You can't forget how to ride a bike - Deepstash
You can't forget how to ride a bike

You can't forget how to ride a bike

After learning to cycle, most people won't forget how to pedal a bike even after decades.

Learning how to cycle requires higher-level thinking.

  • Your brain's motor cortices plan and execute precise muscle control,
  • The cerebellum helps you balance and pedal,
  • The basal ganglia keep these movements smooth.

While we use muscle movement and brain connection in other activities like dancing, sports, and walking, we don' use it all simultaneously like when we cycle.

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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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We don't forget procedural memory

There are two types of long-term memory:

  1. Declarative memory. There are two types of declarative memory: Recollections of experiences, such as the first day we started school, and semantic memory, such as the capital of France. This means that you are aware of the knowledge and can communicate the memories.
  2. Procedural memory, such as playing an instrument or riding a bicycle, is preserved for a lifetime. This system is seldom compromised because the basal ganglia, responsible for processing this memory, is protected in the brain's centre.

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Ataxia, defined as impaired coordination of voluntary muscle movement, is a physical finding, not a disease, and the underlying etiology needs to be investigated.

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