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paper on Muscle Memory...please read, need help and comments...

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posted on Dec, 4 2004 @ 09:44 PM
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Developing Muscle Memory in College Students


In order to understand the concept of muscle memory and its use in our everyday life, we must first recognize the definition of muscle memory. As a disclaimer, it should also be noted that ‘Muscle Memory’ in this sense is not talking about the body building phenomenon wherein muscle is easier to replace once it has been amassed, rather than to amass muscle from the start (Cunningham, 2004). Perhaps a more common term in the scientific field for the type of muscle memory associated with this research paper is proprioception. Proprioception is the sensory adaptation of realizing the position of the body parts in relation to the other adjacent parts of the body. The ideal of proprioception is important to the human body, because it allows the body to function at its prime level. Without using muscle memory, the human body would be little more than a door stop for the rest of life, left immovable by a lack of self control.
Muscle memory is used in virtually all of the undaunted tasks that people perform every day. Anything from playing video games, to driving a car, and even walking down an empty street involves some level of muscle memory. An example of muscle memory being tested occurs during a sobriety test, wherein the person in question is required to close their eyes and touch their nose (Kolb, 2001). In fact, muscle memory might be the most commonly used form of internal interaction within the human body, yet very few people seem to acknowledge its existence and role in the world. However, for those that have recognized this astonishing bodily function and embraced it, the possibilities of progression of amazing to say the least. One group that has embraced the powers associated with harnessing muscle memory includes those in the Martial Arts world. Past research has shown that the Martial Arts world has a reputation of polishing the skills associated with proprioception (Barda, et. al. 1999). By using the skills gained through mastering muscle memory, a student of the Martial Arts is able to use self defense techniques in an automated fashion (Sansever, 19/20xx). The Martial Arts world is an example of the results that can occur when one has mastered the fine tuning of their muscle memory capacity.
However, Martial Arts is not the only field in which muscle memory has been shown to have a great affect upon the user. Artists, musicians, and athletes have also been recognized to show signs of being particularly in-tune with their proprioception abilities. For instance, an artist does not need to watch their hand as they paint. This idea was first recorded by F. Matthias Alexander (1907, 1908, & 1910/1918), when he hypothesized that humans were capable controlling any act using voluntary muscles. This is the idea that sparked the newest debate concerning the magnitude to which humans can control their own movements, thus transforming them into second nature operations that can be carried out in a semiconscious manner.
The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the effects of mastering muscle memory in everyday life. To reiterate some of the operations associated with muscle memory, this research paper is being typed using the muscle memory of the fingers to know which key to strike in order to produce a specific character. The goal of muscle memory is to change complicated tasks into ones of second nature, like that of walking or riding a bike. Upon one’s first attempt at walking or riding a bike, there was a degree of difficulty encountered; however, once these processes have been mastered, they tend to become second nature to the performer.

