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  • Sharon Kochlany

Who Says You Can't Teach Our Brain New Tricks?

This blog is being written and monitored by Dr. Sharon Kochlany (one of the LCWA board members) who is an expert in cognitive training and executive function. She is an executive function coach and a Play Attention Certified Provider. Each week, she will share another tip to improve your cognitive skills. The brain at any age can improve. Come back each week to become more aware of what you can do so that you can ward off mental decline. Feel free to contribute to the blog as well. Writing can help executive function. Post your questions as well.

Picture is copied from the Westford Senior Helpers website at:

Week of January 8

Let's begin with understanding what cognitive skills are and how they relate to executive function. Keep in mind that these things can be improved and future blog episodes will explain how to do this.

Simply put, "Cognitive skills are the core skills your brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention. Working together, they take incoming information and move it into the bank of knowledge you use every day at school, at work, and in life." (

Here are the major cognitive skills we use daily:

Executive function is the control center of the brain. It consists of the cognitive skills listed above "... that include working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control. We use these skills every day to learn, work, and manage daily life. Trouble with executive function can make it hard to focus, follow directions, and handle emotions, among other things." (

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