Expertise and processing distorted structure in chess

James C. Bartlett, Amy L. Boggan, Daniel C. Krawczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A classic finding in research on human expertise and knowledge is that of enhanced memory for stimuli in a domain of expertise as compared to either stimuli outside that domain, or within-domain stimuli that have been degraded or distorted in some way. However, we do not understand how experts process degradation or distortion of stimuli within the expert domain (e.g., a face with the eyes, nose, and mouth in the wrong positions, or a chessboard with pieces placed randomly). Focusing on the domain of chess, we present new fMRI evidence that when experts view such distorted/within-domain stimuli, they engage an active search for structure-a kind of exploratory chunking-that involves a component of a prefrontal-parietal network linked to consciousness, attention and working memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number825
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Issue numberDEC
StatePublished - Dec 3 2013


  • Chess
  • Chunking
  • Consciousness
  • Expertise
  • Meaning
  • Prefrontal-parietal network
  • Structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Expertise and processing distorted structure in chess'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this