As researcher Donna Bridge once said, “When someone tells me they are sure they remember exactly the way something happened, I just laugh.” Our memories ar
It doesn’t matter if you’re going in or out, the simple act of passing through a doorway can make you forget something, according to a study from the University of Notre Dame. Called an “event boundary,” this simple act separates what happens in one room from what happens in another. That makes it difficult to remember what was decided or done in a different room because it’s filed away separately in your mind.
In both virtual and real-world settings, college students performed tasks such as choosing an item on one table and exchanging that item for another item on a different table. The tasks were performed three different ways: all in one room, moving through a doorway into a different room, and moving through a series of doorways leading back to the original room.
In each case, the students forgot more after they walked through a doorway, even if they ended up in the original room. This suggests that it isn’t the environment that affects memory as much as the act of passing through a doorway.