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.
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 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).
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 Ernõ 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.
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.
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:
Alexander, F. Matthias (1910/1918). Man’s supreme inheritance: conscious guidance and control in relation to human evolution in civilization. London:
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),
Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc. (2004). Muscle Memory. Retrieved November 19, 2004, from
Kolb, Richard (2001). Shockley is wizard of winners on pro tours. Kolb’s Korner. Retrieved November 29, 2004, from
Performance Factors (1995). Daily Skill Test System checks hand-eye coordination in under 1 minute. PotPourri. Retrieved December 4, 2004, from
Sansevere, Leonard (19/20xx). Ki2Win. Retrieved November 26, 2004, from
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
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...]