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What are the human organs and their function?
What are Essential Skills?
What is ability?(What is skill?)
What is technique?
What are skills?
Why are skills important?
What are the different types of skills?
What is ability, and where do individual differences in ability come from?
What are the various types of cognitive ability?
What are the various types of emotional ability?
What are the various types of physical ability?
What is intelligence?
Can we Increase our Intelligence?
What is IQ (Intelligence Quotient)?
How does cognitive ability affect job performance and organizational commitment?
What is abilities assessment?
How are abilities assessed?
What do physical ability tests look like?
What about Functional Capacity Evaluations?
What is spatial ability?
Why is spatial ability important?
What is a Skills Center?
What do you have to do to improve your skills?
Abilities (text format)
Essential Skills
Functional Capacity Evaluations
What is ability?

A natural or acquired skill or talent.

Synonyms: aptitude, capability, capacity, competence, competency, comprehension, dexterity, endowment, facility, faculty, intelligence, might, potentiality, qualification, resourcefulness, skill, strength, talent, understanding

What is technique?

A systematic procedure, formula, or routine by which a task is accomplished.

What are the different types of skills?

Take a look at this.
This resource has guidelines for thousands of skills ranging from general purpose skills to work-specific skills.
Analytical Ability
Cognitive Abilities
Computer Skills
Communication Skills
Counselling Skills
English Language Abilities
Economy and Budget
Life Skills
Leadership Skills
Interpersonal Skills
Numeracy Skills
Oral Communication
Organizational Skill
Personal Skills
Politeness Guidelines
Presentation Skills
Secretarial Skills
School Skills
Study Skills
Technical/Manual Skills
Willingness to learn
Writing in the English language
Organs and Functions

What are the human organs and their function?
Adrenal glands - Fight or flight emergency explosive action and mental clarity.
Appendix - No longer in direct use, theorized to help Immune system. Bladder - Temporally collects liquids from food waste.
Brain - An neural network of interdependent systems to send signals to muscles.
Epidermis - protect against pathogens, oxidant stress (UV light) and chemicals.
Esophagus - Muscular tube through which food travels to the stomach.
Eyes - Conversion of photons into a data stream for the optic nerve.
Gall bladder - Fat conversion/digestion with high powered chemicals.
Heart - Pump to move blood around the body.
Kidney - Regulate acidity, blood pressure, salt/water balance, signal hormones.
Large intestine - Absorb water and last remaining nutrients from waste. Liver - Filter out the blood of impurities and toxins.
Lungs - Absorption of Oxygen and release of Carbon Dioxide.
Mouth - Temporary storage area for food while it is evaluated and crushed. Ovaries - In Females, secrete estrogen, progesterone and create ovums.
Pancreas - Break down the carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids in food.
Parathyroid - Control the amount of calcium in the blood and within the bones. Pleura - Lubricant and structure to convert muscle movements to inhale/exhale. Prostate gland - In Males, Assist in the preparation of semen.
Rectum - About 12cm of temporary storage site for feces.
Small intestine - Primary absorption of nutrients and minerals in food. Spine - Bendable support structure for upper body, protects wires from brain to lower body.
Spleen - Secondary backup systems to regulate blood and immune system. Stomach - Dissolve and churn eaten foods with acids.
Testes - In Males, create sperm containing the DNA code to build another human.
Thyroid gland - Configuration for energy storage, dial in sensitivity to hormones.
Tongue - Evaluate and reposition food in the mouth and push down esophagus. Uterus - Hold and supply nutrients to the ovum while it grows into a human.

