Been There- Done That....or have I?

Nikita Patel

Why I Chose Deja Vu...

Occasionally I experience deja vu and I've never figured out why or how it happens. I'm just curious as to how the sense of feeling like I've already experienced the present situation occurs.

What Is It??

Have you ever been in a situation where everything happening seems a little too familiar? Deja vu is a feeling you get when it seems as though you've experienced something that's only happening for the first time.

What's Happening in the Brain?

Theory #1-

in memory, it only takes a certain smell or sound to bring up a detailed recollection of something that happened in the past. Déjà vu is suggested to be some sort of "mix-up" between sensory input and memory-recalling output. this theory does not explain why the experience isn't necessarily from a past event that actually happened.

Theory #2-

A malfunctioning between the long-term and short-term circuits in the brain could be another cause of deja vu. Researchers say that the information we take in from our surroundings may "leak out" and incorrectly shortcut its way from short-term to long-term memory, skipping the typical storage transfer mechanisms. When the the current moment experience, it feels as though we're taking it from a long-term memory, instead of being stored in short-term.

Theory #3-

over the years, researches have pinpointed the medial temporal lobe as the location of deja vu when it is disturbed. Studies of epileptic patients investigated (by intracerebral electrodes) show the stimulation of the rhinal cortex causes more deja vu episodes.


Colorado State University psychologist, Anne M. Cleary, conducted an experiment showing similarities that exist between déjà vu and our understanding of human recognition memory. The brain has two different types of recognition memory: recollection and familiarity. Clearly ran experiments to figure out what fearures or elements of situations could trigger feelings of familiarity. participants had to study random lists of words. some of the words from the second list would resemble earlier words but only in sound (lady and eighty). the participants reported a sense of familiarity for the new words, even though they couldn't recall why they were familiar.

Fun Facts!

-the youngest age of deja vu reported is age 5
-there are 21 kinds of deja vu...
-considered a "brain glitch"
-common in epileptics
-normally occurs in people ages 15-25
-deja vu is french for "already seen"