Expertise in Visual Art is Associated with Altered Perceptual Strategies Within and Across Domains: Evidence from Eye Tracking


Eye-movement research on expert visual artists suggests that experts in this particular domain differ from novices in their strategies for encoding to-be-rendered stimuli. However, it remains unclear if such differences are specific to the domain of expertise or independent of it (i.e., if the different strategies are utilized only in relation to perception with goals specific to rendering, or if they generalize to visual perception of any stimulus with perceptual goals other than rendering). Experiment 1 examined eye-movement strategies utilized by experts and novices when rendering familiar and novel stimuli. Experiment 2 examined performance in a recognition task that also utilized novel stimuli. Results suggest that experts possess both domain-specific and domain-independent advantages, in that they have more efficient visual encoding abilities both when rendering and not. The results of a concurrent analysis suggest a link between the encoding advantage and schizotypy, which is correlated with creative advantage, as well as with a neural profile of left hypofrontality. Implications for a two-stage model of creativity are discussed. Keywords: Expertise; far transfer; schizotypy; visual art; creativity.

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