Organ Systems of the Body
Brain & Central Nervous System (Nervous system) Nerve Cells (Neurons)
Support Cells (Neuroglia)
Spinal Cord (Central Nervous System)
Brain (Central Nervous System)
Nerves (Peripheral Nervous System)
Sensory System
Motor System
The nervous system consists of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system. The brain is the organ of thought, emotion, memory, and sensory processing, and serves many aspects of communication and controls various systems and functions. The special senses consist of vision, hearing, taste, and smell. The eyes, ears, tongue, and nose gather information about the body's environment. Neuroscience,
Neurology (disease),
Psychiatry (behavioral),
Ophthalmology (vision),
Otolaryngology (hearing, taste, smell)
Circulatory Heart, blood vessels, blood Rapid flow of blood throughout the body’s tissues Cardiology (heart), hematology (blood)
Digestive Mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, intestines, salivary glands, pancreas, liver, gallbladder Digestion and absorption of organic nutrients, salts, and water Gastroenterology
Endocrine All glands secreting hormones: Pancreas, testes, ovaries, hypothalamus, kidneys, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, intestinal, thymus, and pineal Regulation and coordination of many activities in the body Endocrinology
Integumentary system Skin Protection against injury and dehydration; defense against foreign invaders; regulation of temperature Dermatology
Lymphatic (immune) system The main function of the lymphatic system is to extract, transport and metabolize lymph, the fluid found in between cells.

Immune system
White blood cells, lymph vessels and nodes, spleen, thymus, and other lymphatic tissues

Defense against foreign invaders; return of extracellular fluid to blood; formation of white blood cells
The lymphatic system is very similar to the circulatory system in terms of both its structure and its most basic function (to carry a body fluid). Oncology, immunology
Muscular system (listed by action site):
Muscles that act on the arm (or humerus bone)
Muscles that act on the shoulder
(or scapula bone)
Muscles that act on the forearm
(or radius & ulna bones)
Muscles that act on the wrist & hand
(or carpals, metacarpals & phalanges)
Muscles that act on the ant. thigh
(or anterior femur bone)
Muscles that act on the post. thigh
(or posterior femur bone)
Muscles that act on the leg
(or tibia and fibula bones)
Muscles that act on the anke & foot
(or tarsals, metatarsals, and phalanges)
Muscles that act on the back
(or posterior vertebral column)
Muscles that act on the neck & head
(or vertebral column and skull)
Muscles that act on the abdomen
(or anterior vertebral column)
Muscles that act on the mandible
(for mastication or chewing)
Muscles that act on the face
(for facial expression; now adding)
Muscles that act on the chest
(for breathing; now drawing)
Cartilage, ligaments, tendons, joints, skeletal muscle
Support, protection, and movement of the body Orthopedics (bone and muscle disorders and injuries)
Reproductive Male: Testes, penis, and associated ducts and glands

Female: Ovaries, uterine tubes, uterus, vagina, mammary glands Production of sperm; transfer of sperm to female
Production of eggs; provision of a nutritive environment for the developing embryo and fetus Gynecology (women), andrology (men), sexology (behavioral aspects) embryology (developmental aspects), obstetrics (partition)
Respiratory Nose, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, intestines, salivary glands, pancreas, liver, gallbladder Exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen; regulation of hydrogen-ion concentration Pulmonology
Skeletal System Lower Limbs
Ribs and Sternum
Upper Limbs
Orthopedics (bone and muscle disorders and injuries)
Urinary system The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. It removes water from the blood to produce urine, which carries a variety of waste molecules and excess ions and water out of the body. Nephrology (function), urology (structural disease)
Circulatory System:
Cardiovascular organs: heart, blood vessels, blood

Digestive System:
Primary organs: mouth, stomach, intestines, rectum
Other organs: teeth, tongue, liver, pancreas

Endocrine System:
Endocrine structures: pituitary gland, pineal gland, thymus, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland

Integumentary System
Integumentary structures: skin, nails, hair, sweat glands

Lymphatic:v Lymphatic organs: lymph vessels, lymph nodes, thymus, spleen, tonsils

Nervous System:
Structures: brain, spinal cord, nerves

Reproductive System:
Male organs: testes, scrotum, penis, vas deferens, prostate
Female organs: ovaries, uterus, vagina, mammary glands

Respiratory System:
Respiratory organs: lungs, nose, trachea, bronchi

Muscular System

Skeletal System:
Structures: bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, cartilage

Urinary/Excretory Systems
Structures: kidneys, urinary bladder, urethra, ureters

The human body is composed of interactive systems. Most organs in the body are necessary, a few like tonsils are not.  There are specific functions for each of the organs in the systems, but they cannot operate by themselves.

