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Doorways do not always cause forgetting: a multimodal investigation

McFadyen, J; Nolan, C; Pinocy, E; Buteri, D; Baumann, O; (2021) Doorways do not always cause forgetting: a multimodal investigation. BMC Psychology , 9 , Article 41. 10.1186/s40359-021-00536-3. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: The ‘doorway effect’, or ‘location updating effect’, claims that we tend to forget items of recent significance immediately after crossing a boundary. Previous research suggests that such a forgetting effect occurs both at physical boundaries (e.g., moving from one room to another via a door) and metaphysical boundaries (e.g., imagining traversing a doorway, or even when moving from one desktop window to another on a computer). Here, we aimed to conceptually replicate this effect using virtual and physical environments. / Methods: Across four experiments, we measured participants’ hit and false alarm rates to memory probes for items recently encountered either in the same or previous room. Experiments 1 and 2 used highly immersive virtual reality without and with working memory load (Experiments 1 and 2, respectively). Experiment 3 used passive video watching and Experiment 4 used active real-life movement. Data analysis was conducted using frequentist as well as Bayesian inference statistics. / Results: Across this series of experiments, we observed no significant effect of doorways on forgetting. In Experiment 2, however, signal detection was impaired when participants responded to probes after moving through doorways, such that false alarm rates were increased for mismatched recognition probes. Thus, under working memory load, memory was more susceptible to interference after moving through doorways. / Conclusions: This study presents evidence that is inconsistent with the location updating effect as it has previously been reported. Our findings call into question the generalisability and robustness of this effect to slight paradigm alterations and, indeed, what factors contributed to the effect observed in previous studies.

Type: Article
Title: Doorways do not always cause forgetting: a multimodal investigation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s40359-021-00536-3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-021-00536-3
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Doorway effect, Memory, Spatial navigation, Event boundary
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123784
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