August 2009
Volume 9, Issue 8
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2009
Are label associations necessary for the acquisition of expertise?
Author Affiliations
  • Daniel Kinka
    University of Richmond
  • Cindy Bukach
    University of Richmond
  • Isabel Gauthier
    Vanderbilt University
Journal of Vision August 2009, Vol.9, 876. doi:
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      Daniel Kinka, Cindy Bukach, Isabel Gauthier; Are label associations necessary for the acquisition of expertise?. Journal of Vision 2009;9(8):876.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Whereas the differences between how experts and novices process objects are well established, the process of developing visual expertise is still not well understood. Some results suggest that individuation is an important aspect of expertise training: not only do participants trained at the subordinate level outperform those trained to attend to a more general classification in a same/different discrimination task, but they are also better able to generalize subordinate level classifications to novel objects (Tanaka, Curran, & Sheinberg, 2005; Wong, Palmeri & Gauthier, VSS08). Individuation training also typically includes label associations, which could play an important role in the development of expert object representations. We examined whether a discrimination task using an online computer game, which does not involve any label association, can give participants a head start towards the acquisition of perceptual expertise.

Prior to starting the traditional expertise-training paradigm with Greebles, participants completed an arcade-game-like task that provided participants practice discriminating either test (Greebles) or control (Yufos) stimuli. The task involved “shooting” items in waves of objects according to the current identity of the shooting device. The specific objects used during the game and those used in the subsequent training task did not overlap, in order to ensure that effects reflect generalization to the entire category. Preliminary results (n = 7) reveal that prior experience that involves exposure and discrimination of objects without label learning gives a “head start” in the Greeble training paradigm, with better performance in verification trials particularly for the individual level. These results will be compared to a mere exposure condition that does not involve individuation, to determine whether exposure to objects can facilitate the early stages of expertise acquisition.

Kinka, D. Bukach, C. Gauthier, I. (2009). Are label associations necessary for the acquisition of expertise? [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 9(8):876, 876a,, doi:10.1167/9.8.876. [CrossRef]
 Acknowledgement: Research supported by a grant to the Perceptual Expertise Network from the James S. McDonnell Foundation, and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development.

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