Déjà vu or deja vu is a French term meaning “already seen”. The concept describes the sensation that a person experiences when thinking that they have previously experienced an event that, in reality, is new. The person responsible for coining the term was Émile Boirac, a French parapsychologist who was born in 1851 and died in 1917.
Phrases where the term appears: «I had a déjà vu: I feel like I’ve been in this house before», «I saw the news and thought it was déjà vu», «Tell Claudio that it’s not déjà vu: I already told him how ten times that you have to read the report and make a summary».
A deja vu implies experiencing something that is familiar and, at the same time, strange.
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Types of deja vu
Déjà vu, also known as paramnesia, makes the subject feel that they are experiencing something familiar but, at the same time, strange. In general, despite the belief of the people, the supposed preceding experience is attributed to dream creations.
In general, déjà vu is divided into two classes: déjà vécu (what the individual feels they have already experienced) and déjà senti (something the person has already felt, although it is not part of their memory baggage).
Link with memories
According to the studies developed around this concept, a déjà vu is associated with the memories that a person has (whether because of something they have lived, felt or dreamed of) and it is an experience that mainly affects young people whose age round between 15 and 25.
There are people who suffer from chronic déjà vu, that is, they perceive absolutely everything they experience as if it had already happened. These individuals are prone to depression and memory dysfunction.
The cause of deja vu can be associated with different types of mental disorders.
Causes of deja vu
Most people with this pathology have suffered a head injury or stated that for a time they felt chronic pain, symptoms possibly related to a physical deficiency that causes déjà vu, a deficit in the functioning of the temporal lobe. It is also a disorder that could be linked to high levels of stress and fatigue, with random memory disturbances , epileptic seizures or dreamlike or unconscious fantasies.
As scientists from the University of Leeds explained, those who suffer from chronic déjà-vu have over-activity in the memory processing circuit; that is to say that it never relaxes, it is remembering all the time. They added that, in addition, the way of storing the facts is different from that of the sensations that said facts cause him and there is a gap between both actions that work together in any other person.
It should be noted that those who suffer from this disease are very afraid of being alone, because they perceive that this phenomenon is more powerful than they are and they do not know how to deal with it; In addition, the constant repetition of the sensation caused by this disorder, in many cases can trigger depression.
A programmer friend gave me an absolutely simple explanation on this complex topic, which I would like to share. Imagine that your brain has a space to store memories and another where it analyzes the experiences that are taking place in the present. And that for some reason, before analyzing the present, he kept it as a memory. In that case, the brain would understand the present as a memory. Simple to understand, right?
The concept in the cinema
Finally, it is worth mentioning that déjà vu is frequently mentioned in popular culture or in artistic works. In the cinema, the movie Matrix shows déjà vu as a perceivable flaw in the system.
On the other hand, Déjà Vu is the title of a film starring Denzel Washington, where the phenomenon is explained as warning signs that come from the past or indications for the future.