Methods


This study is being performed to measure the success rate of participants attempting to increase their muscle memory capacity. However, the experiment is specifically designed to discover which of the participating groups will be the most likely to successfully develop a strong muscle memory. [TO BE CONTINUED AT CONCLUSION OF PAPER!!!]
Participants
Participants in this study will consist of college students of both sexes and a mixture of racial/ethnic groups. The experimenter has chosen a college campus for the purpose of being able to select individual representatives from various social and scholastic groups. Essential participating groups will consist of (a) art majors, (b) musicians or band members, (c) members of the baseball and softball teams, (d) culinary majors. The criterion for a qualified art major is a concentration in either painting, sculpture work, or both. Criteria for a qualified baseball or softball team member is a player that is a regular hitter in games (this excludes non-hitting players). Reasons for the criteria in parts (a) and (c) result from the need of a measure for high hand eye coordination. Participants can partake in the experiment, regardless of gender, age, race/ethnicity, and social economic status as long as they are enrolled in the minimum number of hours to meet full-time student standards during the current semester. Standardized learning test scores, such as the ACT, SAT, and SOL, will not be used as measures in this study.
A total of forty participants will be participating in this study, which will be spread evenly throughout the four essential participating groups. In other words, there will be ten members from each of the main groups taking part in this experiment. Also, the male to female ratio must stay at a constant 7:3 ratio within each focus group, meaning that the total number of male participants will be twenty-eight, while there will be twelve female participants. The conclusion to conduct the experiment at a seventy percent male volume was reached by considering the information that males are predominately right brain thinkers, which correlates with good hand-eye coordination (Semple 2000).
Apparatus
Materials used to measure the success rate of developing a strong muscle memory will a Rubik’s Cube, a stopwatch, and an evaluation form. A Rubik’s Cube is a 9-sided, squared-shaped mechanical puzzle invented by Ernő Rubik in 1974 (Velleman, 1992). A stopwatch is needed to serve as a timing device during the experiment. The evaluation form is present for the sole purpose of discovering the feelings and emotions of the participants, which will help the experimenter to realize when an individual participant’s results have become null and void due to burnout, boredom, or lack of effort.
Design
Subjects were assigned into groups based upon how they performed on a hand-eye coordination exam. During this exam, participants will be asked to keep a diamond-shaped object centered on a computer screen with adjusting knobs. As the diamond moves unpredictably from left to right, the participants will turn the knobs in order to keep the diamond from hitting the boundaries on the sides of the screen, at which point the test will be finished. This exam will be ran three times, after which the results for each participant will be averaged to find an mean count of the number of seconds that they each kept the diamond in motion. Participants placing in the top fifty percent of their individual group will be placed into the high-end bracket, while those placing in the bottom fifty percent of their group will be placed into the low-end bracket for the study.
The variation between the high-end group and the low-end group is to make the experiment run more smoothly. Those placed in the low hand-eye coordination group are less likely to be able to perform muscle memory tasks such as typing a high rate of words per minute on a keyboard or playing a musical instrument (with exception to the musician/band member group). Those placed into the low-end bracket will serve as testers and understudies in the case that someone from the high-end group decides to leave, or if their results become invalid. Therefore, those participating in the low-end bracket will still follow the same regimen as their high-end counterparts, but to a lesser extent; although independent practicing with the Rubik’s Cube is recommended.



References


Alexander, F. Matthias (1907). The theory and practice of a new method of respiratory re-education. London: Methuen.
Alexander, F. Matthias (1908). Re-education of the kinaesthetic systems concerned with the development of robust physical well-being. London: Methuen.
Alexander, F. Matthias (1910/1918). Man’s supreme inheritance: conscious guidance and control in relation to human evolution in civilization. London: Methuen.
Alexander, F. Matthias (1923). Constructive conscious control of the individual. London: Methuen.
Badra, L., Fisher, L., Thomas, L., & Wong, R. (1999). Effects of Tai Chi on Balance and Gait in Community-Dwelling Elders. Physical Therapy, 79(5), S19.
Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc. (2004). Muscle Memory. Retrieved November 19, 2004, from c2.com....
Kolb, Richard (2001). Shockley is wizard of winners on pro tours. Kolb’s Korner. Retrieved November 29, 2004, from www.ncaba.org....
Performance Factors (1995). Daily Skill Test System checks hand-eye coordination in under 1 minute. PotPourri. Retrieved December 4, 2004, from www.pdxnorml.org....
Sansevere, Leonard (19/20xx). Ki2Win. Retrieved November 26, 2004, from www.ki2win.com....
Semple, Spencer “TheBigDuke” (2002). Why is Gaming Traditionally Male Dominated? Most people think of gaming as being male dominated? Why? 3DActionPlanet. Retrieved November 19, 2004, from www.3dactionplanet.com....
Velleman, Dan (1992). Rubik’s tesseract. Mathematics Magazine, 65(1), 27.

