Study Finds That Memory is Linked to Space
November 21, 2011
Scientists at University of Notre Dame have found that memory is affected by space, by asking a group of students to do memory tasks while walking through a doorway. They found that subjects were statistically more likely to forget what they were thinking about, once they moved over a door’s threshold - a finding that backs up the old “what did I come in here for?” trope.
It’s a process called “compartmentalizing,” in which your brain categorizes thoughts and tasks according to the spaces they’re processed in. These so-called “event boundaries” link ideas to spaces – a fascinating insight, particularly for architects, who are fond of expounding on “the threshold” without particularly empirical evidence.
The study was published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Via.