In a study conducted in Tubingen, Germany, chess experts and novices were shown geometric objects and chess positions and were later asked to identify each one of them. Their reaction times and brain activity closely monitored with the use of functional MRI scans. On the first part, which was recognizing the geometric objects, results reveal that the subjects’ performance didn’t show any dissimilarities, which implied that the experts’ visualization skills are no better than the amateurs’. However, during the identification of the chess position, the experts were seen to have performance significantly faster and better. As the researchers geared toward an element of a study previously conducted on pattern and object recognition by the chess experts, they had anticipated to notice areas of the left hemisphere of the experts’ brains (involved in object recognition) to be more reactive when they performed the tasks. However, the reaction times of the subjects were virtually identical. The very thing that sets the experts apart from the amateurs is that the former’s right brain hemispheres (involved in pattern recognition) were to seen to have also lit up during the activity. Therefore, both sides of the experts’ brains were active, processing information in two places simultaneously. The researchers added that when they showed the chess diagrams to the subjects, they observed that the amateur relied on looking at the pieces intently to be able to recognize them, whereas the experts merely relied on their peripheral vision and looked across the boards.
Compared to observing geometric objects where subjects’ performance showed no similarities, the experts show better and faster performance in the identification of chess position, and the result also shows that both sides of the experts’ brains were active during pattern and object recognition, processing information in two places simultaneously and relying on their peripheral vision. (55 words)