memory, remember, kitchen, blank

How doorways wipe your memory

There is so much to remember: house keys, tax return, Christmas presents, Ed Balls in Strictly, did you turn the hob off (damn you, anxiety)? And, therefore, so much to forget.

And we mostly find ourselves saying: where’s my fucking…oh there it is. And we find ourselves standing in the kitchen with absolutely no idea what we came in for. Or on the doorstep clueless as to what we came out for. And we accept this as our Midult fate. Our brains are full with all the other remembering. And we make hollow jokes about failing faculties.

But no. It’s not us, it’s them. According to a very clever (and may we say handsome?) psychologist Gabriel Radvansky, we are programmed to forget what we are doing as soon as we walk through a doorway. The doorway brainwashes us. Presses an incredibly unhelpful reset. This has everything to do with the fact that the brain automatically categorises information by associating with physical location. So relocate = wipe clean in a very micro fashion. I feel like we once knew that fact, but had forgotten.

When Radvansky, clearly a man after our own hearts, asked several subjects to look at several objects before either walking into a different room or simply walking the same distance in the same room, those who walked through an actual door had a much harder time recalling the objects. The doorway is gaslighting you.  The doorway has power.

And if that’s not enough fact for you. Some other equally brilliant research found that even just imagining walking through a door can make you forget. As for all the crazy stuff you half-remember spouting at that party last night? We’re not sure the door can help with that. Doorways are bastards.

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