Cognitive development is a lifelong process that involves changes in the content of thought and the processes that regulate cognition. Cognitive development is complex, reflecting the biological capabilities of the human mental system and the capacity to learn cultural knowledge and skills through social experience. Researchers who study cognitive development use a wide range of methods, including techniques that investigate the neurological basis of mental growth. Much of the research on cognitive development focuses on the periods of childhood and adolescence when there is substantial change in the acquisition, organization, and use of knowledge.

Cognitive development is deeply entwined with the social and cultural nature of the human species. Children gain competence in the skills that are valued and practiced by their culture. This process is ...

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