Written by Shivangi Singh
You are in a moment and suddenly you have been overwhelmed by a sense of strange ‘familiarity,’ as this happened before. As if you have already seen it, experienced it and then you start feeling strange.
Well, logically that moment had never happened before, but it is your brain that tells you that you have experienced it.
It is said that people have this déjà vu when they are exhausted or overstretched or pressurized because lethargy, distress, and tiredness are connected to most cases of déjà vu.
There are also many movies that have showed déjà vulike Back to the Future Part 2, Before I Fall, Timecrimes, Source Code, Edge of tomorrow, and many more.
What is Déjà vu?
It is a French word which means ‘something which is already seen’. There are also many terms like this:
- Déjàvécu: already experienced.
- Déjàsenti: already thought.
- Déjàvisité: already visited.
It a sure feeling that one has witnessed the situation before. Even though the exact circumstancesare uncertain.
Its Standard Definition: Any inappropriate impression of connectivity of a present experience with an undefined past.
It is like you are with your group of friends at a dinner table with some topic of discussion which is a normal everyday routine, but suddenly you started to feel like this discussion and exact scenario has happened before, like the same friends, same dinner, same topic, in the same way.
What causes it?
Psychoanalysts say this déjà vuis simply real-lifemake-believe or imagination that you have wished for to become true.
There are many explanationsas to why it happens but there is no definite reason.
So basically, its explanation falls into four major categories:
- Dual-processing explanation–this reason assumes that two psychological thoughts that normally operate synchronously may become uncoordinated and stop and out of phase.
- Neurological explanation–this explains that déjà vuis caused due to a dysfunction of the nervous system involving either a small seizure or changes in the normal neural transmission.
- Memory explanation–it assumes that some feature of the present situation is objectively familiar, but the source of familiarity has been forgotten.
- Attentional explanation–initial image under distraction is followed immediately by a second image under full attention. For example, you were sitting in a garden listening to music you are distracted when you are listening to music and suddenly you paid attention to the scene in the garden and felt like it has happened before.
Neuroscience behind déjà vu:
There is apart in your brain where memory is stored, and that area is called the temporal lobe. It is known for storing long-term memories, events, and facts. It has yet not been proven that déjà vuis connected to the temporal lobe but there is some evidence that makes scientists believe this.
There is a condition called temporal lobe epilepsy where the neural cell activity is disturbed and causes seizures. People with this condition experience déjà vu right before the seizure. This forms a connection between the memory and déjà vu.
Yes, déjà vu can become something serious:
A focal seizure is a type of seizure that is very hard to recognize because you remain conscious throughout. It may look like a person is staring at something or having a daydream. But the person having these focal seizures can experience an intense feeling of déjà vu.
These focal seizures with the feeling of déjà vu are also carried with:
- Muscle spasm.
- A feeling of smell, taste, hear, touch, vision of something which is not actually present or not real.
- A sudden extreme level of happiness, sadness, anger, or nausea.
- An unexpected feeling of a seizure which is about to occur, called an aura.
Although people face déjà vu as a normal experience, still there is no proper explanation of this phenomenon.The temporal lobe may be one of the reasons of the brain from where déjà vu can be triggered.Researchers are still trying to figure out the reason behind déjà vu.
But, at anytime if you suspect that déjà vu is getting worse then consult a doctor as it may be a sign of epilepsy.
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