Walking Through Doorways Causes Forgetting
- NHNE Wavemaker News List
Current Members: 541
Keep up with all the news in NHNE's universe, visit NHNE Pulse:
Subscribe / unsubscribe / important links at the bottom of this message.
WALKING THROUGH DOORWAYS CAUSES FORGETTING, NEW RESEARCH SHOWS*
By Susan Guibert
Notre Dame News
November 16, 2011
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
"Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an 'event boundary' in
the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away,"
"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
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 second experiment in a real-world setting required subjects to
conceal in boxes the objects chosen from the table and move either
across a room or travel the same distance and walk through a doorway.
The results in the real-world environment replicated those in the
virtual world: walking through a doorway diminished subjects' memories.
The final experiment was designed to test whether doorways actually
served as event boundaries or if one's ability to remember is linked to
the environment in which a decision -- in this case, the selection of an
object -- was created. Previous research has shown that environmental
factors affect memory and that information learned in one environment is
retrieved better when the retrieval occurs in the same context. Subjects
in this leg of the study passed through several doorways, leading back
to the room in which they started. The results showed no improvements in
memory, suggesting that the act of passing through a doorway serves as a
way the mind files away memories.
NHNE Wavemaker News List:
Send Some Green Love To NHNE:
To subscribe, send a message to:
To unsubscribe, send a message to:
To review current posts:
Sunfellow on Google+
NHNE on Facebook:
Published by David Sunfellow
Phone: (928) 257-3200
Fax: (815) 642-0117
P.O. Box 2242
Sedona, AZ 86339
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]