Muscle Memory!

May 6, 2011

Today’s post covers the topic of muscle memory and how exactly it works.
In the post, the author mentions how muscle memory is not stored in the muscles, but actually the brain.

For example, as a child I grew up practicing the piano. I took piano lessons for 6 years, and lesson after lesson, would practice the same song until I had it down pat. Through this reputition I was able to improve my retention and memorization of the song.

Furthermore, a similar situation occurs when you’re studying for a test and trying to solve for this intricate data sufficiency problem, or quadratic equation. The more of those you do on a continual basis, the more likely you’ll remember it.

The author does bring up an interesting point from Malcolm Gladwell’s book, which states that 10,000 hours is the magic number for mastery of a subject. So how many days is 10,000 hours? That’s 41.6 days straight, without a break or anything. So what if this was a new job, and you were trying to master it? 10,000 hours at an 8 hour rate would be 1250 days which would be just shy of 5 years working on one specific skill.

Our study and memory tips specifically?
A) Take a break when you study and study in advanced. Don’t try to cram and remember everything all at once. Your retention will be terrible the week after.
B) Practice daily. Don’t go weeks without studying something, try and keep trying without large gaps in between.
C) Visualize success. Visualize success and what you foresee as the outcome, whether that’s an A on a test, playing a song correctly, or anything else. Once you visualize it, it’ll make that reality much closer.

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