Kinetic Recall – Where did this knowledge come from?

Have you ever completely forgotten how to do something until you just started?
As a cybersecurity professional, I find that it happens a lot.  I call it Kinetic Recall.  Let me start with some examples.  You go to the phone to call your best friend but you can’t seem to remember his or her number.  As you place your hand on the numbers your fingers seem to remember the sequence better than your mind.  As your fingers dial the number it comes back to you.
Kinetic recall happens when internalized actions have been habitually reinforced to a level where you can perform them on autopilot but it can be impossible to verbalize or conceptualize it without first performing the action.  Consider the way you whistle a tune or tie a tie.
Some people call it muscle memory but I have seen it happen for much more complex tasks as well.  Some other situations where kinetic recall comes into play would include driving to a familiar location, performing routine tasks on the computer.
Kinetic recall intersects with cybersecurity when you can type your password but not remember it or when you glance at a security screen and know whether something is wrong even without actively thinking about the data on the screen.
Have you ever thought about this before?  If so, let me know as I find it fascinating.


About The Author


Eric Vanderburg

Eric Vanderburg is an author, thought leader, and consultant. He serves as the Vice President of Cybersecurity at TCDI and Vice Chairman of the board at TechMin. He is best known for his insight on cybersecurity, privacy, data protection, and storage. Eric is a continual learner who has earned over 40 technology and security certifications. He has a strong desire to share technology insights with the community. Eric is the author of several books and he frequently writes articles for magazines, journals, and other publications.

Leave a Reply