Have you ever had that strange sensation that you'd been somewhere? or met someone before?
This strange yet obiquitous phenomenon is known as De ja Vu.
But what exactly is it? And why do we get it?
Deja vu is french for "Already Seen" which makes sense since a deja vu episodes are consists of a feeling of having already seen or experienced something before. These episodes can last anywhere between 10 to 30 seconds
What actually causes it is still a mystery but there are a few theories and they typically fall under two main categories.
Associative and Biological.
The associative category is comprised of theories that suggests that environmental stimuli like sounds or smell are triggering deja vu experiences. Biological theories point to a structural or chemical abnormality in the brain as the deja vu trigger. One such theory has to do with brain development, since young people experience deja vu the most and it tappers off with age.
Other research links deja vu to biologically temporal lobe epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a condition that causes brain cell to send out of control electrical signals that affect the cells around them.
These haywire signals create a domino effects amongst the brain's cells and results in seizure. Which is when a person loses control of their thoughts and body movements.
But what does that have to do with deja vu exactly?
Temporal lobe epilepsy in particular starts in the temporal lobe which is the area in our brain just on top of our ears and is responsible for making and remembering memories. People who have temporal lobe epilepsy frequently report having deja vu just before they have seizure.
Which means that for people who do not have temporal lobe epilepsy, deja vu could be just a mini-seizure that stops before it grows too large.
What's likely happening, is the familiar feeling you get is signals from your temporal lobe but gets ignores by your other parts of brain that check to make sure where the signals make sense.
A simplier biological theory is called Dual Processing Theory, in which the brain process new stimuli twice, and the second time mistakes it something it's already familiar with.
Scientist can't explain exactly why mistakes occurs but is one of the more widely accepted deja vu theories.
There is also an associative theory called Divided Attention Theory, which suggest that the experience giving you deja vu is actually something you've experienced before, only you weren't paying enough attention at that time to make a full memory of it.
Which in all theories, I personally close believe in.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to test deja vu theories as personal reports of it varies, which continue to make it as extremely fascinating topic of study.
What's your deja vu story?
Thank you for reading! ♥
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