January 11, 2016

The Wall Dancer

Some of the best popular writing about experts appears in The New Yorker magazine. Here's a link to Nick Paumgarten's recent profile of 14-year-old rock climber Ashima Shiraishi.
Article by Nick Paumgarten
Photograph by Pari Dukovic

March 15, 2010

New Note

"When she took a solo, mid-set, on the 1957 Coltrane tune “Moment’s Notice,” she started slow, mapping out the quick-shifting chords with a comfortable walking bass line high up the neck. Suddenly she was leaning over the instrument, her left hand darting down toward the sound holes, the index and middle fingers of her right hand blurring as she plucked out a furious barrage of sixteenth notes; then she returned to the neck, her head thrown back, eyes closed, as she produced bursts of booming fragmented notes that drew smiles from Tyner at the piano and gasps from the crowd.”
Article by John Colapinto
Photograph by Ethan Levitas

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Featured Book

"Understanding Expertise is beyond doubt the most comprehensive single-authored book devoted to how expertise permeates human performance in a diversity of domains. It has the breadth of an edited handbook, but with the added asset of a coherent point of view."
Professor Dean Keith Simonton
University of California, Davis

Featured Book

Robert Vallerand The Psychology of Passion: A Dualistic Model

The concept of passion is one we regularly use to describe our interests, and yet there is no broad theory that can explain the development and consequences of passion for activities across people's lives. In The Psychology of Passion, Robert J. Vallerand presents the first such theory, providing a complete presentation of the Dualistic Model of Passion and the empirical evidence that supports it.

Check it out

September 5, 2016

Yuja Wang and the Art of Performance

"Ms. Wang’s virtuosity goes well beyond uncanny facility. . . . She wondrously brought out intricate details, inner voices and harmonic colorings. The first movement had élan and daring. The scherzo skipped along with mischievousness and rhythmic bite.”
Quote by Anthony Tommasini
Article by Janet Malcolm
Photograph by Pari Dukovic

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February 27, 2016

What Prodigies Could Teach Us About Autism

"Prodigies, like many autistic people, have a nearly insatiable passion for their area of interest. Lauren Voiers, an art prodigy from the Cleveland area, painted well into the night as a teenager; sometimes she didn’t sleep at all before school began. That sounds a lot like the 'highly restricted, fixated interests' that are part of autism’s diagnostic criteria."
Article by Kimberly Stephens and Joanne Ruthsatz
Illustration by Niv Bavarsky

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September 22, 2014

An Unlikely Ballerina

Copeland is considered an unlikely ballerina: she is curvy and she is black, neither of which is a common attribute in the field. But it is her very late beginning and rapid attainment of virtuosity that are arguably without precedent for a female ballerina.
Article by Rivka Galchen
Photograph by Pari Dukovic

April 5, 1993

Secrets of the Magus

"Actually, after this life I’ve lived, I have no idea what is strange and weird and what isn’t. I don’t know who else waxes poetic about the virtues of skeleton men, fasting impostors, and cannonball catchers. And, to be honest, I don’t really care. I just think they’re wonderful. I really do."
Article by Mark Singer
Photograph by Richard Avedon

Featured Book - Coming in 2017!

Science of expertise behavioral neural and genetic approaches to complex skill zach hambrick guillermo campitelli brooke macnamaraExpertise is a puzzle with many pieces, and The Science of Expertise will bring together a collection of chapters by internationally-recognized scholars that will provide up-to-date reviews on what some of these pieces might be and how they fit together to explain high-level skill in complex domains. Click to Learn More

August 8, 2016

The Duo that Dominates Dressage

"The mysteries of dressage are many and not unrelated to love. Young horses mature well or badly. Riders fall and lose their nerve. There is always a search for the feeling of connection, and no guarantee that you will find it.”
Article by Sam Knight
Photograph by Tereza Červeňová

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October 7, 2013

Mastersinger: How Joyce DiDonato, of Prairie Village, Kansas, conquered opera.

"There is a warmth in the voice that can intensify into fire.”
Article by Alex Ross
Photograph by Pari Dukovic

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December 28, 2016

85-Year-Old Marathoner Is So Fast That Even Scientists Marvel

"Whitlock’s career has been as unorthodox as it is remarkable. For starters, he trains alone in the Milton Evergreen Cemetery near his home outside Toronto. He runs laps for three or three and a half hours at a time, unbothered by traffic or the eternal inhabitants or the modern theories and gadgets of training."
Article by Jeré Longman for the New York Times
Photograph by Steve Russell/Toronto Star

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April 17, 2017

Margaret Atwood, The Prophet of Dystopia

"Her fiction has imagined societies riddled with misogyny, oppression, and environmental havoc. These visions now feel all too real."
Article by Rebecca Mead
Photograph by Pari Dukovic

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November 27, 2017

Mikaela Shiffrin, the Best Slalom Skier in the World

"Shiffrin said, “Sometimes it’s better to be oblivious, but I’m not oblivious anymore, so how do I handle that?”"
Article by Nick Paumgarten
Illustration by Cristiana Couceiro

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March 30, 2015

Follow the White Ball

At the age of eleven, O’Sullivan was making good money in the sport, and in the past three decades he has won five World Championships and set a number of records while enduring a bewildering odyssey of breakdowns, addictions, and redemptions, largely precipitated by the imprisonment of his father, whom he loves, for murder.
Article by Sam Knight
Photograph by Nadav Kander

February 10, 2014

Breaking the Waves

“The most difficult thing I know, mentally or physically, is swimming these great bodies of water,” Nyad replied. But when she reached her destination, she said, she experienced “a moment of immortality.”
Article by Ariel Levy
Photograph by Catherine Opie / Regen Projects

May 30, 2016

A Full Revolution

"A low murmur began to build in the crowd as Biles revolved two and a half times on one foot, her other leg stretched parallel to the beam, then flipped while twisting a hundred and eighty degrees, all on a plank narrower than a standard American curb.”
Article by Reeves Wiedeman
Photograph by Pari Dukovic

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November 12, 2012

The Rhythm in Everything

"His love of music bordered on the obsessive. As a two-year-old, he would watch records spin just to memorize the labels. Later, he would count off the seconds to the end of a shower, or the steps to the end of the hall, or try to cross a bridge before the end of a song, walking at a certain number of beats per minute—he could feel the rhythm in everything.”
Article by Burkhard Bilger
Photograph by Kehinde Wiley

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October 13, 2016

Bob Dylan - Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2016

"for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition"
Illustration by N. Elmehed. © Nobel Media 2016

January 11, 2017

Balanchine Teaching

"George Balanchine’s dancers at New York City Ballet sometimes said that, when he was coaching them, he did the steps more beautifully than they did. No matter if he was old, no matter if he was wearing a cowboy shirt, he always outclassed them."
Article by Joan Acocella for the New Yorker
Photograph by Nancy Lassalle / Courtesy oF Eakins Press / The George Balanchine Trust

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February 17, 2014


Neil deGrasse Tyson, the new guide to the “Cosmos.”
Article by Rebecca Mead
Photograph by Pari Dukovic

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