Heather Sheridan, Assistant Professor, Psychology, University of Albany


Heather Sheridan, Assistant Professor, Psychology, University of Albany

Sage 4101

October 12, 2016 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

In chess and many other domains of visual expertise, the remarkably efficient performance of experts reflects extensive practice with domain-related visual configurations (for a review, see Reingold & Sheridan, 2011). I will discuss several experiments that were designed to explore the perceptual component of chess expertise by monitoring the eye movements of expert and novice chess players. Experiment 1 demonstrated that the eye movements of experts (but not novices) rapidly differentiated between regions of a chessboard that were relevant versus irrelevant to the best move on the board. Similar to Experiment 1, Experiment 2 showed that chess experts (but not novices) rapidly identified complex chess-related visual patterns during a challenging chess-related visual search task. Finally, Experiment 3 showed that experts were better than novices at disengaging their attention from familiar (but suboptimal) chess solutions, when a better solution was available in a different region of the board (for a similar paradigm, see also Bilalić, McLeod, & Gobet, 2008). Taken together, these experiments highlight the perceptual component of visual expertise, while also demonstrating the flexibility of experts in adapting to a wide range of challenging experimental paradigms. I will discuss the implications of these findings for models of eye movement control and domain-general theories of visual expertise.


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