Below is a chart that will help you review the different systems with your students.




respiratory lungs, nasal passages,   bronchi, pharynx, trachea, diaphragm, bronchial tubes intake of oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide from body
nervous  spinal cord, brain, nerves, skin, eyes, ears, tongue, nose control of body activities and the reaction to stimuli
digestive stomach, liver, teeth, tongue, pancreas, intestine, esophagus break down of food and absorption for use as energy
excretory kidneys, bladder ureters, skin controls water and salt balance
 endocrine pituitary gland, adrenal gland, thyroid gland, gonads production of hormones and body regulation
skeletal and muscular bones, muscles protection and movement
circulatory blood, blood vessels, heart, lymph transport of nutrients, metabolic wastes, water, salts, and disease fighting cells
 integumentary skin protection of body from injury and bacteria, maintenance of tissue moisture, holds receptors for stimuli response, body heat regulation
What body system helps humans turn the food they eat into energy? (Digestive.)
What body system helps humans breathe? (Respiratory.)
What body system controls other body systems? (Nervous.)
What body system provides structure for the body? (Skeletal.)
What body system allows us to move? (Muscular.)
What body system includes a transport system (blood) and a pump (the heart) that keeps the transport system moving? (Circulatory.)
Can you think of two body systems that work together? (Examples include the respiratory and circulatory, muscular and skeletal, digestive and circulatory, and nervous and any other system.) What part of the nervous system is essential for it to work properly? (Brain.)
What event could disrupt one or more body systems? (Injury or disease could disrupt one or more body systems.)
What parts of the respiratory system would need to be blocked to not allow any air into this system? (The mouth, nose, or trachea.)
What is the person's level of functioning?
What treatments or interventions can maximize functioning?
What are the outcomes of the treatment? How useful were the interventions?
How would I rate my capacity in mobility or communication?
What health care and other services will be needed?
How well do we serve our clients? What basic indicators for quality assurance are valid and reliable?
How useful are the services we are providing?
How _____-effective are the services we provide? How can the service be improved for better outcomes at a lower _____?
What are the needs of persons with various levels of disability - impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions?
How can we make the social and built environment more accessible for all person, those with and those without disabilities ?
Can we assess and measure improvement?

Body Functions are physiological functions of body systems (including psychological functions).
Body Structures are anatomical parts of the body such as organs, limbs and their components.
Impairments are problems in body function or structure such as a significant deviation or loss.
Activity is the execution of a task or action by an individual. Participation is involvement in a life situation.
Activity Limitations are difficulties an individual may have in executing activities.
Participation Restrictions are problems an individual may experience in involvement in life situations.
Environmental Factors make up the physical, socal and attitudinal environment in which people live and conduct their lives.

Body Structure (s)
0 no change in structure
1 total absence
2 partial absence
3 additional part
4 aberrant dimensions
5 discontinuity
6 deviating position
7 qualitative changes in structure, including accumulation of fluid
8 not specified
9 not applicable

Body Function:
Mental Functions
Sensory Functions and Pain
Voice and Speech Functions
Functions of the Cardiovascular, Haematological, Immunological and Respiratory Systems
Functions of the Digestive, Metabolic, Endocrine Systems
Genitourinary and Reproductive Functions
Neuromusculoskeletal and Movement-Related Functions
Functions of the Skin and Related Structures

Structure of the Nervous System
The Eye, Ear and Related Structures
Structures Involved in Voice and Speech
Structure of the Cardiovascular, Immunological and Respiratory Systems
Structures Related to the Digestive, Metabolic and Endocrine Systems
Structure Related to Genitourinary and Reproductive
Structure Related to Movement
Skin and Related Structures

Activities and Participation

Learning and Applying Knowledge
General Tasks and Demands
Self Care
Domestic Life
Interpersonal Interactions and Relationships
Major Life Areas
Commmunity, Social and Civic Life

What is abilities assessment?

