Cognitive processing is a general term to describe a series of cognitive operations carried out in the creation and manipulation of mental representations of information. Cognitive processes may include attention, perception, reasoning, emoting, learning, synthesizing, rearrangement and manipulation of stored information, memory storage, retrieval, and metacognition. These functions can be conscious (e.g., learning a concept) or unconscious (e.g., learning a skill) and can be internally generated (e.g., recalling a memory) or initiated by a novel sensory input from the environment (e.g., solving a problem).
From a cognitive psychology perspective, cognitive processing is approached as a sequence of ordered stages wherein sensory input is transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, recovered, and utilized. Early views of cognitive processing emphasized linear temporal processing, whereas contemporary models assume a less linear, more complex flow of dynamics, including...