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Title: Integration of perceptual input and visual imagery in chess players: Evidence from eye movements
Authors: Campitelli, G
Gobet, F
Williams, G
Parker, A
Keywords: Case study;Single-subject design;Mental imagery;Chess;Expertise;Eye Movements;Random material;Familiarity;External memory;Attention;Skill;Blindfold chess;Problem-solving;Long-term memory;Short-term memory;Deliberate practice;Practice;Photograph;Memory span;Choice;Necessity
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Verlag Hans Huber
Citation: Swiss Journal of Psychology 66(4):201-213.
Abstract: This multiple case study addresses the question of how information from the environment is integrated with mental images. Chessplayers (N = 4) of different levels were submitted to a visual imagery task, with familiar stimuli (chess positions) and unfamiliar stimuli (boards containing shapes). They were visually presented with a position that remained fixed, and with a grid where moves were displayed using a standard chess notation familiar to the participants. Their task was to mentally reproduce a sequence of moves from the original position. Retention of updated positions was assessed with a memory task. Eye movements were recorded during the entire experiment. We found that (a) players performed better with familiar stimuli than with unfamiliar stimuli; (b) there was a strong correlation between skill level and performance in the familiar, but not unfamiliar condition; (c) players used the external board as an external memory store; but (d) there was no difference in the extent to which players of different skill levels shifted their attention to the external board. Control tasks unrelated to chess established that the skilled players did not differ from the unskilled in general cognitive abilities. These results emphasize the role of long-term memory in expertise and suggest that players use processes that enable them to smoothly combine information from the environment with mental images.
Appears in Collections:Psychology
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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