Muscle Memory Final Draft - Imagine for a moment what life...

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Imagine for a moment what life would be like if one had to re-learn an action every time he/she needed to perform it. One would realize that everything would take forever to do and that frustration will occur. One can thank muscle memory for this. Walking, driving, typing, writing, and countless others- one performs these tasks in the “background” of his/her mind. One may think about WHERE one is walking, but one usually does not have to concentrate on HOW to walk. Muscle memory, whether one sees and realizes it, is a very big and important part of one’s everyday life. Often times muscle memory is very subtle, but other times muscle memory is very obvious. For example, one may realize that even after a decade of not riding his or her bike, one will still be able to ride it smoothly without having to go through the learning curve again. Although diverse, these examples all are acquired by repetition until the movements are performed correctly without conscious thought, supporting the old adage that practice makes perfect. Despite its name, the term muscle memory is misleading, because muscles are made up purely of fibers that contract and relax, and therefore muscles don’t have potential for memory. Instead muscle memory lies in the complex neural pathways that are formed in our brains when a task is learned. Although the concept of muscle memory is somewhat understood, the exact functioning of muscle memory remains a mystery in the eyes of medical science but there are many theories that have been conjectured. Conceptually, muscle memory synonymously called motor learning is a type of procedural learning where an action is repeated until the movements required for it can be performed with little conscious effort or attention to a certain stimulus. In a general physiological overview, the nervous system when stimulated controls movement parameters such as: planning, reaction time,
coordination patterns of the musculoskeletal system. Thus the musculoskeletal system is acting as effectors of the nervous system. In order for a muscle memory to form, the certain task must be learned first. In the process of learning a new task the prefrontal cortex of the brain is key in taking relevant sensory information such as vision, hearing, and touch, and integrating the stimulus into some type of muscle command (Young 2010). The primary cortex then sends motor neurons down the spinal cord to the corresponding muscles (Young 2010). Another important region of the central nervous system and in the development of learning a new task is the cerebellum (Young 2010).The role of the cerebellum is to adjust these voluntary movements based on sensory input (such as visual input,

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Term
Spring
Professor
Bannan
Tags
Biology, muscle memory

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