Muscle Memory

Our most repeated physical actions can, with continual practice, be performed automatically without any real-time awareness.

We think of those particular skills being stored in our ‘muscle memory’ but in reality, they are stored very much in our brains.

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The amazing phenomenon of muscle memory

medium.com

  • Declarative (or Semantic) memory is our factual memory which stores the details like the information and figures, but not the visual, emotional or sensory details.
  • Episodic Memory stores our life events, for us to be able to relive our past, complete with all the atmospheric details.
  • Procedural Memory is the memory of skills, in which the brain records the sensory input from the various body parts and muscles during a particular activity, and is able to replicate the muscle application and movement.

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It is the area of the brain responsible for learning new skills.

Using brain mapping tools, scientists have discovered that the more we use a certain body part, the more information about it is stored in the Primary Motor Cortex region of the brain, which alters its size and the number of connections with the other regions of the brain.

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It is in the front of the Primary Motor Cortex, and is stimulated when we start learning a new skill or are in the planning stages.

The Basal Ganglia region of the brain shows activity when the muscle movement is initiated. These two regions of the brain are active during the learning stages and as the skill becomes effortless and automatic, the activity in these regions decreases.

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