At some point in your life you’ve probably heard the phrase “like riding a bike” when someone wants to convey the idea that you can remember a particular activity. Well, the saying isn’t wrong: once we learn to ride a bike, our body never forgets how to do it. But why does this happen?
It may seem strange not to remember what you had for dinner the day before or the title of a movie the weekend, but if you ride a bike, just ride the bike and everything is fine, right? The good news is that science has an answer to this “phenomenon” – and of course it has to do with our memory.
Read also: Balancing bicycles is still a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon
Why don’t we forget how to ride a bike?
If you’ve ever wondered how you can continue to learn how to ride a bike even without riding a bike for the past few years or decades, know that the answer is much simpler than expected. The “secret” in our area The ability to store long-term memory.
According to neuropsychologist Boris Sochan, there are two types of long-term memory: procedural and declarative, and the latter are divided into episodic and semantic. In an article published in Scientific American, he explains that while episodic memory is responsible for remembering events that occurred during life, semantics are responsible for remembering certain facts.
Meanwhile, it is up to procedural memory to maintain knowledge of the skills we have learned over the years. Information about driving a car or riding a bike, for example, is stored in a region of the brain separate from other memories. This is why a person with amnesia can wander or wander without remembering their name.
This does not mean that it is impossible to forget how to ride a bike. A person with brain damage affecting the basal ganglia may lose function and end up forgetting how to ride a bike.
Other than that, as explained by Dr. Suchan, since the memories responsible for creating and storing movement patterns are located in an area of the brain that undergoes less neuronal regeneration, these Skills stay registered for longer in our memory.
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