Perceptual Exposure

Written
  • https://commoncog.com/blog/chicken-sexing-and-perceptual-learning-as-a-path-to-expertise/
  • https://commoncog.com/blog/an-update-on-perceptual-exposure-as-learning-technique/
  • Perceptual exposure is the idea of practicing a task with immediate feedback from an expert to tell you if you did it right or not, but without explicit steps on how to learn it.
  • This works for fields where there isn't really a formal way to learn it, and the knowledge is almost completely tacit. Chicken sexing is a well-known example of this. Nobody really knows how to sex a chicken but by practicing under an expert it can be taught.
  • Essentially this is directly training the brains pattern matching machinery to do a task in much the same way that a neural network is trained. It skips the rules (if they even exist) and just focuses on examples.
  • Except that it is thought to be best to focus on positive examples of the desired patterns, since then the brain gets used to identifying the real thing and can identify deviations more easily.
  • Overall this seems to be not as good as deliberate practice, when that's an option. It can be a good complement though.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, please send me a note on Twitter. And if you enjoyed this, I also have a newsletter where I write about tech thoughts, interesting things I've read, and project updates each Thursday.

You can check out a recent issue, or enter your email below to subscribe.