Cognitive Functions Explained

On this page we will give you a short introduction to Cognitive Functions which is a way to divide each persons ability to solve a problem. When understanding this, either by initial selfevaluation or when reviewing an analysist done by a certified Feuerstein IE practitioner you are able to target the training of the functions which may not be fully integrated in the person.

Reference is made to this fine presentation: Feuerstein Cognitive Functions The presentation is Copyrighted by The Feuerstein Institute

Cognitive Functions in problem solving can be divided into Input, Elaboration, and Output. The Feuerstein Method works with a total of 28 functions:

  • Input level              –    8 functions
  • Elaboration level – 12 functions
  • Output level          –    8 functions.

Each of these 28 functions can be mapped in varying degrees of functionality from totally deficient to totally efficient.

An example of mapping cognitive functions in a student, 0 being fully deficient and 10 fully efficient. © 2018

Associated with this mapping (which preferably is done by a certified LPAD assessor, or a certified Feuerstein IE practitioner) specific focus can be made on training the deficient functions leaving the more efficient for natural development. If you do not have access to a LPAD assessor or a FIE practitioner in your area, you can do the initial evaluation of your child yourself.

These FIE courses are available for professionals as well as parents. (Links to training centers near you can be found on the website of The Feuerstein Institute)

One such function could be the lack of internalization (getting a mental picture). This is one of the functions that TacTiles® is an efficient tool to train with the pupil.

An extract of the above presentation is provide below for easy reference. The 28 cognitive functions are:

Input Level include those impairments concerning the quantity and quality of data gathered by the individual as he is confronted by a given problem, object, or experience.

They include:

  1. Blurred and sweeping perception.
  2. Unplanned, impulsive, and unsystematic exploratory behavior.
  3. Lack of, or impaired, receptive verbal tools which affect discrimination (e.g. objects, events, relationships, etc. do not have appropriate labels).
  4. Lack of, or impaired, spatial orientation; the lack of stable systems of reference impairs the establishment of topological and Euclidean organization of space.
  5. Lack of, or impaired, temporal concepts.
  6. Lack of, or impaired, conservation of constancies (size, shape, quantity, orientation) across variation in these factors.
  7. Lack of, or deficient, need for precision and accuracy in data gathering.
  8. Lack of capacity for considering two or more sources of information at once; this is reflected in dealing with data in a piecemeal fashion, rather than as a unit of organized facts.

Elaboration level include those functions which impede the efficient use of available data and existing cues.

  1. Inadequacy in the perception of the existence and definition of an actual problem.
  2. Inability to select relevant vs. non-relevant cues in defining a problem.
  3. Lack of spontaneous comparative behavior or limitation of its application by a restricted need system.
  4. Narrowness of the psychic field.
  5. Episodic grasp of reality.
  6. Lack of, or impaired, need for pursuing logical evidence.
  7. Lack of, or impaired, interiorization.
  8. Lack of, or impaired, inferential-hypothetical, “iffy” thinking.
  9. Lack of, or impaired, strategies for hypothesis testing.
  10. Lack of, or impaired, ability to define the framework necessary for problem-solving behavior.
  11. Lack of, or impaired, planning behavior.
  12. Non-elaboration of certain cognitive categories because the verbal concepts are not a part of the individual’s verbal inventory on a receptive level, or they are not mobilized at the expressive level.

Output functions include those factors that lead to an inadequate communication of final solutions.

  1. Egocentric communicational modalities.
  2. Difficulties in projecting virtual relationships.
  3. Blocking.
  4. Trial and error responses.
  5. Lack of, or impaired, tools for communicating adequately elaborated responses.
  6. Lack of, or impaired, need for precision and accuracy in communicating one’s responses.
  7. Deficiency of visual transport.
  8. Impulsive, acting-out behavior.

A excellent way of working with the cognitive functions of a student is to work in a tactile modulous. A tool we highly recommend for doing this is the TacTiles® product series. TacTiles® can be purchased right here in Our webshop

A sample of the TacTiles® Shapes product group