Déjà vu, French for ‘already seen’, occurs when an individual has a feeling that one has previously experienced the present situation. An estimated 70% of the population have experienced this feeling.
Déjà vu happens to individuals with or without a medical condition, therefore researchers are interested in the operation and the causes of it. After devoting their efforts and resources to study déjà vu, many explanations are suggested. Nonetheless, it is generally considered as a memory phenomenon these days.
There is an extensive amount of research investigating the relationships between déjà vu, epilepsy and memory. For instance, a study shows that participants with temporal lobe epilepsy reported experiencing déjà vu right before their seizure occurred. This indicates that the temporal lobe may be related to the occurrence of déjà vu. Yet, some individuals experience déjà vu without having a seizure. A possible explanation is that déjà vu is a minor seizure in the temporal lobe, which stops before turning into a seizure.
Although a full explanation for the occurrence of déjà vu has not been established, researchers are trying to understand more about it by conducting different experiments and tests. Have you experienced déjà vu before? Isn’t it a weird yet interesting experience?
Bancaud, J., Brunet-Bourgin, F., Chauvel, P & Halgren, E. (1994). Anatomical origin of déjà vu and vivid ‘memories’ in human temporal lobe epilepsy. Brain, 117(1), 71-90.
Bošnjak Pašić, M., Horvat Velić, E., Fotak, L., Pašić, H., Srkalović Imširagić, A., Milat, D., … & Petelin Gadže, Ž. (2018). Many faces of déjà vu: a narrative review. Psychiatria Danubina, 30(1), 21-25.