Is deja vu actual or only a humorous feeling?

Ever had that peculiar but overwhelming sense that you simply’ve lived by means of the current scenario earlier than? Right here, specialists clarify what deja vu is and why it occurs.

You in all probability know the sensation: somebody is in the midst of speaking to you, otherwise you’re strolling alongside an unfamiliar avenue, and hastily, it hits you – an amazing sense that you simply’ve lived by means of this actual state of affairs earlier than.

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However, regardless that it looks like you’ve, you’ve by no means been to that place earlier than (or had that dialog with that particular person).

Is it a glitch within the Matrix, a trick of the thoughts, or one thing else fully?

Specialists say what you’re experiencing is most probably a psychological phenomenon known as “deja vu”.

So, what precisely is deja vu?

Borrowed from the French time period déjà vu, it actually means “already seen”.

Whereas the sensation of deja vu is often fleeting, it leaves sufficient of an affect to depart most individuals scratching their heads.

In line with Melbourne Faculty of Psychological Sciences Affiliate Professor Piers Howe, it’s not only a feeling of familiarity, but in addition the metacognitive recognition that these emotions are misplaced.

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“(It’s) a sense of getting beforehand skilled the present scenario with out with the ability to recollect really having completed so,” Assoc Prof Howe, a number one researcher at The College of Melbourne, says.

“Most definitions of deja vu solely give the primary half (a sense of getting beforehand skilled the identical scenario), however the second half (with out with the ability to recollect really having completed so) is essential.

“Once you go house, you don’t assume ‘I’ve this unusual feeling that I’ve been right here earlier than’ as a result of you realize you’ve been there earlier than.”

Arguably the world’s main researcher on the topic, Dr Akira O’Connor says deja vu is skilled by about 60 per cent of the inhabitants and whereas analysis into the complicated phenomenon is ongoing, it appears to happen when the frontal areas of the mind try to right an inaccurate reminiscence.

“For the overwhelming majority of individuals, experiencing deja vu might be a great factor,” Dr O’Connor says.
“It’s an indication that the fact-checking mind areas are working nicely, stopping you from misremembering occasions.”

When does deja vu occur?

Experimental psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist Professor Endel Tulving has described deja vu as a form of “‘psychological time journey”; we’re attempting to name up the details of our previous experiences to match with these presently occurring, and as we do, we “relive” the expertise, inflicting a form of reminiscence glitch.

Assoc Prof Howe says deja vu happens solely if you really feel you’ve skilled the present scenario with out with the ability to recollect really having completed so (regardless that, in actuality, you’ve skilled an analogous scenario).

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“It’s subsequently brought on by an incomplete reminiscence; you keep in mind sufficient for a scenario to really feel acquainted, however you don’t keep in mind sufficient to (recall) having been in an analogous scenario earlier than, regardless that you’ve been in an analogous scenario earlier than,” he says.

It sounds complicated, and whereas there isn’t any single agreed mannequin that explains precisely what  occurs within the mind throughout deja vu, most researchers agree it’s a regular a part of wholesome mind operate that may extra usually happen in those that are pressured or fatigued.

Assoc Prof Howe says research with fellow researcher Professor Sam Berkovic, a medical neurologist and director of the Epilepsy Analysis Centre at Austin Well being, have proven it’s additionally extra widespread in those that have epilepsy.

“We don’t actually know why it occurs in wholesome folks as a result of we’ve by no means caught electrodes within the brains of wholesome folks,” Assoc Prof Howe says.

“However it may very well be that comparable discharges can evoke the identical emotions.”

Why does deja vu occur?

Whereas deja vu is extremely tough to check because of its unpredictable and fleeting nature, it appears it occurs when your mind is looking for matching reminiscences to make sense of the present scenario.

Dr O’Connor’s research present it occurs when areas of the mind (such because the temporal lobe) feed the frontal areas indicators {that a} previous expertise is repeating itself.

It’s the realisation that the previous expertise isn’t the identical as the present one however is analogous that triggers the sensation of deja vu.

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So the subsequent time you expertise this fascinating phenomenon, don’t freak out and begin looking for the black cat Deja Vu from The Matrix.

As an alternative, lean into the expertise and relaxation assured that it’s simply your reminiscence checking up on itself.

Written by Andrea Beattie.