Have you ever walked from one room to another with a very determined purpose in mind – only to completely forget why you came into the room? It happens to us all. And it’s easy to think you’re losing your mind or dementia is setting in. But the truth, according to a new study, is that it’s not dementia at all. In fact, your mind is working just fine.
This new study says there’s a very logical reason for the forgetfulness. Believe it or not, you can blame it on your doorway, not early dementia. You see, your brain works like a filing cabinet. When you walk through a doorway, your brain views the doorway as the door of a filing cabinet. So walking through the doorway causes your brain to file away current memories in compartmentalized folders and shuts the drawer.
This may sound crazy, but this study showed why it’s true. The researchers carried out three different experiments. They used real and virtual environments, with the latter simply giving the subjects an environment with computer simulation. In the experiments, the researchers had college students perform various memory tasks while walking across a room. Then they had them do the same memory tasks while walking through a doorway.
The first experiment used virtual environments. They did this on small screens to reduce how immersed the participants were in the environment. The researchers wanted to see if a smaller environment would affect their memory as much as a larger, real environment.
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The researchers had the students move from one virtual room to another. In each room, they would pick up an object on a table. In the next room, they would put that object down and pick up another object on a different table. Then the researchers had them do the same task without walking through a doorway.
Amazingly, the students remembered more when they didn’t go through a doorway.
The researchers conducted the second experiment in a real environment. They had the participants pick objects from a real table and hide them in boxes. Then they had to move across a room or go through a doorway into another room. The distance walked was the same in both cases.
The results? Again, walking through doorways appeared to impair memory.
The results were so clear they suggest a strong association between memories and the environment where the memory originated. So all you have to do to regain the memory is to go back to the room you left, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
The researchers’ third experiment tested this. They had the participants pick up an object in one room, then walk through several doorways. They would end up back in the same room where they picked up the object. The researchers said they didn’t find any improvement in the students’ memory. They believe this suggests the doorways serve as a filing cabinet door that files away the memory. And it takes more effort to open the cabinet than just returning to the original environment.
While you can’t stop your brain from filing away memories, it’s great to know that you’re not losing your memory when this happens. And, even better, you can reduce the amount of “extra effort” it takes to recall those memories. All you have to do is increase the number of neurotransmitters in your brain.
Neurotransmitters are like the wiring in your brain that enables your brain to communicate with other parts of your brain. If your brain files away a memory and you can’t communicate effectively with that part of the brain, that memory may be permanently filed. And, as we age, the number of neurotransmitters in our brain dwindles.
You can help increase the neurotransmitters in your brain with the right supplements. We designed Advanced Memory Formula to do just that. You can read all about it by following this link.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand