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Is there a term for the situation where a person knows so much about a topic or field, that she has a hard time talking about the topic with laymen because she fails to comprehend the limits of the layman’s understanding of the topic? In other words, she fails to distinguish between what is common knowledge and what isn’t, thereby failing to explain the non-obvious, which in turn leads to a complete lack of understanding from the layman.

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    Steven Pinker famously called this "the curse of knowledge"; one of our members summarized the theory on Meta pithily: Pinker means that experts know what they know and can no longer imagine not knowing it. They thus cannot tell when they've left out explication crucial to the understanding of non-experts. In the first link, Pinker concludes I think the curse of knowledge is the chief contributor to opaque writing.
    – Dan Bron
    Jul 10 at 16:52
  • Thanks Dan Bron Jul 10 at 21:26
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'Blinding someone with science' is also used in a metaphorically broadened sense outside the science domain.

blind with science (British & Australian)

  • If you blind someone with science, you confuse them by using technical language that they are not likely to understand.

[Collins Cobuild Idioms Dictionary]

You're also not on the same wavelength as your audience.

be on the same wavelength [phrase]

  • to understand the way that another person thinks because you often have the same ideas and opinions as they do

[Macmillan]

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Someone who

"...fails to comprehend the limits of the layman’s understanding of the topic..."

and who

"...fails to distinguish between what is common knowledge and what isn’t..."

may be said to be living in an ivory tower

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