Living in high-rise apartments and driving cars are very new experiences for the human species, but we are notable for our ability to adapt to wildly diverse physical landscapes. Environmental psychology explores how physical spaces influence the way we feel, think, and interact with the world and vice versa.
Quite simply, cognition refers to thinking. There are the obvious applications of conscious reasoning—doing taxes, playing chess, deconstructing Macbeth—but thought takes many subtler forms, such as interpreting sensory input, guiding physical actions, and empathizing with others. The old metaphor for human cognition was the computer—a logical information-processing machine.