What is Déjà Vu?
This term comes from the French, and when translated means “already seen”. You as well as most of the people have certainly experienced this dreamlike state. It feels like you’re reliving a particular moment of your life. Neurologist couldn’t understand this weird phenomenon until now.
Alan S. Brown conducted a survey which was published in the “Current Directions in Psychological Science” journal. This survey calculated that approximately two thirds of the population have already experienced this phenomenon called déjà Vu.
A lot of people think they are actually reliving a moment from their past life and it has some holy or sacred significance for them. Some even think they have precognitive mental powers. However the discoveries that were made in an experiment from the University of St. Andrews clearly show that this experience is far from supernatural.
The mystery revealed
Just look at your brain as a PC. Déjà Vu acts like a backup for our long-term memory. This way our brain can determine which of our long-term memories are legitimate and which ones are not.
If you still feel confused we will explain. Every time we perceive something with our sensors it turns into electric currents which are then led to the brain by neurons. Our immediate experiences- short-term memories are stored in a different part of the brain than the long-term ones.
When people experience déjá vu their brain stores the experience as a long term memory, so the things they are seeing feel like some distant memory instead of something new. This cognitive dissonance between experience and recollection gives us déjá vu.
Akira O’Connor at the University of St Andrews scanned the brains of 21 volunteers which then were given specific triggers to simulate déjá vu.
After looking at the results from the magnetic resonance imaging he stated that the déjá vu experience seems to be driven by brain regions which are associated with memory conflict rather than false memory. This means every time we experience déjá vu we are being consciously aware of a discrepancy in memory signals which are being corrected.
This phenomenon could provide valuable information for memory loss and dementia researches. It has also been discovered that young people who experience déjá vu more often are less likely to have memory problems as they get older.
In conclusion déjá vu isn’t some kind of supernatural phenomenon, it’s just your brain checking and distinguishing real from false memories.