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Can Walking Through Doorways Prompt Memory Loss? Researchers Say, Yes

walking through doors
Marco Arment / lisacchamberlain, Flickr

Have you ever felt slightly insane, or perhaps a little old, when you get to a room and then can’t remember what you went in there for, even though you had just thought about it? It’s not just you. New research shows that you’re not losing your mind; it’s just being compartmentalized.

A recent study conducted by the University of Notre Dame focused on the phenomenon known as an “event boundary” and concluded that we all experience them. The results of the study showed that walking through doorways causes the memory to lapse.

Researcher Gabriel Radvansky explained, “Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away.”

This means that forgetting what you went to the kitchen for is not an issue of faulty memory or the effects of age, but rather a normal function of your brain. Radvansky said, “Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized.”

So before you start questioning your sanity or brain function and loading up on ginkgo biloba, consider that there’s probably nothing wrong with your mind. Rather than a “senior moment,” what you have just experienced is an “event boundary.”


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