which means it's time to learn about improving it! So, next, let's talk about achieving high cognitive performance for adults and older adults.

There are many different ways to improve your cognitive skills, but some of the most effective include:


Fostering creativity

Giving yourself the chance to be creative and make creative decisions or perform creative activities can be incredibly helpful for improving or maintaining your cognitive skills. When you're creative, you're using more of your brain than when you're just going through the motions.


Socialization

This is another helpful factor for achieving high cognitive performance. According to a study published in the journalPLOS ONE, socialization can help improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of dementia. The study also found that people who had more social interactions were more likely to have better cognitive performance.


Brain games

Another helpful strategy for achieving high cognitive performance is giving brain training games a try. These types of games are designed to help with things like memory, processing speed, and reaction time. (Not to mention, they're fun!)


Here are a few brain games you can play at home or with friends and family:

  • Simon Says
  • Word Ladders
  • Brain Teasers
  • Sudoku
  • Crosswords
  • Jigsaw Puzzles
  • Mahjong

There are also a number of different brain training games available online and on mobile devices. A few popular options include Lumosity, NeuroNation, and Fit Brains Trainer.

Give them a try today!


Improving your spatial memory

Spatial memory is our ability to remember the locations of objects. For example, you use spatial memory every time you go to the grocery store and remember where the items you need are located.


As we mentioned, our visuospatial skills can decline as we age, meaning a decrease in our cognition abilities. The good news is, there are things you can do to improve it.

Here are some:

  • Playing video games that require you to navigate through a virtual environment, such as first-person shooters or puzzle games.
  • Make a mental map of your surroundings when you enter a new place. Take note of landmarks and other features that will help you orient yourself later on.
  • Practice visualization exercises, such as picturing yourself walking through your house from different perspectives or visualizing the layout of a city before taking a trip there.

Improving your spatial memory can not only help you in your everyday life but can also be helpful in a number of professions, such as driving and navigation, architecture, and even art!


Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (Xen by Neuvana headphones)

Finally, let's talk about tVNS and what it can do for your cognitive performance. tVNS is a non-invasive method of stimulating the vagus nerve, which has been shown to improve cognition in many people.


Just consider the findings fromthis 2018 study:

"Vagus nerve stimulation patients significantly improved on cognitive and clinical measures. Learning and memory improved rapidly after one month of stimulation, and other cognitive functions improved gradually over time. Cognitive improvements were sustained up to two years of treatment."


Xen by Neuvana headphones

The Xen by Neuvana headphones are an accessible and non-invasive way to get started with tVNS. The headphones are comfortable to wear, easy to use, and plug into a handheld device that connects to your phone. Then, the headphones deliver electrical impulses to the vagus nerve through your ear. 


These impulses stimulate the vagus nerve, which is thought to help with mood, anxiety, stress, and inflammation, and, as we discussed, they might even be able to provide a cognition boost!


Achieve High Cognitive & Peak Brain Performance Today

Implementing even just one or two of these strategies can go a long way toward helping you achieve high cognitive performance. So if you're looking to boost your brainpower, give them a try! If tVNS is one of those methods you're eager to try, we're here to help. Learn more aboutNeuvana today.


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