Expert and exceptional performance are shown to be mediated by cognitive and perceptual-motor skills and by domain-specific physiological and anatomical adaptations. The highest levels of human performance in different domains can only be attained after around ten years of extended, daily amounts of deliberate practice activities. Laboratory analyses of expert performance in many domains such as chess, medicine, auditing, computer programming, bridge, physics, sports, typing, juggling, dance, and music reveal maximal adaptations of experts to domain-specific constraints. For example, acquired anticipatory skills circumvent general limits on reaction time, and distinctive memory skills allow a domain-specific expansion of working memory capacity to support planning, reasoning, and evaluation. Many of the mechanisms of superior expert performance serve the dual purpose of mediating experts' current performance and of allowing continued improvement of this performance in response to informative feedback during practice activities.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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