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Thread: Why can you complete tasks faster with repetition?

  1. #1 Why can you complete tasks faster with repetition? 
    Forum Freshman ImplicitWeevil's Avatar
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    Hi, I've been inactive on this forum for a while, but I have something I was wondering if you guys could check for me.

    So I had a biology question: On the chart below record your reactiontimes for touching the squares in the activity for Assignment 56.Were you able to do the tests faster with practice? Based on what youhave studied about the nervous system, why do you think this was so?Write your answer below the chart.

    To which I answered: Yes, I was able to do the tests fasterwith practice. I think that the reason my times were slower at firstwas because there was a lot of unnecessary thinking interrupting thecommunication between my PNS and CNS; I first had to find the number,process the information, and respond with an action. The more I didit, the less I had to stop think about the information I was takingin. In some cases it seemed more like reflex to me than a consciouseffort. In fact, the more I made a conscious effort the slower mytimes were. Though I obviously didn't do it enough times for it toactually become reflex, I do think this is an example of developingmuscle memory. With repetition, I was relying more and more on mymemories of both the movements and the number positions. Because Iwasn't having to take in as much new information, I believe thatthere was less for my CNS to have to shuffle through before it was ableto issue the commands, which reduced the time it took for me to complete the action.

    This is very close to my first draft and just a guess. I would say it's an educated guess, but then that would mean my textbook went in depth and I wouldn't be guessing. Let me know if I'm on the right track, and don't be too harsh please, haha.


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  3. #2  
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    You're absolutely right. Notice that you yourself said

    the more I made a conscious effort the slower my times were.
    That's why it's better for everyone to learn times tables by heart. Thinking it through or using a calculator are nowhere nearly as efficient as just knowing that 5 8s are 40 without thinking at all.

    Same thing goes for a whole lot of job skills and life skills. Some of it is muscle memory, especially a lot of sport and musical skills, but a lot of it is simply knowing without thinking what comes next or what goes together - think driving, or the simpler tasks in many retail jobs. How does someone recognise that a display needs to be reorganised? They don't think through how the various items are places, they see the "whole" before they even consider the details.


    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman ImplicitWeevil's Avatar
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    Okay, sweet, thanks! This one made me more nervous than most of my other answers. I found that through most of my writing I was finding a ton of questions. I almost always get those little questions in my head when writing, but this one felt like with every sentence there was a why attached to every period. I don't know, I just like being able to explain my own answer. :P I guess this is just one of those subjects, haha.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Bachelors Degree One beer's Avatar
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    I think what happens is that when the brain is seeing and learning something for the first time, it uses its entire conscious faculty to work out how to do it. But this is a relatively slow process. If the process is required again and again, it assigns a group of neurons and tells them to learn (program themselves) to perform whatever the task is. Sometimes this involves bodily movements such as walking or standing up, other actions could be memory based such as times tables.

    So then, when the process is required, instead of the conscious getting involved, it just directs the specific neuron group to perform it, leaving the conscious processing to oversee adapt and plan.

    OB
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