Abilities assessment relies on the fact that many of our aptitudes are fixed or hardwired and are not essentially modified by training or practice.

How are abilities assessed?

Unlike tests of skills, personality, interests or values – all of which are influenced by changes over time – abilities are assessed through the actual performance of manual and mental tasks which measure how easily the test-taker can perform those tasks.

What is spatial ability?

Spatial ability is the capacity to understand and remember the spatial relations among objects. This ability can be viewed as a unique type of intelligence distinguishable from other forms of intelligence, such as verbal ability, reasoning ability, and memory skills. Spatial ability is not a monolithic and static trait, but made up of numerous subskills, which are interrelated among each other and develop throughout your life.

Why is spatial ability important?

Visual-spatial skills are of great importance for success in solving many tasks in everyday life.

What is a Skills Center?
What do you have to do to improve your skills? Here are further guidelines.
Personal Skills List

Self-Management Skills:

Clear thinking
Detail oriented
Fair minded
Sense of humor
Thinks quickly

Transferable Skills Checklist
Creative, Artistic Skills

Draw, sketch, render
Music Appreciation
Perform, act
Play Instruments
Present artistic ideas

Analytical Skills

Analyze data or facts
Audit records
Calculate, compute
Classify data
Compare, inspect, record facts
Count, observe, compile
Locate answers/information
Take inventory

Key Transferable Skills

Accept responsibility
Control budget
Increase sales or efficiency
Instruct other
Manage people
Meet deadlines
Meet the public
Organize/manage projects
Solve problems
Speak in public
Supervise others
Written communications


Arrange social functions
Direct others
Explain things to others
Get results
Mediate problems
Motivate people
Negotiate agreements
Run meetings
Self motivated
Solve problems
Take risks

Other Transferable Skills:

Assemble or make things
Build, observe, inspect things
Construct or repair buildings <
br> Drive or operate vehicles Good with my hands
Operate tools/machinery
Repair things
Use complex equipment
Use my hands

Using Words and Ideas:

Communicate verbally
Correspond with others
Create new ideas
Remember information v Research
Speaking in public
Write clearly

Working with People:

Care for
Confront others
Counsel people
Help others

Job Content Skills - what have you done?

Adapting new procedure
Administering programs
Advising people
Analyzing data
Analyzing problems
Assembling apparatus
Becoming actively involved
Being thorough
Budgeting expenses
Calculating numerical data
Checking for accuracy
Coaching individuals
Comparing results
Compiling statistics
Conducting meetings
Coordinating schedules/times
Coping with deadlines
Delegating responsibility
Developing plans for projects
Dispensing information
Drafting reports
Editing work
Encouraging others
Evaluating programs
Expressing ideas orally to individuals or groups
Finding/gathering information
Handling complaints
Handling detail work
Imagining new solutions
Inspecting physical objects
Interacting with people at
various levels
Interviewing prospective employees
Investigating problems
Knowledge of concepts and principles
Listening to others
Locating missing information
Maintaining accurate records
Maintaining emotional control under stress
Making decisions
Managing an organization
Managing people
Mediating between people
Meeting new people
Motivating others
Negotiating, arbitrating conflicts
Operating equipment
Organizing files
Organizing tasks
Performing numeric analysis
Persuading others
Picking out important
Planning agendas/meetings
Planning organizational needs
Preparing written
Prioritizing work
Promoting events
Proposing ideas
Providing customer service
Public speaking
Reading volumes of materials
Recommending course of action
Recommending ideas
Rehabilitating people
Relating to the public
Running meetings
Screening telephone calls
Selling ideas/products
Setting up demonstrations
Setting work/committee goals
Teaching/Training Individuals
Thinking in a logical manner
Taking independent action

