If you’ve ever seen something that has an inexplicable familiarity, you’re one of seventy percent of the population that has experienced the phenomenon of déjà vu. The feeling of having seen something before, commonly referred to as déjà vu (from the French, literally “already seen”) is a situation that science has been unable to explain definitively. Although it is a common sensation, there are only theories to explain why it happens:
- You see something without focusing completely, become distracted, and then return to the task again with more focus.
- You don’t remember everything that you see throughout the course of a day, but your brain stores this information, and then a different experience can trigger that memory.
- Two cognitive systems that are usually in sync become momentarily out of sync, causing you to sense something from one system before you sense it in the other.
- Déjà vu occurs with a small seizure in the temporal lobe in a person without epilepsy. It could also be a delay in neurological transmission between sense organs and the brain.
- Parapsychologists attribute the feeling of déjà vu to a past life experience.
Déjà vu provides a clear example that science cannot explain everything. Furthermore, it reveals the incredible power of the brain, to recall scattered pieces of memory or to convince you of something impossible.
Photo Credit: drexel.edu
Sources: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-red-light-district/201610/4-possible-explanations-d-j-vu (Naveed Saleh, M.D., M.S.)