Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972000 | Print ISBN: 9781412940818 | Online ISBN: 9781412972000| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The study of perceptual expertise addresses the acquisition of perceptual skills that generalize across objects in a domain, such as the ability to recognize birds, to match handwriting samples, or to interpret x-rays or weather maps. Although perceptual expertise in many domains is rare (e.g., few people can match fingerprints), most people acquire some kind of expertise, such as the ability to recognize characters of a writing system or to learn new faces. The majority of studies on perceptual expertise have been done in visual domains, although perceptual expertise can be acquired in other modalities, as found in the work of a som-melier or a music critique. Topics discussed in this entry include: different kinds of perceptual expertise, the study of facelike expertise, facelike expertise with nonface objects, and questions for future perceptual expertise research. The skills studied in perceptual expertise studies can be distinguished from those typically investigated in ...