A study by US psychologists has thrown light on why we forget simple tasks like not being able to recall why we entered a room, despite having a clear mission in mind only seconds before. Researchers at the University of Notre Dame claim that passing through a doorway from one room to another can, by itself, cause these memory lapses.
In several memory experiments on college students in both real and virtual environments it was found that subjects forgot more after walking through a doorway compared to moving the same distance across a single room. This suggests that doorway or 'event boundary' impedes one's ability to retrieve thoughts or decisions made in a different room.
Study author Professor Gabriel Radvansky said, "Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized."
The study is published in the 'Quaterly Journal of Experimental Psychology'.