Is there really such a thing as muscle memory?

Yes there is!  Muscle memory is created by performing the same motor task over and over.  Soon, the task can be performed without conscious effort.

Examples are typing, riding a bike, playing the piano, and entering a PIN number on an ATM machine.

The areas of the brain that are responsible for muscle memory are the cerebellum and the basal ganglion.  The connections of these two parts of the brain actually increase when learning a new motor task!

The most famous experiment with muscle memory is the “levitating arm” experiment.  Push one arm against a wall or door frame.  Push outward, and count to 30.  Then step away from the wall.  Relax both arms and let them hang at your side.  The arm you were pressing against the wall with will start to rise!

arm

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