Doorways Cause Memory Lapse

Did you know that walking through a doorway can actually cause memory lapse?

I’ve often gone from one room to another looking for something I needed, and once there I’ve had to stop and seriously think what it was I was looking for. I have forgotten what I was there for. Up until now I thought it was just bad memory because of my age. But recent research has come to my rescue.

Gabriel Radvansky, a psychology professor at the University of Indiana, has shown that environmental factors affect a persons thoughts, compartmentalizing those thoughts into separates episodes of activity that are partially associated with the surroundings in which they were conceived. It was found that there is a decline in memory when people move from one location to another such as passing through a doorway. Going through a door may act as an event boundary in the mind, separating those episodes of thought activity. The context of the original thought is changed, impeding the minds ability to quickly retrieve it. Perhaps that is why it’s hard to remember where we put that ‘whatever‘ unless we’re in the same location we were when we put it there. Just a thought.

So if you find yourself looking around and wondering ‘What am I doing here?’, if you don’t feel like going through all the rooms near you, just pour a glass of wine or pop-a-top and turn on the game on TV.  It’ll probably come to you in time, and if not, well, the wine was good.