Have I Really Experienced It Before? Scientist Explains The Déjà Vu Phenomenon

Statistics show that 95% of the population at least once in their lives (especially at young age) will sense that what is currently observed has been seen already, experienced somewhere. The biggest problem is that déjà vu lasts only a few seconds and can not possibly be revisited in a laboratory and experimentally studied. Regardless of the very rugged standards that scientists have, there are theories that can explain what's going on with our brains in time to link them with anything experienced in the past.

Respecting the start time for the appearance of flashes of déjà vu – the statistics indicate that 8-9 years of age is about the earliest, with the highest intensity occurring betweenn 15 to 25 years, and then the incidence of déjà vu declines as we get older. The reason for this is the active energy of the young brain, which also produces more dopamine, which arises from the adrenaline and noradrenaline, which are associated with the appearance of déjà vu, because the triggers for the formation of a déjà vu episode include physical or psychological pain, stress, fatigue, use of alcohol , and coping with new locations and situations. Also, a very interesting thing is that nearly three-quarters of the triggers for déjà vu effects are linked to sensations that occur in certain buildings, public or private, and only one-quarter in the open air. What is also a characteristic of the phenomenon is that it occurs mainly when those who experience it are communicating with friends, rarely when they are alone. The period when it is recorded most frequently is in the afternoon or evening, mostly in the second half of the week.

The brain and the deja vu effect

To understand what happens in the brain when we experience the feeling of the past, we need to define what our brain function mostly is during the event. Study psychologist Arthur Funkhouser selects a déjà vu feeling out of three categories: déjà veca (already experienced), déjà senti (already felt), and déjà visit (already visited). In déjà veca, the events we experience signal through the senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch and perception proprioceptively. Going through all or some of the senses, the brain’s feeling (fear, speech, movement, happiness) is kept in a permanent memory bank from which can very easily ”pull”a defined sense and describe it in detail and thoroughly while predicting what’s next after that. To the brain, the stocked information required is the maximum activity of both hemispheres to establish a synchronization connection to the creative – logical activity. Over one to store a series of events that culminate in a déjà vu effect, while the other visual perception. Déjà senti, on the other hand, experiences a sense of not being deposited in the non-volatile memory for a very short period register, and then after a while the brain loses the feeling, as well as the details of who initiated the déjà vu effect. So, this does not establish a connection between the hemispheres, which will store information. Déjà visit characterizes the déjà vu effect that results from the arrival in a new space which records its spatial dimensions as being the same as something previously seen as establishing a correlation between the conscious action of the brain (currently viewing) and the unconscious (subconscious memory).

Does the brain ‘remember’ ‘situations’?

What we have already experienced could crystallize a picture that will show us the brain; we need to induce the feelings that trigger the image with the help of which we will be able to reconstruct the three-dimensional situation. This means that our brain remembers a huge amount of information, images, feelings, situations, movement, spatial dimensions, features locations. Thus, the appearance of déjà vu – and in correlation with the brain’s center to identify known and lived events and its center for display memory. Although located in different parts of the brain, they run along parallel lines from functioning as the basic drivers of the ​​mental arithmetic that encourages maximum activity in the brain. From the multitude of stored data it is sufficient to activate at least one of the sensory inputs (smell, taste, sound, perception, touch, spatial dimension) to the brain’s induced current sense, and to paint a picture of the past. Déjà vu is a mosaic, whose activation needs a dice. However, this explanation does not include the déjà senti sense. The scientific explanation for this phenomenon is based on the problem encountered during the transmission of information that selects the way for the lasting memory and the short-term memory. So, it happens that the short problem occurs in the hippocampus of the brain, when transferring data from short-term to long-term memory. This is because, in the long-term memory there has survived a similar experience just lived, and the brain rejects being instructed to preserve something that already has bundled memory. Thus perceived déjà vu statistics confirm that this occurs in space in which we spend a lot of time, such as work, school, home, because there is a greater probability that the brain will ‘remember’ having experienced a situation which it has in permanent storage. 

In addition to theories about the stalemate in the memory system of the brain, many biological studies dealing with the sense of déjà vu from the point view of challengers focus on neuropsychological disorders such as depersonalization and derealization. Most often, these disorders are linked to changes in the temporal lobe of the brain, and are caused by the abuse of different psychoactive substances, narcotics, barbiturates, alcohol, and brain degenerative changes such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, brain tumors and encephalitis.

Photo: Shutterstock

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