- MRI scans show that chess experts essentially train their brains to work differently than amateurs.
- When experts were asked to mull their next move, their brains showed more activity in the area associated with visualizing images and episodic memory.
Experts use different parts of their brains than amateurs, maximizing intuition, goal-seeking and pattern-recognition, says a new study that examined players of shogi, or Japanese chess.
Researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to compare the brain activity of amateurs and professionals who were presented with various shogi board patterns and were told to think of their next move.
They found that certain regions of expert brains lit up, while the amateurs' did not, said the research led by Japan-based scientist Xiaohong Wan and published in the journal Science on Thursday.
When they asked players to mull their next move, experts' brains showed more activity in the area associated with visualizing images and episodic memory, known as the precuneus area of the parietal lobe.