Understanding Our Understanding of Strategic Scenarios: What Role Do Chunks Play?
Article first published online: 10 FEB 2010
2007 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Volume 31, Issue 6, pages 989–1007, November-December 2007
How to Cite
Linhares, A. and Brum, P. (2007), Understanding Our Understanding of Strategic Scenarios: What Role Do Chunks Play?. Cognitive Science, 31: 989–1007. doi: 10.1080/03640210701703725
- Issue published online: 10 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 10 FEB 2010
- Received 7 February 2006; received in revised form 9 January 2007; accepted 11 January 2007
- Decision Making;
- Pattern recognition;
- Human experimentation
There is a crucial debate concerning the nature of chess chunks: One current possibility states that chunks are built by encoding particular combinations of pieces-on-squares (POSs), and that chunks are formed mostly by “close” pieces (in a “Euclidean” sense). A complementary hypothesis is that chunks are encoded by abstract, semantic information. This article extends recent experiments and shows that chess players are able to perceive strong similarity between very different positions if the pieces retain the same abstract roles in both of them. This casts doubt on the idea that POS information is the key information encoded in chess chunks, and this article proposes, instead, that the key encoding involves the abstract roles that pieces (and sets of pieces) play—a theoretical standpoint in line with the research program in semantics that places analogy at the core of cognition.