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Paranormal: why do things go missing in your house?

Paranormal: why do things go missing in your house?

We have all, at some point, lost something at home – keys, above all, but also other irreplaceable objects, such as the remote control – whose location we had perfectly identified a few moments before.

No matter how long we look for that object, or where, it will invariably appear in the least predictable place, and almost always when we have stopped looking for it.

This experience is common to everyone, both among the clueless and among those who boast about order: certain objects disappear, resisting thorough searches and interrogations of other family members. Their reappearance leaves us equally absorbed: there were the keys, precisely in that place where we DON’T remember having left them.

Many attribute these disappearances to the malice of spiteful couples or the apathy of anarchic relatives, who are usually forced to participate in the search. The most distracted may blame themselves, shaking their heads when they find the keys in the refrigerator.

However, the sudden joy at the discovery of the lost object does not hide our perplexity: something has happened, something strange, ominous, which because we were late for our daily duties we neglected to analyze at the appropriate time, but which we will study here in great detail.

This type of experience in which small objects in the home are lost and reappear in absurd places is known as the Disappearing Object Phenomenon, or DOP. Typically, the phenomenon involves everyday objects that we always keep in the same place.

When one goes to the usual storage location, for example, the hook hanging from a bulbous cetacean on which we hang our keys, the object is not there. The person begins to look for him, first without thinking too much about the causes of the disappearance, and then with increasing alarm. At this point two things can happen:

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a) That the object is found but in a place where we KNOW, with absolute certainty, that we have NOT left it.

b) That the object does not reappear at the moment, but later, and precisely in the place where it SHOULD HAVE BEEN in the first place.

There is also a third, very remote possibility, whereby certain individuals find objects in their home that they do not remember having acquired.

In a first stage, the individual can hold himself responsible for the disappearance:

—Where the hell did I put the keys?

Or you can denounce others, who as a general rule swear that they had no part in the loss.

—Can I know where the hell they put my keys?

Many family members—couples included—take advantage of the occasion to highlight the subject’s reckless behavior, along with other reproaches that have no connection with the investigation. Ultimately, the same question remains:

What has happened?

What dark forces have intervened in the matter?

When examining the phenomenon we must, in principle, eliminate ordinary causes, such as having left the keys in the door or the remote control in that uncertain region—a true magnetic vortex—located between the pillows or in the folds of the quilt.

Only then, with the possible pedestrian causes of the disappearance marginalized, can we begin to consider more unusual possibilities. It will also be appropriate to rule out other far-fetched explanations, such as the presence of spirits in the house, and instead focus on our brain, more specifically on the Threshold Effect.

This phenomenon consists of the experience of crossing the threshold that separates one room from another and discovering that we have forgotten what we were going to look for, or what we were going to do. In most cases the following dynamic occurs:

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We are, for example, watching television in the bedroom, when we then decide to go to the kitchen for a bite to eat. When we arrive at that office we are overcome with confusion: we cannot remember what we were going to look for in the first place. In fact, we only remembered that we were going to look for something.

The phenomenon also encompasses the linguistic universe. In this case, making us forget what we were going to say next. Sometimes it can even be a single word that stays on the tip of your tongue.

It is then that, by chance, we look at the object in question, and then we remember what the purpose of the trip to the kitchen was; or someone else pronounces the lost word and it suddenly returns to memory.

But the Threshold Effect, which only occurs when moving from one room to another, can also generate other forgetfulness, including having left an object in an unusual place.

The explanation for these forgetfulness, or in the case at hand, the mysterious disappearance of objects at home, has to do with a specific fact of the brain: short-term memory works more efficiently in the context in which the information originated. . This is known as the Encoding Specificity Principle.

This principle establishes that, to retrieve a specific piece of information from memory, the brain uses the specific information it has stored—looking for a bite to eat in the kitchen—but also the information provided by the environment in which that decision originated, in our case. , the bedroom.

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In other words: the brain remembers best in the place where the memories were imprinted. When we cross the threshold of a door the environment changes, and memory may have brief lapses,

Every time we make a decision, like going to the kitchen for a bite to eat, the brain evaluates its immediate importance based on previous experiences. Once this is established it is kept in recent memory, that is, until the useful life of that decision finally expires. And unless we are starving, the decision to go for a bite has little qualitative value.

That is to say, if we do not quickly resolve what we had decided, the brain can eliminate that information because it considers that its usefulness has already expired.

In less words: the brain constantly resets short-term memory. And every reset has a restoration point, which neuroscience calls the Event Model in Memory Representation. In this sense, changing physical surroundings, going from one room to another, is the perfect time for the brain to erase recently acquired memories whose usefulness has already been prescribed.

The same applies to things that disappear at home.

The decision to look for the keys—or the elusive remote control—will always lead us to the place where the brain KNOWS they should be.

Countless previous experiences tell you that those objects are there, even when at some point we have voluntarily moved them, or others have informed us of a new location. The brain stores these changes in recent memory, which, as we see, has an expiration date.

Paranormal phenomena. I Parapsychology.

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