Muscle Memory

The notion that the body acts as a holistic storage device mostly on an emotional/cellular level. One doctor has even reported stored conditions visibly exiting patients as dark fogs and other visual phenomena.

Can we switch modes while pairing on various different workstations?

Try to imagine a deity not clever enough to ensure you'd be wired like that. -- someone

Muscle memory is what allows me to sit down behind a random browser and type
	c 2 . c o m / c g i / w i k i ? R e c e n t C h a n g e s
without thinking about it. My fingers just know. -- DaveSmith

One person says "huh?"

Sounds like reincarnated harmonic convergence crystal healing to me. Or maybe it's just a big GingerFactor. Can someone explain this better, please? Links would be great.

It's just saying that the way we remember how to ride a bike isn't the same as the way we remember what "Coriolis" means. Muscle memory and symbolic memory. One argument in favour of computer mice is that they bring muscle memory into play.

In the same way, a GUI also brings spatial memory into play. -- DaveHarris

The neurons in your brain know. Maybe the neurons in your spinal cord know. Maybe motor neurons change. I'd be interested to know just how far from the brain do neurons change in response to learning. But the opening paragraph makes it sound like memory lives somewhere other than in neurons. I'm saying, "Oh, really? Show me. Or at least show me the article or paper that says so so I can understand what's being asserted."

Someone else said,


In my martial arts experience - specifically Shotokan Karate-Do - everything is about muscle memory. When a student first learns a technique it's all about learning the step-by-step moves to accomplish the action. After much practice (years of practice) the technique is simply known in a non-cognitive way. It even becomes difficult to replay the original step-by-step sequence, unless you spend time learning to become an instructor.

It is of course very important to get past doing it step-by-step, which is very slow and error prone, to muscle memory, which is as fast as your physical reaction is.

-- StevenNewton

Surely they are conditioned reflexes rather than muscle memory.

Similar to a classic Pavlovian conditioned reflex. That is, a conditioned reflex is a response to a conditioned stimuli. However, in conditioned reflexes, the response is identical to that which the unconditioned stimuli would receive. In muscle memory, there is a conditioned response to an unconditioned or conditioned stimuli, rather then an unconditioned response to a conditioned stimuli.

Friends of muscle memory might wish to use the freely downloadable gesture-recognizer SensivaTool. -- FridemarPache

I learned in college that your cerebellum is the part of your brain that runs the low level stuff like co-ordination, and that the cerebrum can just replay a 'stored procedure.'

And what does that imply for you? -- fp

There's an obvious metaphor with dynamic compilation. A sophisticated implementation of Smalltalk or Java might interpret bytecodes the first few times they are needed, compile to simple machine code and use that for the next many, and eventually compile to heavily optimized machine code the stuff which is heavily used.

Muscle memory is perhaps the reason I seem to type a J in front of a lot of the Ps I try to type. -- JayPetersen

Muscle deteriorates for bodybuilders when they stop working out for a while. In time, they would return to their normal size. However, it is far easier to build that muscle back if it has once been built up, then to first create it.

Muscles consume about 75 calories per pound, without which, it deteriorates, as well.

In bodybuilding/weightlifting, this is termed "muscle memory".

I think most musicians are familiar with this "pattern". It's possible to memorize a piece of music almost completely mechanically, so that it can be played more or less on autopilot. It's also possible to memorize something in a more intellectual way, where one actually "sees" the notes to be played. When I memorize music it's usually a combination of both methods. Memorizing purely with muscle memory is dangerous, because if you get lost it can be almost impossible to recover. If the music has been memorized more according to the intellectual method, it's usually possible to get back on track quickly. Some people (whom I envy greatly!) can memorize music almost instantaneously - I think some other process is working here. -- JohnWebber

I'm a mediocre pianist, and definitely can confirm that muscle memory is real. The piano songs I know, I don't think I can hum the melody all the way through without forgetting what comes next. I definitely can't sit down and write down the sheet music from memory. Some of the songs I've forgotten what key it is in. But I can sit down and play it because the fingers know where to go. There are probably a few ways you can confirm this for yourself. Shut your eyes and name the letters on the bottom row of the keyboard. Can't remember them? Your fingers probably have no trouble remembering where the b is. Ever driven somewhere "on autopilot"? I bet you can walk from your bathroom to your bed with your eyes closed, and your feet probably remember exactly how many steps there are in your house. Your brain has a large capacity to remember physical things. I bet many of you can't remember some phone numbers without looking at the dial pad. You can remember how to dial it, but not the number.
I use this as a reminder to change my password. The moment I stop thinking about the password and just type it in from MuscleMemory, I know I need to change my password.

Really? I usually rely on MuscleMemory for my passwords. I simply come up with long and complicated-enough passwords that when I type them, my fingers move fast enough that it would be impossible for someone to track over my shoulder. -- DanielChurch

I don't have a problem with the people trying to keep track of my password over my shoulder. I can usually trust them, and I can ask them to look away otherwise. Changing my password regularly is just good practice and MuscleMemory is a nice reminder.

 "I wanna feel the metamorphosis and
 Cleansing I've endured within
 My shadow
 Change is coming. 
 Now is my time. 
 Listen to my MuscleMemory.
 Contemplate what I've been clinging to.
 Forty-six and two ahead of me."

-- Forty Six and Two by Tool

It seems the thrash bands don't mind letting out they're all secretly computer literate at heart ;-) -- PhlIp
There are a variety of forms of memory - some memories are impressions, some memories are specific detailed bits of data. Some memories are highly contextual. It's not unusual to be able to finish a verse of song if someone else starts it, but not know how they start. Some memories are indeed habitual trained gestures. Think of looking at your watch. I bet most people have just stuck their arm right out in front of them and then bent it - to pull their sleeve up. Even if they're not wearing a jacket. Those sorts of things. For some of us with TERRIBLE memories, it comes in really handy - I'm basically incapable of learning phone numbers {I have a very low digit span - I can't hold the whole number in short term memory to move it to long term memory}, so the only ones I can cope with are ones that I know the muscle sequences for.

Propreception is a sense regarding muscle positioning. You can stand upright for 3 reasons: one is the loops of fluid in your ears telling you which way is up. One is your sight, telling you your orientation to your surroundings. Propreception is the one you barely notice that is regulating your muscle tensions. If you shake your head about for 30-60 seconds to mix up the fluid in your ears, and then close your eyes you should a) feel sick and b) be able to stand upright based on your propreception. If you can't integrate your propreception properly you a) will fall over and b) have one of the main symptoms of dyspraxia. -- KatieLucas

For me, muscle memory is best represented by typing. I've never learned to type; instead, I played Angband and Muds at University, and my fingers got used to which keys to hit when. This means that I can now do 80wpm with no errors (after backspacing, but including the time it takes to backspace), but I couldn't tell you where each key lives on the keyboard. Strangely this doesn't stop me using a split keyboard - my hands have independently split the keys almost in the right place, although Y and B are in the wrong place for me. This is, however, extremely useful for me - because I don't use my conscious brain to type, I effectively ignore the task of typing while programming. This frees my brain to think about the other aspects of the exercise, like the design, unit testing, syntax and where I left my coffee.

As far as I know, muscle memory lies within the cerebellum, which is not part of 'civilized society'; it doesn't understand dialogue, so if you want it to learn faster punish it when it makes mistakes. Unfortunately, there is only one way to that and its gonna hurt you as much as your lizardly doppleganger - for more info, see google under shao-lin.

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