Personal Development and Personal Empowerment
Self-Motivation and Emotional Intelligence
Time Management and Removing Distractions to help you achieve more
Avoiding Stress
Anger Management
Relaxation Techniques
Building Confidence and Self-Esteem
Interpersonal Skills
What are Interpersonal Skills?
A List of Interpersonal Skills Includes:
Verbal Communication - What we say and how we say it. Non-Verbal Communication - What we communicate without words, body language is an example.
Listening Skills - How we interpret both the verbal and non-verbal messages sent by others.
Negotiation - Working with others to find a mutually agreeable outcome. Problem Solving - Working with others to identify, define and solve problems.
Decision Making – Exploring and analysing options to make sound decisions.
Assertiveness – Communicating our values, ideas, beliefs, opinions, needs and wants freely.

Interpersonal Skills—skills that are about your attitude, work ethic, reliability, flexibility, personal interaction with co-workers/customers/others.
What is Negotiation?

Negotiation is a method by which people settle differences. It is a process by which compromise or agreement is reached while avoiding argument.

In any disagreement, individuals understandably aim to achieve the best possible outcome for their position (or perhaps an organisation they represent). However, the principles of fairness, seeking mutual benefit and maintaining a relationship are the keys to a successful outcome.

Stages of Negotiation

In order to achieve a desirable outcome, it may be useful to follow a structured approach to negotiation. For example, in a work situation a meeting may need to be arranged in which all parties involved can come together. The process of negotiation includes the following stages:

3.Clarification of goals
4.Negotiate towards a Win-Win outcome
6.Implementation of a course of action

1. Preparation

Before any negotiation takes place, a decision needs to be taken as to when and where a meeting will take place to discuss the problem and who will attend. Setting a limited time-scale can also be helpful to prevent the disagreement continuing.

This stage involves ensuring all the pertinent facts of the situation are known in order to clarify your own position. In the work example above, this would include knowing the ‘rules’ of your organisation, to whom help is given, when help is not felt appropriate and the grounds for such refusals. Your organisation may well have policies to which you can refer in preparation for the negotiation.

Undertaking preparation before discussing the disagreement will help to avoid further conflict and unnecessarily wasting time during the meeting.

Negotiation is a method by which people settle differences. It is a process by which compromise or agreement is reached while avoiding argument.

In any disagreement, individuals understandably aim to achieve the best possible outcome for their position (or perhaps an organisation they represent). However, the principles of fairness, seeking mutual benefit and maintaining a relationship are the keys to a successful outcome.

Specific forms of negotiation are used in many situations: international affairs, the legal system, government, industrial disputes or domestic relationships as examples. However, general negotiation skills can be learned and applied in a wide range of activities. Negotiation skills can be of great benefit in resolving any differences that arise between you and others.

Our negotiation pages:

Describe the common stages in the process of negotiation.
Describe the different types of negotiation.
Outline key points for successful negotiation.
Explain the difference between interests and positions in the negotiation process.
Recognise why effective communication is essential to negotiation.

Why Negotiate?

It is inevitable that, from time-to-time, conflict and disagreement will arise as the differing needs, wants, aims and beliefs of people are brought together. Without negotiation, such conflicts may lead to argument and resentment resulting in one or all of the parties feeling dissatisfied. The point of negotiation is to try to reach agreements without causing future barriers to communications.

Stages of Negotiation

In order to achieve a desirable outcome, it may be useful to follow a structured approach to negotiation. For example, in a work situation a meeting may need to be arranged in which all parties involved can come together. The process of negotiation includes the following stages:

3.Clarification of goals
4.Negotiate towards a Win-Win outcome
6.Implementation of a course of action

1. Preparation

Before any negotiation takes place, a decision needs to be taken as to when and where a meeting will take place to discuss the problem and who will attend. Setting a limited time-scale can also be helpful to prevent the disagreement continuing.

