Dr. Erik Dane has done some fascinating research, and was kind enough to point me to some great studies that you might find interesting if you're as hooked on pattern recognition and the science of intuition as I am. Here are a few things to get you started:

 

Gary Klein’s book, Sources of Power, documents how firefighters can sense whether a building is about to collapse.
 

Researchers have linked observations concerning chess masters (and other domain experts) to the case of managers. See, for the example, the following articles:
http://www.bus.emory.edu/prietula/prietula-simon.pdf 
http://www.angelfire.com/creep/brendan/Making_Management_Decisions.pdf
 
And there’s a body of research on “opportunity recognition” in the entrepreneurship literature. E.g. http://old.ied.econ.msu.ru/cmt2/lib/c/186/File/fa4_1.pdf
 
 
[The 10,000 hour rule] varies by domain. There’s an excellent (albeit pricey) academic book edited by S. B. Kaufman, The Complexity of Greatness, that lays out various facets of expertise research:
 

Another useful (and prodigious) volume is the Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance:
 

For a look at classic research in this area, see the following:
http://www.mockingbirdeducation.net/uploads/5/4/0/7/5407628/ericsson_1993.pdf
http://stuff.mit.edu/afs/athena.mit.edu/course/6/6.055/readings/ericsson-charness-am-psychologist.pdf
 
And for recent research challenging the 10,000 hour rule in the field of chess, see:
http://people.brunel.ac.uk/~hsstffg/FG-pdfs/Campitelli-CDPS-2011.pdf
 

Dane and his colleague Michael Pratt write about intuition as non-conscious pattern recognition here: 
http://www.jeremym.fr/blog/wp-content/uploads/Recherche/A%20commenter/E.Dane-M.G.Pratt_ExploringIntuitionandItsRolesinManagerialDecisionMaking.pdf
http://media.johnwiley.com.au/product_data/excerpt/08/04706800/0470680008.pdf