[PAPER NOT COMPLETED YET...I still need to finish the abstract (before the Introduction), Design, Procedure, and how I will analyze the information that I will be collecting. This is a fictional experiement, so if anyone has any ideas then please reply with some things that I might be able to use. I just started this about noon today (took a couple of breaks to eat), so I've only been working on it for a total of 8 hours. So give me your honest opinions. If it's good, let me know and why it's good. If it blows, then let me know why it blows. All comments welcome...Thank you...]




posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 07:14 AM
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There's aslo muscle memory that say involves the way you swing at a ball be it baseball or golf or even tennis...also In the world of heavy equipment, part of that learning means memorizing how to use levers, joysticks, and even pedals in a coordinated way to control the attachment at the end of the boom..there's even a bodybuilding site called 'muscle memory' or at least there used to be it has a whole database of knoledge in the art...Are you training..I did for four years very hard but when my son came and I worked longer hours in construction trust me I could'nt go any more not when you'nv worked 12hours hard labour,and then once you miss a week you lose that addiction ,I went back to Aikido..It's more intence in the mind level,and the whole philosophy too that comes with it..I hope this helped you...




Muscle Memory:
Anyone who has lifted weights, on and off, for several years is familiar with the concept of "muscle memory". Muscle memory in this context refers to the observation that when a person begins lifting weights after a prolonged lay off, it is much easier to return to their previous levels of size and strength than it was to get there the first time around. Even when significant atrophy (muscle shrinking) has taken place during the layoff, previously hypertrophied muscle returns to its previous size more quickly than usual.
A recent study looking at fiber type conversions during muscle hypertrophy may have uncovered a possible mechanism for this phenomenon. For those of you not crazy about scientific lingo bear with me. Towards the end you will see what I’m getting at with this study. In this study the distribution of myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoforms, fiber type composition, and fiber size of the vastus lateralis muscle were analyzed in a group of adult sedentary men before and after 3 months of resistance training and then again, after 3 months of detraining. Following the period of resistance training, MHC IIX content decreased from just over 9% to 2.0%, with a corresponding increase in MHC IIA (42% to 49%). Following detraining the amount of MHC IIX reached values that were higher than before and during resistance training, over 17%! As expected, significant hypertrophy was observed for the type II fibers after resistance training, and even remained larger than baseline after 3 months of detraining.
Myosin heavy chain isoforms, or MHCs, refer to the types of contractile protein you see in a given muscle fiber. MHCs determine how the muscle fiber functions. MHCs are what make a fiber "fast twitch", "slow twitch", or something in-between. Certain MHCs are known to undergo a change in response to resistance exercise. In this case, fibers that contain MHC IIX are fibers that aren’t really sure what kind of fiber they are until they are called to action. Once recruited, they become MHC IIAs. So, fibers containg MHC IIX proteins serve as a reservoir of sorts for muscle hypertrophy because the can transform themselves into fibers containing MHC IIX which grow easily in response to training.
Like any great study, these researchers found what they expected as well as a little extra that they didn’t. I think this study caught my attention because it showed a long-term alteration in skeletal muscle following resistance training. It has been this long-term change that has been the focus of my own training philosophy, which incorporates what I call "strategic deconditioning". This study showed that resistance training decreases the amount of MHC IIX while reciprocally increasing MHC IIA content. This was expected and has previously observed with changes in fiber type after resistance training. What they didn’t expect was that detraining following heavy-load resistance training seems to cause what they refer to as an "overshoot" or doubling in the percentage of MHC IIX isoforms, significantly higher than that measured at baseline. What does this mean? It could mean that there are more fibers available for hypertrophy (growth) after a lay off from training than there are before you start training. This could very well explain the "muscle memory" effect many of us have experienced ourselves. It may also have implications for natural bodybuilders looking to overcome long-standing plateaus.
There are a few questions that this study did not answer. For instance, they waited until 3 months after they stopped training before they took final measurements. It would have been nice if they had taken measurements regularly so that the optimal period of detraining could be identified corresponding to peak MHC IIX levels. Because it takes 3-4 weeks for these contractile muscle proteins to turn over, it would take longer than one month and probably less time than 6 months (previous research). Still the optimal time remains to be elucidated.
Also, how would these guys respond to the same training regimen after the detraining period? Would their quads grow to their previous trained size, or even further? How long would it take? These questions, if answered, may add a new twist to typical training regimens. It may very well be that extended breaks from training may actually allow greater growth over a 12-month period than if training is uninterrupted. For serious athletes and bodybuilders, this would be important information and could significantly extend their competitive careers.



posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 07:24 AM
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is this maybe what you're searching;
ABSTRACT
Individuals with high math anxiety demonstrated smaller working memory spans, especially when assessed with a computation-based span task. This reduced working memory capacity led to a pronounced increase in reaction time and errors when mental addition was performed concurrently with a memory load task. The effects of the reduction also generalized to a working memory-intensive transformation task. Overall, the results demonstrated that an individual difference variable, math anxiety, affects on-line performance in math-related tasks and that this effect is a transitory disruption of working memory. The authors consider a possible mechanism underlying this effect–disruption of central executive processes–and suggest that individual difference variables like math anxiety deserve greater empirical attention, especially on assessments of working memory capacity and functioning.



posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 02:28 PM
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(I have re-edited the design section and written a procedure section)


Design
Subjects were assigned into groups based upon how they performed on a hand-eye coordination exam. During this exam, participants will be asked to keep a diamond-shaped object centered on a computer screen with adjusting knobs. As the diamond moves unpredictably from left to right, the participants will turn the knobs in order to keep the diamond from hitting the boundaries on the sides of the screen, at which point the test will be finished. This exam will be ran three times, after which the results for each participant will be averaged to find an mean count of the number of seconds that they each kept the diamond in motion. Participants placing in the top fifty percent of their individual group will be placed into the high-end bracket, while those placing in the bottom fifty percent of their group will be placed into the low-end bracket for the study.
The variation between the high-end bracket and the low-end bracket is to make the experiment run more smoothly. Those placed in the low-end bracket are less likely to be able to perform muscle memory tasks such as typing a high rate of words per minute on a keyboard or playing a musical instrument (with exception to the musician/band member group). Those placed into the low-end bracket will serve as testers and understudies in the case that someone from the high-end bracket decides to leave, or if their results become invalid for the reasons mentioned in the apparatus section. Therefore, those participating in the low-end bracket will still follow the same regimen as their high-end counterparts, but their results will not be used in the final version of the study. The results coming form the high-end bracket will be recorded as the official findings of the study.
Procedure
Participants in both brackets will be shown the step-by-step procedures of how to solve the Rubik’s Cube, in this case the experimenter has chosen David Singmasrter’s 1981 publication of Notes on Rubik’s ‘Magic Cube’. This specific literature was chosen, because it gives an in depth, step-by-step procedural technique to solving the Rubik’s Cube. The participants will read the selected notes while simultaneously performing the step-by-step operations on the Rubik’s Cube, which should lead to a quicker learning curve in all of the participants.
High-end bracket participants that are struggling with the procedure can be replaced with excelling members of the low-end bracket, providing that they the replacement is a member of the same essential group (i.e. art major, musician/band member, baseball/softball team member, or culinary major). This course of action will be performed in order to keep the various essential groups on a more level playing field in the event that a high-bracket placement is found incapable of completing the Rubik’s Cube with the aid of the Singmaster (1981) text and additional assistance from the experimenter.
After reading the assigned text and successfully completing of the Rubik’s Cube on a step-by-step basis, the participants will be asked to attempt the Rubik’s Cube without the visual aid of the step-by-step procedures provided by the Singmaster text (1981). For those needing additional assistance from the step-by-step guide, the steps will be repeated until the participant is able to successfully complete the Rubik’s Cube without the help from either the Singmaster text (1981) or the experimenter. The idea behind this particular setup is for the participants to reach the point at which they will no longer need to consulate the step-by-step formula, as they would be able to complete the Rubik’s Cube with no assistance whatsoever.
Once the participants have reached the level of solving the Rubik’s Cube without outside help, the next step is to habituate them from going through the step-by-step procedures in their head. In other words, the purpose of this phase is to develop an innate sense within the participants in terms of being able to solve the Rubik’s Cube. The majority of the participant should eventually reach the point of solving the Rubik’s Cube without the aid of the Singmaster text (1981) or the experimenter; however, reaching the desired instinctive ability to solve the Rubik’s Cube is a higher order process, which may not be accomplished by all participants.

[edit on 12/6/2004 by petey_pongo23]



posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 02:32 PM
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my paper is concerned with the muscle memory that occurs when one learns how to solve the Rubik's Cube (mainly without looking at the cube) by simply knowing how to solve it, as if it were second nature (like walking)...




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