“Déjà vu? Have you already seen this title?

You´re talking to your friend, walking through the city you visited for the first time or just going scrolling down the Instagram and suddenly you get that feeling – this already happened. You are aware that you cannot know what the streets of the unknown town look like, but you still have the feeling that you have already seen those or perhaps dreamt about them.

What is the origin of the “déjà vu” phenomenon?

The simple name of this phenomenon “déjà vu” is a French word for already seen. There are a few versions of this: déjà vécu = already experienced, déjà senti = already felt and déjà visité = already visited. Déjà vu hardly ever affects kids younger than 8, but the most common targets are teenagers and young people. It would make sense to say that it is connected with stages of the rate of brain development, but déjà vu is a feeling that cannot be detected with the brain scans. This “repetition of the past” can be caused by neurological and psychological diseases, tiredness and exhaustion, but it most often occurs spontaneously.

What does the science say?

Because of the lack of direct indicators, scientists struggle with the exploration of the phenomena. Lack of scientific evidence makes some people believe that déjà vu is a part of supernatural and spiritual forces that want to send us some message. Also, one of the most common theories is that we live in a multi – universe with an infinite number of universes where déjà vu is just an error in our world.

Modern and believable theories state that the temporal lobe is responsible for the mental trip to the past. In temporal lobe are areas that store visual memories. We remember with our own will by “digging up” the data that is stored in long term memory. If we see our friend on a street, our brain first realizes that we know this person and then digs up old memories of them. If one of those two processes glitches in between million neuron paths, we get déjà vu. Shortly said, phenomena of false memories is happening when we find ourselves in a situation that our conscious part of the brain perceives as recognizable memory.

Written by Erin Begović

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