This stage involves ensuring all the pertinent facts of the situation are known in order to clarify your own position. In the work example above, this would include knowing the ‘rules’ of your organisation, to whom help is given, when help is not felt appropriate and the grounds for such refusals. Your organisation may well have policies to which you can refer in preparation for the negotiation.

Undertaking preparation before discussing the disagreement will help to avoid further conflict and unnecessarily wasting time during the meeting.

2. Discussion

During this stage, individuals or members of each side put forward the case as they see it, i.e. their understanding of the situation. Key skills during this stage are questioning, listening and clarifying. Sometimes it is helpful to take notes during the discussion stage to record all points put forward in case there is need for further clarification. It is extremely important to listen, as when disagreement takes place it is easy to make the mistake of saying too much and listening too little. Each side should have an equal opportunity to present their case.

3. Clarifying Goals

From the discussion, the goals, interests and viewpoints of both sides of the disagreement need to be clarified. It is helpful to list these in order of priority. Through this clarification it is often possible to identify or establish common ground.

4. Negotiate Towards a Win-Win Outcome

This stage focuses on what is termed a Win-Win outcome where both sides feel they have gained something positive through the process of negotiation and both sides feel their point of view has been taken into consideration.

A Win-Win outcome is usually the best result. Although this may not always be possible, through negotiation, it should be the ultimate goal.

Suggestions of alternative strategies and compromises need to be considered at this point. Compromises are often positive alternatives which can often achieve greater benefit for all concerned compared to holding to the original positions.

5. Agreement

Agreement can be achieved once understanding of both sides’ viewpoints and interests have been considered. It is essential to keep an open mind in order to achieve a solution. Any agreement needs to be made perfectly clear so that both sides know what has been decided.

6. Implementing a Course of Action

From the agreement, a course of action has to be implemented to carry through the decision.

Failure to Agree

If the process of negotiation breaks down and agreement cannot be reached, then re-scheduling a further meeting is called for. This avoids all parties becoming embroiled in heated discussion or argument, which not only wastes time but can also damage future relationships.

At the subsequent meeting, the stages of negotiation should be repeated.

Any new ideas or interests should be taken into account and the situation looked at afresh. At this stage it may also be helpful to look at other alternative solutions and/or bring in another person to mediate.

Informal Negotiation

There are times when there is a need to negotiate more informally. At such times, when a difference of opinion arises, it might not be possible or appropriate to go through the stages set out above in a formal manner.

Nevertheless, remembering the key points in the stages of formal negotiation may be very helpful in a variety of informal situations.

In any negotiation, the following three elements are important and likely to affect the ultimate outcome of the negotiation:

3.Interpersonal Skills


All negotiation is strongly influenced by underlying attitudes to the process itself, for example attitudes to the issues and personalities involved in the particular case or attitudes linked to personal needs for recognition.


The more knowledge you possess of the issues in question, the greater your participation in the process of negotiation. In other words, good preparation is essential.

Do your homework and gather as much information about the issues as you can.

Furthermore, the way issues are negotiated must be understood as negotiating will require different methods in different situations.

Organizational Skill

Organizational Skills—skills that demonstrate your abilities to get a job done, planning, develop new ways of doing things, initiate improvements to a job, assist others in getting a task done, efficiency on the job.

Secretarial Skills

Secretarial Skills—write business letters, data entry, operate office machines including computers, keep inventory, order supplies, scheduling people or rooms.

Technical/Manual Skills

Technical/Manual Skills—skills that list your computer hardware and software abilities, machines you can operate, things you can put together, items you can handle, stack, lift, turn, repair or place

ABILITY TO HANDLE CONFLICT : Can you handle stressful, tense situations and make th em come out right?

