More often than I care to admit, I’ll walk from one room to another with a clear vision in mind of whatever I need to do once I get there, but then I get there and can’t remember why I started. The only thing that happened between my first movement and my last is that I walked through a doorway. Surely that has nothing at all to do with forgetting something I knew just moments before, right?
Wrong, says new research. As it turns out, walking through a doorway exerts an imperceptible influence on memory. In fact, merely imagining walking through a doorway can zap memory.
Researchers in the latest study took their cue from an earlier study showing that passing through a doorway seems to insert a mental divider into memory. Our brains record memories in segments, or episodes, rather than as a continuous event. Dubbed the “Event Horizon Model” by earlier researchers, walking through a doorway triggers memory segmentation, like a video editor inserting a momentary pause between scenes. In that tiny pause—the Event Horizon—the connective parts of memories can be lost, and we suddenly can’t recall that we got up from watching the basketball game to unplug the iron in the next room.
Read the whole story: Forbes