January 19th, 2010


The Grandmaster Experiment | Psychology Today

Amidzic's research suggests that chess whizzes are born with the tendency to process chess more through their frontal and parietal cortices, the areas thought to be responsible for long-term memory. Players whose medial temporal lobes are activated more will be consigned to mediocrity. He hasn't yet been able to follow children over time to see if their processing ratio of frontal-and-parietal cortices to medial temporal lobes indeed remains stable, but his retrospective analyses of older players show that their ratio corresponds to their highest historical chess rating, as would be expected if the ratio truly predicts chess performance. And he doesn't think that gender influences this proclivity. He had scanned the brain of a 22-year-old female chess beginner and found her ratio to be far above average. If she sets her mind to it, Amidzic believes, the young woman has the potential to become a master-level player.

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