The Mystery Of "Déjà Vu" Finally Revealed - MUST READ!

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Déjà vu is an interesting and unusual experience where something feels very familiar, but we know it should not feel as familiar as it does.

It is very hard to do experiments to make people have déjà vu and we still do not know what actually causes it. This is mainly because the phenomenon is rare and difficult to reproduce. However, there are similarities between déjà vu and the more common experience of seeing a person who seems vaguely familiar to you, but whose name, how you know them, and where you previously met escape you.



One way they do this is by asking study participants to scan and quickly assess the familiarity of faces or places they have seen before and those that they are seeing for the first time. Such studies have helped researchers come to understand that familiarity and recollection are two different forms of memory that work together during recognition.

While people experience the sense of familiarity rapidly, recollection, which requires the recovery of associations prompted by a critical cue, takes longer.  For instance, if you begin a casual conversation with that person you know you recognize but cannot quite place, you may start to uncover details that trigger memories revealing the person’s name and how you know them.

Meanwhile, there are often references to déjà vu that aren't true déjà vu.


Researchers have their own definitions, but generally déjà vu is described as the feeling that you've seen or experienced something before when you know you haven't.

The most common misuse of the term déjà vu seems to be with precognitive experiences -- experiences where someone gets a feeling that they know exactly what's going to happen next, and it does. An important distinction is that déjà vu is experienced during an event, not before.

Furthermore, hallucinations that are brought on by illness or drugs sometimes bring a heightened awareness and are confused with déjà vu. False memories that are brought on by schizophrenia can be confused with déjà vu as well.

Unlike true déjà vu, which typically lasts from 10 to 30 seconds, these false memories or hallucinations can last much longer

This makes it a very interesting topic for scientists to investigate. Perhaps in the future, you will become a scientist who uncovers the secrets of déjà vu.

Sources: Science Museum, Live Science