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Why we forget things midway

health and fitness Updated: Nov 19, 2011 17:11 IST
ANI
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If you forget what you were going to do, or get, or find, after entering a room, then blame your doorways. University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor Gabriel Radvansky has suggested that passing through doorways is the cause of these memory lapses.



"Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away," Radvansky explained.



kid"Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized," she stated.



Conducting three experiments in both real and virtual environments, Radvansky’s subjects – all college students – performed memory tasks while crossing a room and while exiting a doorway.



In the first experiment, subjects used a virtual environment and moved from one room to another, selecting an object on a table and exchanging it for an object at a different table. They did the same thing while simply moving across a room but not crossing through a doorway.



Radvansky found 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.



The study was published recently in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.
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