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© 2018 Taylor & Francis. Most of the games that we will examine here, especially the board games, are deceptively simple. The space is clearly defined and the rules are fixed and so simple that even children can learn them. Yet, as anybody who has tried their hand at the games of chess or Go (also called Baduk) knows, it takes years to become merely competent, let alone to master these games. This simplicity of environment, which still leads to complex games, has been appealing to scientists investigating the human mind. The constrained environment allows experimental manipulations, while the complexity mimics the real world, making it possible to investigate phenomena of interest without reducing their complexity (Bilalic, 2016). Here we will first examine how board games have been used in scientific investigations. We will then move on to illuminate how cognitive processes, such as memory, attention and perception, enable expertise at board games. Finally, we will look at how the brain implements skilled performance at board games.

Original publication





Book title

The Science of Expertise: Behavioral, Neural, and Genetic Approaches to Complex Skill

Publication Date



182 - 199