Cognitivism focuses on the processes behind how the information is “received, organized, stored, and retrieved by the mind (Ertmer & Newby, 2013). Siemens (2005) described this as similar to computer information processing: the computer receives input, sorts/filters it, stores it in memory, and then retrieves it for later use.
This theory reminds me of the Linguistic theory of Universal Grammar, which basically says there is an underlying set of rules for human languages, and human brains are “wired” to understand those rules. Cognitivism focuses on the processes behind how humans are “wired” to learn.
Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (2013). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 43-71.
Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/f5a6/d010046e4da2ef00e59730633ec0422b236b.pdf