Expertise in any domain – whether chess, language learning, medical diagnosis, carpentry, or statistical analysis – involves hundreds of hours of deliberate, experimental practice. This results in the following:
- Developing the perception of relationships and patterns through ‘chunking’ (grouping together complex information into simpler units)
- Developing a highly organised knowledge bank that guides perception, and the efficient and deep search of the ‘problem space’.
- Developing intuitions are honed that goes well beyond conscious analysis and problem solving.
This is the basis of expertise.
How can IQ Mindware brain training help with the development of expertise?
1. Number of chunks that you can reason & plan with at one time
IQ Mindware n-back training improves your working memory capacity – by 65% in 20 days. Working memory is short term memory for items of information that can be used in analysing, thinking and decision making. There is a striking capacity limit in how many of these items of information can be used by working memory – usually only 2-3. The evidence shows that there is generally no difference between novices and experts in terms of working memory capacity. What usually makes the expert superior is his or her ability to ‘chunk’ information. Chunking can encode more complex and meaningful patterns of information as a unit.
IQ Mindware training can actually increase the number of chunks that can be held in mind – from around 2-3 to 4-6. This facilitates the process of ‘chunking’ – more complex patterns can be converted into ‘units’ for working memory. Also, it allows for MORE chunks to be held in mind for analysis, thinking and reflecting.
2. Expectations, failure and analysis
Expertise in chess and other domains is largely automatic. Masters and Grandmasters play moves intuitively and often cannot give reasons for why they make the moves they do – they just feel right. With intuition comes expectations. When we make mistakes, we experience what psychologists call ‘expectation failures’. When there is failure, attention is drawn to the problem and reasoning processes try to figure out why it ‘went wrong’. This involves active reasoning and problem solving. IQ Mindware training improves fluid intelligence – our ‘on the spot’ reasoning and analytic ability in situations that are new or unexpected. So it is clear that this process of analysing unexpected failures – which is needed for developing our expertise – benefits from this kind of brain training.
3. The efficiency of absorbing lessons
Becoming an expert requires lots of practice – up to 10 years of practice on some accounts. And we know that this practice must be deliberate – meaning focused, purposeful and systematic. It must involve conscious experimentation – analysing the situation, generating tactics about how to tackle something, trying things out, and learning from the feedback. This speeds up the learning process considerably.