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Muscle memory

Posted by Bob on January 12, 2000

In Reply to: Muscle memory posted by kelly moore on January 12, 2000

: just want to know the definition

: with golf you use muscle memory but with (say your work or job) you are using the same type of memory all this considered muscle memory because you are exercising the same areas of your brain or not because it does not involve your physical???Kind of random??

Interesting question. We call it "muscle memory" when it's a physical skill that we have mastered so thoroughly that we no longer have to "think" to perform it. Walking down stairs, tying our shoes. All this is admirable in matters like swinging a golf club, because your conscious mind can ruin the result. Endless practice can help free you from this mental interference.
There's an excellent book on the subject of AI (artificial intelligence) called "The Society of Mind" by the brilliant Marvin Minsky, which uses this idea as a jumping-off point. The things we consider "hard" (like multiplying 2 4-digit numbers) and the things we consider "easy" (tying our shoes) are just the opposite for a computer-driven robot. The arithmetic problem is easy; piling up a set of blocks is extremely difficult. Human intelligence (and I'm grossly over-simplifying here... read the book) takes these complex tasks and practices them obsessively until we can use them as a buillding block to move to another level - leaving the mastered skill as a "muscle memory."