In French, Déjà vu means ‘already seen’. It’s one of the top ten strange phenomena of the human mind. Although there are many other ‘deja’ conditions affecting the mind, Déjà vu is the most common, and almost all of us have experienced it multiple times.
Causes of Déjà vu
Psychologists have studied Déjà vu for many years, and there are numerous explanations for its origin. One side of your brain is usually in ‘charge’ of a specific skill. For instance, the left hemisphere of the brain deals with language in most people. A key explanation for Déjà vu is that there’s a split-second delay in the transfer of information from one hemisphere of the brain to the other. Due to this delay, one side of the brain gets the same information twice – once from the side ‘in charge’, and once ‘directly’. When this happens, the affected person feels that the relevant event has happened before.
Déjà vu is a rather complex phenomenon. According to Swiss scholar Arthur Funkhouser, there exists a number of ‘deja experiences’. These include Deja visite (sense of ‘already visited’), and Deja vecu (sense of ‘already experienced or lived thought’). Déjà vu is common in people who have temporal lobe epilepsy. It is reported that the phenomenon often occurs just before a temporal lobe seizure. Individuals who suffer from seizures can encounter déjà vu during the seizure activity, or between convulsions. Because déjà vu happens in otherwise healthy individuals with no known medical condition, there’s a lot of speculation regarding how it occurs. Some people have taken an extreme position when explaining the origin of Déjà vu. For instance, some spiritualism buffs have tried to advance a theory that déjà vu is what happens when things from past lives come out in this one. Others say that déjà vu happens when you search your memories for dreams that may have been like the present. Of course, both notions are impossible to prove or disapprove.
Déjà vu Prevalence
Studies suggest that more than two-thirds of adult respondents have had at least a single incidence of déjà vu. The phenomenon seems to be more common in people who have a frequently stimulated, lively imagination. Individuals who travel a lot are also more likely to report Déjà vu. Educated adults – for instance – people with college degrees, tend to experience it more often than others.
There’s no end to the reasons given to explain the origin of Déjà vu, but it helps to learn about this phenomenon, especially if you frequently experience it!