Have you ever walked into a room only to forget why you went in there? Or what you wanted to get? New research from Notre Dame professor Gabriel Radvansky proves that you may not being going crazy, after all.
The new research suggests that by passing through doorways, humans “compartmentalize” their thoughts. By compartmentalizing thoughts, memory sometimes lapses causing us to forget even the simplest of tasks.The research, reported by Notre Dame News, was conducted at Notre Dame and was published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.
Top ten Irish scientists of all time
Professor Radvansky conducted experiments on college students which required them to operate in two different settings, both a virtual room and a real room. The experiment called for the students to move an object across a room without passing through a doorway and in a second phase to do the same with the addition of passing through a doorway.
“Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away,” Radvansky explains. Thus, the passing through of a doorway triggers a mental reaction to compartmentalize thoughts, sometimes causing the memory lapse experienced when entering a new room.
Radvansky found in his study that “the subjects forgot more after walking through a doorway compared to moving the same distance across a room, suggesting that the doorway or “event boundary” impedes one’s ability to retrieve thoughts or decisions made in a different room.”
So, it’s the doorways playing mind tricks on you - you’re not going crazy! Will you remember this story next time you enter a new room?...