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kjusewiczh's picture

Remembering the Motions

In my intro bio class this year we had a bolg on muscle memory. When we had that blog I never really though about what was behind muscle memory, I was just trying to finish my post so I would credit. Now that I'm in neurobio, though, I find myself thinking about what is behind muscle memory. I think that it is very clear that we use muscle memory every single day. We don't think about how to walk, talk, or write. Does msucle memory completely cut out the brain and just rely on the motor neurons connected to the muscles in question or is it happening so fast that we just do not realize that our brain is being used?

I have read stories when a man with complete amnesia can still "remember" how to play the piano as well as he could before. This man can also still walk and talk. If this man can't remember anything else and has brain damage, why can he do these things? Is that part of his brain working fine or is it just not a part of these activities?

Another issue this brings up in my mind is when people totally forget how to do something. When I was young I forget how to talk. I couldnt form words anymore. Was my brain taking over and trying to control my muscles? Or were my muscles just not reacting to stimuli in the correct way? I'm sure every single person has tripped while walking. Maybe nothing at all was in your way, but suddenly your leg didnt move in the right way and you stumbled. This could be a momentary laspse in your muscles memory or could your brain just be handling too much and just forgets to tell your leg to move. I think that muscle memory is a very interesting topic that contains many questions, at least for me.


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