The Doorway Effect: Why your brain won’t let you remember what you were doing before you came in here
I work in a lab, and the way our lab is set up, there are two adjacent rooms, connected by both an outer hallway and an inner doorway. I do most of my work on one side, but every time I walk over to the other side to grab a reagent or a box of tips, I completely forget what I was after. This leads to a lot of me standing with one hand on the freezer door and grumbling, “What the hell was I doing?” It got to where all I had to say was “Every damn time” and my labmate would laugh. Finally, when I explained to our new labmate why I was standing next to his bench with a glazed look in my eyes, he was able to shed some light. “Oh, yeah, that’s a well-documented phenomenon,” he said. “Doorways wipe your memory.”
Being the gung-ho new science blogger that I am, I decided to investigate. And it’s true! Well, doorways don’t literally wipe your memory. But they do encourage your brain to dump whatever it was working on before and get ready to do something new. In one study, participants played a video game in which they had to carry an object either across a room or into a new room. Then they were given a quiz. Participants who passed through a doorway had more trouble remembering what they were doing. It didn’t matter if the video game display was made smaller and less immersive, or if the participants performed the same task in an actual room—the results were similar. Returning to the room where they had begun the task didn’t help: even context didn’t serve to jog folks’ memories.
The researchers wrote that their results are consistent with what they call an “event model” of memory. They say the brain keeps some information ready to go at all times, but it can’t hold on to everything. So it takes advantage of what the researchers called an “event boundary,” like a doorway into a new room, to dump the old info and start over. Apparently my brain doesn’t care that my timer has seconds to go—if I have to go into the other room, I’m doing something new, and can’t remember that my previous task was antibody, idiot, you needed antibody.
My eight-year-old self thanks you for this.
You know, if I was a parent, it would be at this point that I’d rip the game from his hands, stash it in my backpack, and force him to enjoy history goddamnit. This vacation cost a lot and the game is only for the hotel and travel time.
imagine trying to force someone to think that stonehenge is fun
"look kid we’re a ridiculous distance from a bunch of broken rocks how could you possibly be bored this is totally an appropriate vacation spot for someone this age."
Ah, fuck. Shit like this always gets to me, the tired old technophobe spiel and maybe it’s because it’s so rampant in my field (I work in outdoor education), but it just starts feeling so goddamn derivative after a while, nouveau hipsters who think the world is ending because kids play too many video games.
But what we’re missing is that this kid’s parents bought him his SP and a copy of Leaf Green (the employee at the game store said it would be perfect for him) so that he would shut up on the plane ride over and not bother them in the hotel, imagining that as soon as they touched down the kid would put the thing down and appreciate all the castles and grass and cafes and operas and rocks and ~*~culture~*~, because that’s what culture and history are, right? A bunch of old rocks.
What they missed is this kid staying up way past his bedtime the night before their plane flew out on message boards and chat rooms trying to find out which is the best starter, finally settled on a Squirtle and named it Rocky, and right now while his parents are appreciating rocks he and Rocky have got to save the whole world from Team Rocket because he’s a hero and that’s what heroes do and he’s so invested in this story and this world, he thinks he might have found the place where Machops live, why should he care about a guide droning on about Romans and a bunch of old people taking pictures?
But please, go ahead and take the Gameboy from him, break it in half and remind him that you spent A LOT on this vacation, and HOW DARE HE. You will FORCE him to ENJOY his GODDAMN VACATION because it’s REAL LIFE. Wonder why he’s so upset, you’re the one who spent money on the thing? All he invested in it was time and emotion, and those things are definitely less important than money, when you’re eight. Wonder why he’s so disconnected from education, when you’ve managed to turn it into a punishment, a deprivation, a source of misery? Go on and repeat the tired old technophobe line until you’re red in the face, share it on Facebook and reblog it on Tumblr and retweet it on Twitter: nobody but you knows how to live ~*~REAL LIFE~*~ because we’re so busy exploring imaginary worlds.
Kids don’t just need to be taught when to use devices, we as their parents and guardians also need to be taught why they use devices. If a kid is more invested in Kanto than Stonehenge, why? How can we change our approach so kids ~*~appreciate real history~*~? And if not, can’t we just accept and appreciate that this kid will go back to the third grade, say “Yeah, I saw Stonehenge, it was neat, but who wants to trade a Haunter for my Machoke?”
and besides, might I add that the Stonehenge isn’t the average 8 year old’s idea of a fun holiday. My 8-year old self would rather play Pokemon on my Gameboy than look at the Stonehenge.. tbh even my present self wouldn’t.
Everybody knows that bunnies chaos and old professors can’t see in colour.
I am a historian and this is how it happened.
This is amazing
everything about this is pure gold.
thank u for saving bi lions
end bi lion erasure
THE ANIMATION IN BAMBI IS MUCH MORE ACCURATE THAN I REALISED HOLY SHITNUGGETS
what are deers even trying to accomplish
Favourite behind the scenes video of all time
In Colorado, snow during the month of May can lead to some weird things.
its snow fabric