Why Does Entering a New Room Make You Forget Things?

(Time) The Boundary Effect: Entering a New Room Makes You Forget Things

By TERRI POUSNovember 21, 2011

As if we needed a study to tell us this

“I know I came in here for something, but I can’t remember what it is …”

If you’ve ever said something like this, you’ve probably experienced an “event boundary.” Many, if not all, of us have had the experience of walking into a room and forgetting exactly what it is we came in there to do.

(PHOTOS: A Camera Helps an Amnesia Patient Access Her Memory)

The University of Notre Dame in Indiana recently conducted a study on this phenomenon, concluding that walking through doorways causes memory to lapse. As researcher Gabriel Radvansky explained: “Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away.”

That means that by the time you’re staring blankly at the kitchen counter, your brain has already moved on from the thought that led you in there, and you can’t always effectively backtrack. “Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized,” Radvansky said.

(Click here to read more)

Also see Does Sleeping On A Problem Make It Better Or Worse?Can Something Mind-Blowing Give You Amnesia?Does Your Brain Continue Learning Even During Sleep?Does Selective Memory Really Exist? and The Best Way to Make Memories

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