What To Do About Deja Vu

By Madison Pierce & Nicole Rodrigues

Why We Chose Deja Vu

Deja Vu is interesting and we wanted to learn more about it. We are interested in this topic because we get Deja Vu a lot. It can inform us and others of the symptoms of Deja Vu and why it happens.
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What is Deja Vu?

Deja Vu is the feeling that an event you are currently experiencing has already been experienced in the past. This feeling occurs when a new event is similar to another stored in our memory. Having Deja Vu involves the feeling of already knowing something in a situation when you are actually experiencing something totally new. There are some people who experience precognitive dreams, but Deja Vu usually happens without the the person knowing they have dreamt it before.
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What Happens in the Brain

Some scientists say that neural misfiring will cause the brain to experience a sense of familiarity when there’s no reason to. They have found that the synchronized neural firing between the rhinal cortex and the hippocampus, or amygdala, were increased in stimulations that induced Deja Vu. When this occurs your brain cannot retrieve a memory that you already have stored, so your limbic system is being used but failing. Another theory says that we have many stored memories that come not only our memories but also movies, books, and pictures we've seen or read. We can have very strong memories of these things without actually experiencing them. Over time these memories may be pushed into the back of our minds. When we see or experience something that is very similar to one of these memories, we might experience a feeling of Deja Vu.
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Research and Psychologists

Colorado State University psychologist Anne M. Cleary published a journal of the Association for Psychological Science which described the recent findings about Deja Vu. These included the many similarities that exist between Deja Vu and our understandings of the human recognition memory. Several cleary conducted experiments tested familiarity-based recognition. The participants were given a list of celebrity names and later on they were shown a collection of celebrity pictures. Some photographs corresponded to the names on the list, other photographs did not. The participants 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. 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. 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 the people with famous places and she got similar results. These findings indicate that the participants stored a little bit of the memory but were not able to connect it to the new experience.
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Fun Facts

1. Deja Vu translates to “already seen” in French.

2.There are about 20 different kinds of Deja Vu.


3. A phenomena called “Jamias Vu” (translating to “never seen” in French) is the exact oppostie of Deja Vu.