Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

What is the nature of deja vu?

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

I hope this is the right board topic to post under for this subject.

Anyway, I get very strong feelings of Deja Vu from time to time, and no-one has ever been able to explain what causes it in a satisfactory way. Do any of you know and care to tell me?

Sure. You have seen something, or something very similar, before. You can't remember where it was because you probably picked it up subliminally while your conscious focus was elsewhere, but it got stored in your subconscious and pops up in response to a similar set of perceptual stimuli.

I was once in a bakery in a shopping mall far from my home and I was visiting it for the first time ever. I had a strong feeling of deja vu, so I asked one of the employees if they had other stores like this one. He said they didn't and I remarked that was too bad because I loved the bread. He said a lot of people do and the place was very famous. They even filmed a scene in a movie there.

I had seen that movie two years previously.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Betsy.

I must say that I quite enjoy the feeling of Deja Vu. It brings out my curiousityand sends my brain racing to find out what may be behind it. Over Christmas last year, I was in Sri Lanka (the country where I was born) and I visited this beach that I had never been to before. I got a sense of Deja Vu that day that was so strong that my head started to spin and I literally had trouble standing upright. Still haven't been able to figure out what may have triggered it though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Over Christmas last year, I was in Sri Lanka (the country where I was born) and I visited this beach that I had never been to before. I got a sense of Deja Vu that day that was so strong that my head started to spin and I literally had trouble standing upright. Still haven't been able to figure out what may have triggered it though.

Maybe you saw it as an infant and the sight was stored in your subconscious and the memory was triggered by your recent experience.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe you saw it as an infant and the sight was stored in your subconscious and the memory was triggered by your recent experience.

No, I know for sure that I have never been taken to that place before - even as an infant.

Perhaps I saw a similar location on TV or a magazine or something like that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Causes of Déjà Vu:

There is no single theoretical cause of déjà vu that can explain its wide variety of clinical manifestations. Most instances of associative déjà vu are associated with a predisposing milieu of anxiety and are triggered by restricted paramnesia and redintegration. The Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theories are also common explanations. However, temporal lobe firing and the double access theories account for many of the experimental and clinical features of the déjà vu experience of temporal lobe epileptics. Also, several parapsychological hypotheses have been advanced. Déjà vu in schizophrenics reflects a further nosological category, again implying different etiologies, precipitators, and pathogeneses.

Chances are, you didn't actually see, dream, or experience the experience that you're going through during deja vu. If you really think about it, deja vu feels completely different than actually half-recognizing something that triggers a memory.

Think of it this way. A coworker comes up to as you walk into work, when you were up too late the night before. You haven't finished your morning coffee or checked your email yet. Your stomach hasn't finished turning your breakfast into blood sugar. You're just getting rolling, and your brain is in a particularly shaky state.

Situation 1: You feel an eerie sense of having heard it before, but you can't think of where. You know what he's saying, and what he's talking about, but you have a certain sense that the tone of his voice and the specific words he's choosing are reminescent of something else. It feels like recalling a dream. You start to wonder if you dream the future.

Situation 2: He's talking about a project that the two of you are working on. You'll have to get to your desk and check your notes before you can give him an answer, and you tell him this.

I don't think that anyone would have a problem picking out which one is deja vu, and which one is genuine half-recollection. It's the same issue that I take with desCartes' "Am I dreaming now?" line of reasoning. It's immediately apparent that deja vu is not genuine recollection, but it's similar enough that we might be intrigued by it. (I typically find myself trying to remember the "rest of the dream", and then realizing that there probably was no dream.)

You might not be getting enough sleep. Or you might have temporal lobe epilepsy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A Deja Vu is when they change something in The Matrix.

Now, seriously - my girlfriend studies Neuroscience and she told me about a theory (I'm not sure if it's proven), that a Deja Vu is when the sense data accidentally reaches the stored experience memory before it reaches your conscious mind. So when you are finally aware of what you are seeing, you have a feeling of familiarity.

This is a serious scientific theory, but I really can't tell you more about it right now...

The other explanation: that you have seen something similar in reality, a movie, or a dream, is very possible.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Now, seriously - my girlfriend studies Neuroscience and she told me about a theory (I'm not sure if it's proven), that a Deja Vu is when the sense data accidentally reaches the stored experience memory before it reaches your conscious mind. So when you are finally aware of what you are seeing, you have a feeling of familiarity.

This is a serious scientific theory ...

That depends on your definition of "serious." And, your definition of "scientific" as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not satisfied with the past experience memory explanation of Deja vu because my few experiences were too exact....

I’m not satisfied with the past experience memory explanation of Déjà vu because my few experiences were too exact. It wasn’t just location but people, dialogue, even my feeling. The explanation that I give myself is that The Déjà vu is certainly not a repetition of a past event: Eternal Recurrence does not operate in the universe. I doubt that it is a subconscious memory of a past experience. I don’t think that one’s dreams can forbode a future event so exact. What I believe is that the actual moment of Déjà vu is a split second repetition of the moment just previously. Certainly the subconscious is involved because it remakes the image of the event. But all that we are left with is the conscious feeling of wonder, curiosity, excitement. The only action I would say to take after a Déjà vu moment is to pay closer attention to that day and that moment and what is coming up. With a Déjà vu experience you are telling yourself something. What the message is, only your conscious mind can discover.

Americo.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
You might not be getting enough sleep.

I've always experienced deja vu as ZiggyKD describes... I always pursue it, but it never goes anywhere.

I'm inclined to see it as some sort of false recognition echo... not half-recollected but falsely recollected. That would explain why attempts to consciously pursue it never bear fruit... because unlike ordinary memories, this "recollection" bears no associational connections to the rest of your knowledge... it's literally context-free.

I also wouldn't doubt its connection to sleep deprivation. Once, I tried to do two all-nighters in a row to complete a project. In the wee hours of the second night, I started to experience the reverse of deja-vu... recognition failures and misfires. Examples included mistaking a flag waving for a giant hand with a handkerchief, and a car for an upside down boat.

The last straw was forgetting where in the universe I was. I had the spooky feeling that there was "nowhere" beyond my range of vision. I had to consciously "rebuild" my sense of place -- and once that was done, I took the hint and hit the sack.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest deja vu experience I've had was when I fell on my head while crowdsurfing at a concert. Psychic powers, or brain malfunction? You be the judge. :)

EDIT: I've also had the sleep deprivation problem Jimmay describes, kind of. I was up for about 72 hours, and near the end of the stretch I kept thinking I saw smoke out of the corner of my eye... kept thinking my room was on fire. But that could just have been due to my eyes being utterly exhausted.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...