What is intelligence?
The ability to solve problems and to adapt to and learn from life’s everyday experiences
The ability to solve problems
The capacity to adapt and learn from experiences
Includes characteristics such as
creativity and interpersonal skills The mental abilities that enable one to adapt to, shape, or select one’s environment
The ability to judge, comprehend, and reason
The ability to understand and deal with people, objects, and symbols
The ability to act pu rposefully, think rationally, and deal effectively with the environment

As you think about what intelligence is, you should ask the following questions:
To what extent is intelligence genetic?
To what extent is intelligence stable?
How do cognitive abiliti es interact with other aspects of functioning?
Are there true sex differences?
Is intelligence a global capacity (similar to “good health”) or can it be differentiated into various dimensions (called “factors” or “aptitudes”)?
Are there a number of “intell igences”?
How do you measure intelligence?
Intelligence Quotient (IQ) : Measure of intelligence that takes into account a child’s mental and chronological age IQ Score = MA / CA x 100 Mental age (MA) : the typical intelligence level found for people at a given chronological age Chronological age (CA) : the actual age of the child taking the intelligence test People whose mental age is equal to their chronological age will always have an IQ of 100. If the chronological age exceeds mental age – below - averag e intelligence (below 100). If the mental age exceed the chronological age – above - average intelligence (above 100).

The normal distribution: most of the population falls in the middle range of scores between 84 and 116.

Very Superior I ntelligence ( gifted ) - Above 130

Superior Intelligence - 120 to 129

High Average Intelligence - 110 to 119

Average Intelligence - 90 to 109

Low Average Intelligence - 80 to 89

Borderline Intellectual Functioning - 71 to 79

Mild Mental Retardation - 55 to 70

Moderate Retardation - 40 to 54

Severe Mental Retardation - 25 to 39

Profound Mental Retardation - Below 25

Are IQ tests culturally biased?
Pain Disability Questionnaire
Cognitive Skills

Reasoning and Problem Solving:
Speed of Processing:


Rote memorization
Gist (e.g. recall the plot of Jane Eyre)
Procedures (e.g. draw a right triangle)


Selective attention: filter out distractions, ignore irrelevant information
Sustained attention: focus for long periods of time
Divided attention: focus on more than one thing)


Fine motor control
Hand-eye coordination
Gross motor control

Executive functions

Inhibit irrelevant or automatic responses
Flexibility: change direction if not working; adopt multiple approaches
Strategy use: ability to reflect on strategy and select appropriate strategy
Automaticity: make skills automatic

Language skills

Listening skills: ability to take in and process auditory information
Reading: recognition of sight words and decoding new words
Comprehension: understanding what is read or said
Formulation: ability to access and organize information to express it

Thinking skills

Reasoning about concrete items versus abstract ideas
Analyzing/evaluating arguments
Developing a logical argument
Inductive reasoning: using specific examples/observations and forming a more general principal
Deductive reasoning: use stated general premise to reason about specific examples
Generate hypotheses: intuition, aesthetics, emotion
Hypothesis testing: test ideas through experience or manipulation of variables
Application: use knowledge in a new area
Appreciation: recognition of value of something
Responding to novelty: ability to react appropriately in a novel situation
Self-reflection: ability to think about oneself in relation to the material

Cognitive Skills of the Brain

Because the brain in the central hub for the all of the body’s functions, understanding how this organ works can be helpful in terms of understanding Traumatic Brain Injury.

Cognitive Skills of the Brain

Because the brain in the central hub for the all of the body’s functions, understanding how this organ works can be helpful in terms of understanding Traumatic Brain Injury.

There are six components inside of the brain; the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, temporal lobe, cerebellum and the brain stem. Read below to understand the functions of each part of the brain, the roles they play in the body’s overall health, and observed problems in behavior or well being if that particular part of the brain is injured.

Frontal Lobe

The frontal lobe links and integrates all components of behavior at the highest level. Emotion and social adjustment and impulse control are also localized here. Injury to parts of the frontal lobe may cause an inability to move part of the body or the whole side of the body. Speech may become halting, disorganized or be stopped except for single explosive words. Personality may change. Social rules of behavior may be disregarded. The executive functions, planning, abstract reasoning, impulse control, sustained attention and insight are all located here. The frontal lobe is highly susceptible to injury.


