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Is the frequent occurrence of “memory fragmentation” a precursor to dementia?

  Does this happen to you often too? Running upstairs to get the keys, but suddenly breaking into pieces when entering the bedroom, forgetting what to look for; opening the refrigerator door, ready to reach for something, but suddenly discovering the reason why I forgot to open the refrigerator; eagerly interrupting a friend’s eloquent conversation , when you were about to speak, but forgot what you were just about to say…
  This phenomenon of short-term amnesia often plagues us and makes us doubt ourselves, such as am I getting old? Or is my memory failing?
  In one study, researchers allowed participants to wear VR glasses and enter a virtual world consisting of a series of rooms, eliminating other distractions in the real world. In this world, every room has a table with an object on it. Participants were tasked with moving between different tables, moving each object from the previous table to the next (with and without cross-room transfers). During the movement, a detector will ask the participants questions, such as the shape and color of the object that was just placed on the table or picked up. The participants’ descriptions were varied, either matching an object they were carrying, matching an object on a previous table, or making up an object and color out of thin air.
  The results of the study showed that under the premise of the same distance, compared with the participants who completed the task in the same room, the participants who passed through the door were more likely to forget the color and shape of the objects they were carrying, and each time they passed through a door gate, the probability of memory errors increases.
  Not only that, virtual doors have the same effect. For example, you open the browser and want to send an email, but click on the celebrity gossip. After an hour passes, you realize that you have forgotten what you were going to do… This effect is named by scientists as the doorway Effect (Doorway Effect), what kind of magic does the door have? And why?
  don’t worry! This short-term forgetfulness is not due to a problem with the brain, but rather shows the complex process of the brain when processing and remembering information. We can only remember a certain amount of information at a time, and the brain is charged with the task of “identifying and processing various types of information” at any time, attention will move between different levels of action, and memory is very dependent on where we are environment. When the brain receives a lot of new information (that is, when the environment changes dramatically), it will throw away some information it considers useless (that is, the information in the old environment), and then focus on processing the current event. This is not only for the brain to “reduce the burden” on itself, but also to allow us to adapt to changes in the environment faster and perceive potential risks in the current environment.
  The “gate” assumes the “event boundary” used by the brain to determine whether the memory should be eliminated.
  However, in 2021, the latest research on the doorway effect by the Jessica McFadyen research team at Bond University believes that multitasking may be the culprit that causes us to sometimes forget why we enter the room. Jessica McFadyen’s research team conducted four experiments. Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 accurately replicated the virtual world constructed in the previous Radvansky experiment. The difference is that Experiment 2 assigned a task to the participants on the basis of Experiment 1 ( Count down aloud by a given number), assuming that previous events are more easily forgotten when tasks are in parallel.
  Experiment 3 asked participants to sit in a room, remember 16 photos of butterfly species for 30 seconds, and then watch a video of a person walking through a corridor with layers of curtains from a first-person perspective. As in Experiment 2, participants also had to count down a given number. The process of Experiment 4 was basically the same as that of Experiment 3. Participants would go through this corridor in reality, and then rearrange the 16 shuffled photos of butterflies after the experiment.
  The results of four experiments showed that the doorway effect did not affect memory, whether by watching a video or actually moving in a real-world environment. What really affects our memory is multitasking, overloading the brain. In other words, the doorway effect only occurs when we are cognitively vulnerable. Indeed, when the Internet and social media are generating countless content every second, it is difficult for us to establish a solid line of cognitive defense. Raconteur Media, a British content marketing agency, estimated that by 2025, the world will create 463 exabytes of data every day, which is equivalent to about 210 million DVD discs. Therefore, in this era, attention has become a scarce commodity.

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