When you walk through a door you are forgotten, and the strange phenomenon of the “door opening effect” is finally explained by science

Have you just moved from the living room to the kitchen with an idea? An object, an action? And once you get to your kitchen, you instantly forget what, why you entered there! Don’t panic, you won’t lose your memory!

This phenomenon is known as the “door opening effect” or “door opening effect” and it appears to occur when our brains are too busy! Researchers at Bond University in Australia conducted a study on a group of 74 volunteers in one situation. A study to understand why we sometimes forget the purpose of our visit after moving.

The tests

74 people have therefore voluntarily integrated a virtual house with 3D rooms. Then in each room they had to remember the objects they had seen: blue cone, yellow cross. With the sole purpose of remembering a single object, all participants passed the test.

Then it got complicated. The researchers built in additional tasks such as a countdown timer. With the aim of recharging their memories. So overloading the brain has led to forgetfulness when moving from one room to another! The door effect would therefore occur more easily when the brain is overloaded with information. In a separate corridor, on the other hand, the participants did not forget anything they had seen, even with several pieces of information.

The door effect would therefore occur more easily when the brain is overloaded with information. Photo credit: Shutterstock / file404

“At first we couldn’t trigger the gate effect so we thought people might be too good – they remembered everything (…) so we made it harder and let them do countdown tasks while they were moving to to load their working memory (. ..) Then an oblivion occurred, indicating that the overloading of the participants’ memory made them more sensitive to the action of the door. In other words, the gate effect only occurs when we are cognitively in a vulnerable state. Explains the psychologist Oliver Baumann from Bond University in Australia.


According to the researchers, it is not actually the passage of doors that causes “memory gaps”, but the passage from one place to another! The sudden change of scene actually prepares our brains to receive new information.

In contrast, an information overloaded brain can become selective and forget about certain things. To prevent the door effect, the researchers think the best way not to forget a task is to repeat it by changing its location … or retracing your steps to send the purpose of your visit to the room back to your brain . next to!

Otherwise we recommend the sticky notes, the good old diary or a notepad, with which you can never forget anything … You can also try to think less to free your brain so that it does not forget that tasks are essential!

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