Deja Vu: Paranormal or Neurological

Most of us experience things that seems to be so eerie, One scene seems to cue up another scene. Then suddenly you will say that the whole situation was so damn familiar. I’ve been there and encountered that thing without a shadow of a doubt.

But are those things real? did you really experience it. Before you insist that you have been a part of something. First off, let us analyze what we call that experience. That experience is called  Déjà vu.

Déjà vu is also called paramnesia, from Greek “para,” “near, against, contrary to” + “memory”) or promnesia, It had been associated with reincarnation( paranormal disturbances) to temporal lobe epilepsy(neurological disorder). The term Déjà vu was coined by a french researcher, Émile Boirac (1851-1917)in his book L’ Avenir des sciences psychiques(“The future of Psychic Sciences“)

There are three specific forms of deja vu. i.e Déjà Visité, Déjà senti, Déjà VecuDéjà Visité is an experience that is less common and involves an uncanny knowledge of a new place. The translation is “already visited.” dreams, out of the body and reincarnation have been invoked to explain this phenomena.Déjà senti phenomenon implies to “already felt”. while Déjà vecu is translated as already seen or already viewed. It is also described in a quotation from Charles Dickens:

We have all some experience of a feeling, that comes over us occasionally, of what we are saying and doing having been said and done before, in a remote time – of our having been surrounded, dim ages ago, by the same faces, objects, and circumstances – of our knowing perfectly what will be said next, as if we suddenly remember it!

Déjà vu is common among adults and children alike. It started at age 9 which means that the brain isn’t fully develop to start at an early age. Recent studies emerge and Researchers are linking it to serious psychopathology such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and dissociative identity disorder. However there is no correlation between déjà vu and the said diseases. The strongest pathological association of déjà vu is with temporal lobe epilepsy. Researchers believe that it can be possibly cause by improper electrical discharge in the brain.

A new report by Colorado State University psychologist Anne M. Cleary, published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, describes recent findings about déjà vu, including the many similarities that exist between déjà vu and our understanding of human recognition memory.

Recognition memory allows us to realize things that we are currently experiencing for e.g You recognized a friend in the street, or you remember a song. We have two different types of Recognition memory, the Recollection and familiarity. Recollection-based recognition occurs when you can pinpoint an instance when a current situation has previously occurred. While familiarity-based recognition is when a certain things seems to be familiar but you can’t remember when it happened. déjà vu is believe to be an example of familiarity based recognition.

They have conducted experiments giving the participants a list of  celebrity names. Later on, they were shown photographs of celebrities some corresponds to the name of the list, they were surprised that the volunteers couldn’t identify the source of familiarity with the celebrities. They substitute it with famous places and they got similar results. Although they have stored a little memory but it is unclear or hazy. They still run an experiment but this time they used a word recognition test, Some of the words on the test resembled the earlier words.The volunteers shown that they are familiar with the new word, but they couldn’t recall the earlier or source word presented to them. Same goes with visual fragment that contains isolated geometric shapes. The geometric shape may suggest that the entire seen has been viewed before.

The Leeds University Researchers put volunteers in a lab to induce a sense of déjà vu.They used hypnosis to trigger the familiarity based recognition. The researchers showed volunteers 24 common words and they were asked to remember  the words. After that they will hypnotize them to forget and then show them the same word again. The volunteers clearly they felt like it is déjà vu

Researcher Akira O’ Connor presented the findings of Leed Research to an International Conference on Memory in Sydney, Australia. He said “This tells us that it is possible to experimentally dissociate these two processes, which is really important in establishing that they are indeed separate.”

Professor Alan Brown, an expert in déjà vu at South Methodist University in Dallas, said: “Using hypnotic suggestion to either stimulate, or simulate, a déjà vu experience could potentially be a very fruitful way to explore this phenomenon.”

Previous work in France has found that electrically stimulating parts of the temporal lobe can trigger a sensation of familiarity with everything a person encounters.

Déjà vu has been struggling for centuries now, but at least we can see that there is progress with the study of Déjà vu. déjà vu remains to be unclear in its nature. The question is, Are those people experiencing déjà vu are traveling to reality that never existed or we are so blind to see the other side?