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Walking through doorways causes forgetting, new research shows

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12/10/2012 08:24 PM
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Walking through doorways causes forgetting, new research shows
We've all experienced it: The frustration of entering a room and forgetting what we were going to do. Or get. Or find.

New research from University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor Gabriel Radvansky suggests 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 explains.

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

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

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.

[link to www.eurekalert.org]