Cognition: inner processes and products of the mind that lead to knowing. Typical course: transformations that most children undergo from birth to maturity. Mechanisms of cognitive development: how genetic and environmental factors combine. Out of perceptual and motor activities, infants build and refine psychological structures. Constructivist approach: children discover or construct virtually all knowledge about their world through their own activity. Children move through stages during which exploratory behaviors transform into abstract, logical intelligence. Provide a general theory of development in which all aspects of cognition change in an integrated fashion, following a similar course. Are invariant and always occur in a fixed order (can"t skip stages) Rooted in the biology of the human brain. But individual differences in genetics and environment affect the speed of progression through stages. Schemes: organized ways of making sense of experience. Cognitive approach based on mental representations: internal depictions of info that the mind can manipulate.