Have you ever found yourself standing in a room, knowing that you are supposed to be getting something but you can't remember what? You're thinking what am I doing in here? Instead of blaming your memory or lack of concentration, thanks to the findings of a new study you can blame the door.
According to a psychology professor at the University of Notre Dame, Gabriel Radvansky, when you walk through a doorway your brain automatically recognises it as a 'new event', making 'old events' less of a priority, (even if it was a decision made 30 seconds ago).
The study, which was recently published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology , found that college students who were asked to perform simple memory tasks entering and exiting a room were found more likely to forget the task after walking through a doorway compared to moving the same distance across a room.
"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. "Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized."
The students were given three experiments, the first in the real world, using physical doors, or doorways, the second using a virtual environment, with the task of changing or removing a particular objects from one room to another.
The third test was set up to test if the ability to remember is linked to the environment in which the decision is made is more powerful than the 'event boundaries' that the doorways create. It was found that if the student held a reminder of the object that they needed to move while crossing the room, there was slight improvement in memory, although doorways were still considered 'event changing'.
What is funny is that you don't pass through the refrigerator door, but we are always left standing in front of it, trying to remember what it was that we needed.
How often do you find yourself having forgotten what you entered the room for? Share your experiences below.