Face processing has several distinctive hallmarks that researchers have attributed either to face-specific mechanisms or to extensive experience distinguishing faces. Here, we examined the face-processing hallmark of selective attention failure-as indexed by the congruency effect in the composite paradigm-in a domain of extreme expertise: chess. Among 27 experts, we found that the congruency effect was equally strong with chessboards and faces. Further, comparing these experts with recreational players and novices, we observed a trade-off: Chess expertise was positively related to the congruency effect with chess yet negatively related to the congruency effect with faces. These and other findings reveal a case of expertise-dependent, facelike processing of objects of expertise and suggest that face and expert-chess recognition share common processes.
- Face recognition
- Selective attention failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental Neuroscience