Deja Vu. That sounds familiar

By: Michael Moggre

Why I chose this topic

I chose this topic because I've always wanted to know more about Deja Vu, how it works, and what it means. It could help me and others by letting us know when it happen and why it happens

What is Deja Vu?

Deja Vu is when you find a situation or place very familiar even though you've never seen it or it shouldn't be familiar to you.

What is going on in the brain during Deja Vu?

Most theories of memory state that remembering has two things, familiarity and recollection. Familiarity happens fast , before the brain can tell why it's familiar. Conscious recollection depends on the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex,but familiarity depends on the medial temporal cortex. When these two processes get out of sync, we can experience Deja Vu.
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Deja Vu Experiments

A psychologist named Anne M. Cleary conducted an experiment showing off Deja Vu by showing people celebrity names and then showing them the faces. The full experiment is below.

"Cleary conducted experiments testing familiarity-based recognition in which participants were given a list of celebrity names. Later on, they were shown a collection of celebrity photographs; some photographs corresponded to the names on the list, other photographs did not. The volunteers were told to identify the celebrities in the photographs and indicate how likely it was the celebrity’s names were on the list they had seen previously. The findings were surprising. Even when the volunteers were unable to identify a celebrity by photo, they had a sense of which names they had studied earlier and which they had not. That is, they couldn’t identify the source of their familiarity with the celebrity, but they knew the celebrity was familiar to them. Cleary repeated the experiment substituting famous places (such as Stonehenge and the Taj Majal) for celebrities and got similar results. These findings indicate that the participants stored a little bit of the memory, but it was hazy, so they were not able to connect it to the new experience."

Other Interesting Stuff

#1 Deja Vu for a face is a result of messages sent from the perirhinal cortex but Deja Vu for a place stem from messages relayed from the parahippocampal cortex

#2 Deja Vu occurs in 60-80% of people

#3 Deja Vu happens randomly and can not be controlled or examined easily
What is Déjà Vu?!