Healthy Beginnings

Déjà Vu

Déjà
Vu
By Lauren Birtwhistle
It has happened to us all. You are walking down the street or driving in your car and suddenly you get the feeling that you have already been to this place or experienced the event. This feeling of “I’ve been here before” is known as déjà vu and about 70% of all people report experiencing it at least once.
In the past, doctors believed déjà vu to be a symptom of mental abberation, anxiety, schizophrenia, and/or dissociative disorder.
Today there are many other theories to explain what déjà vu might be and why we may experience it.
Neural theory: This is the belief that déjà vu is caused by a mis-timing of neurons firing in the brain. This timing error is thought to make the brain believe that it has encountered a stimulus for the second time, when in fact, it has simply re-experienced the same event from a slightly delayed source.
Dream theory: This is the notion that déjà vu is a dream remnant memory. Even though you forget the bulk of your dreams, most dreams show activity in the long term memory part of the brain. It has been speculated that dreams read directly into long-term memory, bypassing short-term memory entirely. In this case, déjà vu might be a memory of a forgotten dream with elements in common with the current waking experience.
Reincarnation theory: Some believe déjà vu to be a memory of an event that occurred in a past life. The belief is that past-life memories are jarred to the surface of the mind by familiar surroundings or people, or that the event or experience has special significance that transcends one or more lifetimes.
There are no doubt other theories, probably equally impossible to validate. What we do know is that this strange, almost eery feeling is compelling and intriguing, reminding us how little we really understand about how our brains functions.
Watch for more articles about the brain and brain health in upcoming issues!
References:
1. www.wikipedia.com/

300-brain-healthIt has happened to us all. You are walking down the street or driving in your car and suddenly you get the feeling that you have already been to this place or experienced the event. This feeling of “I’ve been here before” is known as déjà vu and about 70% of all people report experiencing it at least once.

In the past, doctors believed déjà vu to be a symptom of mental abberation, anxiety, schizophrenia, and/or dissociative disorder.Today there are many other theories to explain what déjà vu might be and why we may experience it.

Neural theory: This is the belief that déjà vu is caused by a mis-timing of neurons firing in the brain. This timing error is thought to make the brain believe that it has encountered a stimulus for the second time, when in fact, it has simply re-experienced the same event from a slightly delayed source.

Dream theory: This is the notion that déjà vu is a dream remnant memory. Even though you forget the bulk of your dreams, most dreams show activity in the long term memory part of the brain. It has been speculated that dreams read directly into long-term memory, bypassing short-term memory entirely. In this case, déjà vu might be a memory of a forgotten dream with elements in common with the current waking experience.

Reincarnation theory: Some believe déjà vu to be a memory of an event that occurred in a past life. The belief is that past-life memories are jarred to the surface of the mind by familiar surroundings or people, or that the event or experience has special significance that transcends one or more lifetimes.

There are no doubt other theories, probably equally impossible to validate. What we do know is that this strange, almost eery feeling is compelling and intriguing, reminding us how little we really understand about how our brains functions.

Watch for more articles about the brain and brain health in upcoming issues!

References:

1. www.wikipedia.com/