Sunday, November 04, 2012

Doors and Windows

A friend said this:

Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to completely forget what that purpose was? Turns out, doors themselves are to blame for these strange memory lapses.

Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered that passing through a doorway triggers what's known as an event boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next. Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale.

It's not aging, it's the door! Whew! Thank goodness for studies.


It is an interesting research and conclusion that subconsciously we let doors frame our mental journeys in buildings. But I think the observation is oversimplified. We don't really file away memories of the immediate previous locale and enter the next totally blank. Instead I believe our brains seamlessly link our thoughts by erasing the memory cache and filling it with new ones, except that it may not fill it fast enough and create an under-buffering effect so we stop and wonder, what am I going to do next? Unless we have wandered aimlessly into a room we usually know what we enter it for as each room has a functional purpose. We enter a bathroom primarily to use the toilet, to bath or to brush our teeth, so they make our choices more focussed except if we go for other reasons, such as to replace an empty toilet roll, get a bucket or wash our feet, then it is possible we get lost in our mental maze.

While doors are for demarking borders and providing territorial rights and privacy windows are built for ventilation and opening the world that the door closes. They are more interesting than doors. It is no wonder people choose rooms or seats with a good window view. We escape into a room through its door but escape out in an emergency through its window.

Windows help us reflect and feel our souls. They are the eyes of our rooms into the outside world. Would you rather be a door or a window?

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