Mental processes, mental functions and cognitive processes are terms often used interchangeably (although not always correctly so, the term cognitive tends to have specific implications – see cognitive and cognitivism) to mean such functions or processes as perception, introspection, memory, creativity, imagination, conception, belief, reasoning, volition, and emotion—in other words, all the different things that we can do with our minds.
A specific instance of engaging in a cognitive process is a mental event. The event of perceiving something is, of course, different from the entire process, or faculty, of perception—one's ability to perceive things. In other words, an instance of perceiving is different from the ability that makes those instances possible.
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