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Cognitive processes and development of chess genius: An integrative approach

Campitelli, G., Gobet, F. and Bilalić, M. (2014) Cognitive processes and development of chess genius: An integrative approach. In: Simonton, D.K., (ed.) The Wiley Handbook of Genius. Wiley, pp. 350-374.

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The 21st century has witnessed the emergence of several chess prodigies. This poses a challenge to the main attempt to account for individual differences in high‐level performance: the deliberate practice framework. The main alternative to this approach is the view that intelligence plays an important role in chess expertise. However, studies have shown that intelligence may be important only in the first stages of the chess players‘ careers. In this chapter, we present the practice‐plasticity‐processes model, which incorporates neural plasticity and cognitive processes (domain‐specific pattern recognition and heuristics) as explanatory variables. A mathematical simulation shows that the model was able to capture the existence of prodigies and three out of four other effects encountered in the chess expertise literature. Further research should improve the model to account for all the effects. If this model receives empirical support in further research, it would provide a very parsimonious account of chess genius.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
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