ChevScience

A weblog of popular science

Walking Through Doorways Makes You Forget

Posted by ChevScience on June 1, 2012

Ever get up to retrieve something from another room only to completely forget what you needed after crossing the doorway?

You’re not alone, and scientists think forgetful trips between rooms result from how our brains interpret spatial information.

Researchers already know that walking from one space to another makes people more likely to forget tasks when compared to others who don’t make such a transition. Called “location-updating effect,” the phenomenon also causes people transitioning between rooms (even virtual ones) to take more time while attempting to recall items from memory.

Moving from one space to another seems to cue the brain to refresh itself and pay attention to the new space, making it harder to recall information from the previous space. By then, the previous experience is already filed away in the brain’s working memory, which is why recalling what you need can seem unnecessarily arduous. Learn more here.

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