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  Many Faces of Expertise: Fusiform Face Area in Chess Experts and Novices

Bilalić, M., Langner, R., Ulrich, R., & Grodd, W. (2011). Many Faces of Expertise: Fusiform Face Area in Chess Experts and Novices. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31(28), 10206-10214. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5727-10.2011.

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Bilalić, M, Author
Langner, R, Author
Ulrich, R, Author
Grodd, W1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical School, RWTH Aachen University, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: The fusiform face area (FFA) is involved in face perception to such an extent that some claim it is a brain module for faces exclusively. The other possibility is that FFA is modulated by experience in individuation in any visual domain, not only faces. Here we test this latter FFA expertise hypothesis using the game of chess as a domain of investigation. We exploited the characteristic of chess, which features multiple objects forming meaningful spatial relations. In three experiments, we show that FFA activity is related to stimulus properties and not to chess skill directly. In all chess and non-chess tasks, experts' FFA was more activated than that of novices' only when they dealt with naturalistic full-board chess positions. When common spatial relationships formed by chess objects in chess positions were randomly disturbed, FFA was again differentially active only in experts, regardless of the actual task. Our experiments show that FFA contributes to the holistic processing of domain-specific multipart stimuli in chess experts. This suggests that FFA may not only mediate human expertise in face recognition but, supporting the expertise hypothesis, may mediate the automatic holistic processing of any highly familiar multipart visual input.

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 Dates: 2011-07
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
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 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5727-10.2011
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Title: The Journal of Neuroscience
  Other : The Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  Abbreviation : J. Neurosci.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Washington, DC : Society of Neuroscience
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 31 (28) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 10206 - 10214 Identifier: ISSN: 0270-6474
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925502187_1