This from The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance (2006), a collection of studies on the development of expertise in the arts, sciences, sports, and pretty much any other endeavor:

“Automaticity is central to the development of expertise, and practice is the means to automaticity [...] Through the act of practice (with appropriate feedback, monitoring, etc.), the character of cognitive operations changes in a manner that (a) improves the speed of the operations, (b) improves the smoothness of the operations, and (c) reduces the cognitive demands of the operations, this releasing cognitive (e.g. attentional) resources for other (often higher) functions (e.g. planning, self-monitoring).” ~Paul Fletovich, Michael Prietula, and Anders Ericsson, p53

“The key challenge for aspiring expert performers is to avoid the arrested development associated with automaticity and to acquire cognitive skills to support their continued learning and improvement. By actively seeking out demanding tasks -often provided by teachers and coaches – that force the performers to engage in problem solving and to stretch their performance, the expert performers overcome the detrimental effects of automaticity and actively acquire and refine cognitive mechanisms to support continued learning and improvement.”~ Anders Ericsson, p694

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