The search for neuro-physiological correlates of expertise in interpreting
This paper integrates the results of empirical research on interpreting processes with research on the neurophysiology of learning and expertise. The objective is to develop a better understanding of the potential neuro-physiological changes the human brain undergoes in adulthood in order to develop and maintain expertise in the highly complex cognitive skill of interpreting. Simultaneous interpreting skill is acquired during extensive training; we can thus assume that changes in cognitive processing and the resources required for skill execution produce long-term functional and structural changes in the brain, both in general control areas as well as in domain-specific representational areas. The paper identifies some of these general and specific areas in an attempt to sharpen the research focus in interpreting studies.