How does muscle memory work?

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I play piano and mostly play through muscle memory. I can play through songs easily if I don’t think about it, but if I try to remember what to play next I completely forget everything.

How does that work?

In: 4

You build structures in your brain that do the task without thinking. You couldn’t function if you have to think about everything your body was doing at any moment.

You do an activity and the specific sequence of neurons activated to perform that activity form a stronger connection, the more you do the technique the stronger it gets. It’s like you’re engraving a groove deeper and smoother in your brain the more you do it, so the next time your brain activates the neurons for “walking” the motion flows super easily.

As you learn to do things you remember that and you grow to react in the way you learned to do it without your body asking your brain for permission.