The Double Take of Expertise: Neural Expansion Is Associated With Outstanding Performance

Bilalić, Merim (2018) The Double Take of Expertise: Neural Expansion Is Associated With Outstanding Performance. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27 (6). pp. 462-469. ISSN 0963-7214

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The performance of experts seems almost effortless. The neural-efficiency hypothesis takes this into account, suggesting that because of practice and automatization of procedures, experts require fewer brain resources. Here, I argue that the way the brain accommodates complex skills does indeed have to do with the nature of experts’ performance. However, instead of exhibiting less brain activation, experts’ performance actually engages more brain areas. Behind the seemingly effortless performance of experts lies a complex cognitive system that relies on knowledge about the domain of expertise. Unlike novices, who need to execute one process at a time, experts are able to recognize an object, retrieve its function, and connect it to another object simultaneously. The expert brain deals with this computational burden by engaging not only specific brain areas in one hemisphere but also the same (homologous) area in the opposite hemisphere. This phenomenon, which I call the double take of expertise, has been observed in a number of expertise domains. I describe it here in object- and pattern-recognition tasks in the domain of chess. I also discuss the importance of the study of expertise for our understanding of the human brain in general.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: expertise, neural efficiency, object recognition, pattern recognition
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2019 14:52
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 21:46

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