How doorways affect our memory, research

Как дверные проемы влияют на нашу память, - исследования

Every person is faced with a situation when you forget what you wanted to do a few seconds ago. Often, this occurs at a time when you need to go to another room to take the right thing, or to do a certain task. However, having covered the distance from one room to another, you realize that you forgot what was going on. On the question of why it happens, writes in his blog, psychologist Paul Zygmantovich.

The expert refutes the stereotype that people have problems with memory, noting that this is the way it should be.

The effect of the door opening

In 2006, scientists, Gabriel Radvansky and David Copeland studied the work of memory when running in virtual reality. People had to remember and reproduce information.

The attention of experimenters attracted by the fact that people are worse than I remembered, if passed from one visual to another. Somehow the doorway “turned off” memory .

“The doorway effect” is triggered even when the person simply imagines that he comes through the door.

Why is this happening?

These actions are explained by the fact that we divide his life into separate events: took a shower, rode the subway and so on.

Some of these bright events (e.g. in the shower suddenly has no hot water and only cold), a grey part, but, nevertheless, we live among the events.

Here, the effect of the doorway: different room can be different events. The doorway is a border.

What does it depend?

Absolutely everything depends on the action. If we are in the same room doing something, moved to another and do not do – are two different events

For us, the doorway becomes a boundary between events where there is a sort of update of working memory — when we forget why we came.

Why do we forget?

Because in the new event it is hard to extract from the head of the information related to a different event. Simply put, the previous event (information) it’s hard for us to remember.

Doorway reduces the accessibility of memories, but not the availability of experience. In other words, you can forget why I came, but it is good remember what you did in the kitchen.

What’s the difference?

There is a big difference between the experience of remembering. Action – this is the experience we absorbed deeply and, if I may say so, immediately. But the idea is “to take the phone and bring in the kitchen” – not experience, is prospective memory, or memories of the future.

Prospective memory helps us remember what is still left to do. And here’s her passage through the door weakens.

The psychologist said that if you once again stand in the middle of the room and can not remember why I went in there, you just need to go back to the previous event. Most likely, the second time a prospective memory will be tight and the doorway it will not choke. You walk in and take what you need.

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