  • Initiation
  • Problem solving
  • Judgment
  • Inhibition of behavior
  • Planning/anticipation
  • Self-monitoring
  • Motor planning
  • Personality/emotions
  • Awareness of abilities/limitations
  • Organization
  • Attention/concentration
  • Mental flexibility
  • Speaking (expressive language)

Observed Problems

  • Emotion (i.e., depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out, and social inappropriateness).

Parietal Lobe

The parietal lobe is largely responsible for construction ability and language. Injury to the front parts of this lobe may cause someone to lose sensation on parts of the body. With an injury in this area, one may become disoriented. Recall of long term memories may be mixed up in time or sequencing. They may become easily lost or confuse left and right. They may have difficulty recognizing or naming what they see. Injury may also produce disorders in the ability to read, write or perform math calculations. This area also includes conscious sensation and voluntary motion.

  • Sense of touch
  • Differentiation: size, shape, color
  • Spatial perception
  • Visual perception
  • Academic skills (reading)

Observed Problems

  • Sensation (i.e., touch, taste, and smell)

Occipital Lobe

Injury to this area usually results in “blindness” to part or all of the visual field. Usually people experience “holes” or “blind spots” in what they see. There may be problems picking things out of space or they may misperceive pictures or objects. Recognition of colors may also be disturbed.


  • Vision
  • Reading (perception and recognition of printed words)

Observed Problems

  • Depth perception
  • Color perception
  • Difficulty tracking moving objects
  • Partial or total blindness

Temporal Lobe

The temporal lobe perceives and recognizes verbal material. It is among the most frequently injured parts of the brain during head injury. A person may have difficulty screening out distractions. Injury to the upper temporal area can cause someone to misunderstand what is said. They may make sounds like words but which are not recognizable as words at all. They may also misunderstand body language. Emotional changes such as unexplained panic or unexpected tearfulness may be noted. Left temporal area includes production of speech, naming and verbal memory. The right temporal area includes musical abilities, foreign languages, visual memory, and comprehension of the environment.


  • Memory
  • Hearing
  • Understanding language (receptive language)
  • Organization and sequencing
  • Musical awareness

Observed Problems

  • Thinking (i.e., memory and reasoning)
  • Language (i.e., communication, expression, and understanding)


Obtaining a general understanding of the brain and its functions is important to understanding the rehabilitation process. It is very important, however, to understand that the rehabilitation professional is concerned with the whole person. The identification of individual problems gives the rehabilitation team areas in which to focus treatment plans, all of these plans are designed to work toward the rehabilitation of the whole person. Each problem area affects other areas and many times resolving one problem has a major impact on other problems. For example, reestablishing postural balance and eliminating dizziness greatly enhances concentration and attention which allows for improved cognition and problem solving.


  • Coordination of voluntary movement
  • Balance and equilibrium
  • Some memory for reflex motor acts

Observed Problems

  • Loss of ability to coordinate fine movements
  • Loss of ability to walk
  • Inability to reach out and grab objects
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness (vertigo)
  • Slurred speech (scanning speech)
  • Inability to make rapid movements

Brain Stem

The brain stem plays a vital role in basic attention, arousal, and consciousness. All information to and from our body passes through the brain stem on the way to or from our brain. Like the frontal and temporal lobes, the brain stem is located in an area near bony protrusions making it vulnerable to damage during trauma.


  • Breathing
  • Heart Rate
  • Swallowing
  • Reflexes to seeing and hearing (startling response)
  • Controls sweating, blood pressure, digestion, temperature (autonomic nervous system)
  • Affects level of alertness
  • Ability to sleep
  • Sense of balance (vestibular function)

Observed Problems

  • Decreased vital capacity in breathing, important for speech
  • Swallowing food and water (dysphasia)
  • Difficulty with organization/perception of the environment
  • Problems with balance and movement
  • Dizziness and nausea (vertigo)
  • Sleeping difficulties (insomnia, sleep apnea)

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