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Discussion About Deja vu And What Causes This Strange Phenomenon.

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posted on May, 12 2010 @ 10:40 AM
Hello and greetings fellow ATSers.

Today I would like to talk about "Déjà vu". Firstly What is Déjà vu? Deja vu is the feeling of doing or experiencing something that you believe you have already done or experienced before. I have recently read alot of threads where people say (myself included) they have been experiencing Deja vu alot more in the past few years. This promted me to do some reseach into this phenomenon we call "deja vu".

What I came accross was the fact that no one really knows what causes deja vu. There are apparently 40 different theories for the causes of Deja vu these theories range from past-lifes to the brain short circuiting.

Firstly would like to dissuss a few scientific theories for the causes of Deja vu.

The Cell Phone/Divided attention Theory

The cell phone theory was the result of an experiment with subliminal suggestions. They showed photographs of various locations to a group of students, with the plan to ask them which locations were familiar. Prior to showing them some of the photographs, however, they flashed the photos onto the screen at subliminal speeds -- around 10 to 20 milliseconds -- which is long enough for the brain to register the photo but not long enough for the student to be consciously aware of it. In these experiments, the images that had been shown subliminally were familiar at a much higher rate than those that were not.

This means that when we are distracted with something else, we subliminally take in what's around us but may not truly register it consciously. Then, when we are able to focus on what we are doing, those surroundings appear to already be familiar to us even when they shouldn't be.

The Hologram Theory

Dutch psychiatrist Hermon Sno proposed the idea that memories are like holograms, meaning that you can recreate the entire three-dimensional image from any fragment of the whole. The smaller the fragment, however, the fuzzier the ultimate picture. Déjà vu, he says, happens when some detail in the environment we are currently in (a sight, sound, smell, et cetera) is similar to some remnant of a memory of our past and our brain recreates an entire scene from that fragment.

Other researchers also agree that some small piece of familiarity may be the seed that creates the déjà vu feeling. For example, you might go for a ride with a friend in an old 1964 Plymouth and have a strong déjà vu experience without actually remembering (or even being aware of the fact) that your grandfather had the same type of car and you're actually remembering riding in that car as a small child. Things like the smell and the look and feel of the seat or dashboard can bring back memories you didn't even know you had.

Dual Processing (or Delayed Vision).

Another theory is based on the way our brain processes new information and how it stores long- and short-term memories. Robert Efron tested an idea at the Veterans Hospital in Boston in 1963 that stands as a valid theory today. He proposed that a delayed neurological response causes déjà vu. Because information enters the processing centers of the brain via more than one path, it is possible that occasionally that blending of information might not synchronize correctly.

Efron found that the temporal lobe of the brain's left hemisphere is responsible for sorting incoming information. He also found that the temporal lobe receives this incoming information twice with a slight (milliseconds-long) delay between transmissions -- once directly and once again after its detour through the right hemisphere of the brain. If that second transmission is delayed slightly longer, then the brain might put the wrong timestamp on that bit of information and register it as a previous memory because it had already been processed. That could explain the sudden sense of familiarity.

"Memories" From Other Sources.

This theory proposes that we have many stored memories that come from many aspects of our lives, including not only our own experiences but also movies, pictures we've seen and books we've read. We can have very strong memories of things we've read about or seen without actually experiencing, and over time, these memories may be pushed back in our minds. When in we see or experience something that is very similar to one of those memories, we might experience a feeling of déjà vu.

For example, as a child we may have seen a movie that had a scene in a famous restaurant or at a famous landmark. Then, as an adult, we visit the same location without remembering the movie, and the location appears to be very familiar to us.

The problem with this theory is that it doesn't explain the "everyday situation" that people seem to have Deja vu in.

Mental health.

Deja vu is also believed to be caused/made worse by anxiety, depression, dissociative disorders, schizophrenia and epilepsy.


Basically the scietific community will place deja vu in three catagorys;

Anomaly of memory.
Mental health

Déjà vu like many other experiences, (dreams, astral projection, precognition, thought healing, etc,) have been discounted or undervalued as a topic of serious research. Nonetheless these experiences are encountered by a vast number of people and therefore worthy of study for that reason alone.

My own view is that with the increase of people experiencing Deja vu there is something odd going on whether it be within the metaphysical realm or the result of subliminal messaging by TPTB.

There are many more theories on the subject. So please fell free to add any of your own theories.

[edit on 12-5-2010 by ALOSTSOUL]

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 10:45 AM
The research of Dr. Vernon Neppe is probably the most extensive, and the phenomena of "Déjà Vu" stems from unconscious information that stems from Déjà Rêvé.

Sleep induced amnesia is a biaach.

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 11:09 AM
reply to post by YouAreDreaming

Seems very intresting could you provide any good links for his books.

2nd line

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 11:41 AM
reply to post by ALOSTSOUL

Sure, here's his website.
Dr. Vernon Neppe - Books

He does discuss Déjà Rêvé however, it is not as extensive in terms of what I have stated that Déjà Vu is the result of a process which in turn can be described as Déjà Rêvé should the person have enough memory to bridge the two phenomena together.

My stance on the topic of Déjà Vu comes from personal research that has clearly demonstrated that the process of dreaming has within it, a spectrum of information that quite frankly, is astronomical in relative scale to what more dream illiterate people would assume.

Within this spectrum there exists a precognitive band or layer that has the potential to actualize into a physical experience. Where this information becomes Déjà Vu or Déjà Rêvé is purely based on an individuals memory, awareness and perception during moment that they accessed this potentially precognitive information, be it through dreaming, meditation or other altered focus state.

If the persons memory, awareness and perception was very low, this will yield that aura of Déjà Vu. However, the more MAP this person has, the greater the chance they will be able to bridge the Déjà Vu feeling to a memory stemming most commonly from dreams, hence the Déjà Vu graduates into Déjà Rêvé.

Dr. Vernon Neppe does not cover this process however. Although, we have spoken on this topic and he is very aware of what we call actualization of a dreamed event into Déjà Rêvé.

You may in your own personal experiences be able to link a memory that originates as Déjà Vu to some type of past dream that could have occurred days, weeks, months even years before it actualized and hence you too may have personal experience with Déjà Rêvé.

If so, you will have your own reference point how I also have based my opinion on this matter.

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 12:29 PM
I really enjoy these posts and would like to add my bit.

There has been the idea that before we come to this life, we plan the rough outline of it-- the major events, and some of the small ones to get things moving along. That is the idea of predestination with a dash of free-will. You have an outline to follow, but you will be adding the color, and sometimes you will color outside the lines. I don't state these as facts, but as the precursor to the theory that deja vu is when you step outside yourself a moment and see the "predestined" part.

When I experience deja vu, I feel like I can see what the result of my actions will be before the deja vu is over, but I can't really explain the result to myself in words. It merely "feels" true. Doesn't usually play out.

For example, one time I was organizing some stuff on my bed. A deja vu began, but it was mostly in my mind. It was a very overwhelming feeling and I leaned forward onto my hands to steady myself as I thought myself through it. I felt like I knew what was going to happen after I finished cleaning on the bed. I wasn't correct, but it felt very intensely true for a few moments before it faded away.

Another theory I have is this:

You know the idea in quantum physics that every possible alternative "you" is living in simultaneous universes? What if a deja vu is when you are overlapping one or more of those universes through a shared event? That may be feel like some other "me" is filling my brain when it happens.

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 02:00 PM

Originally posted by camelian

Another theory I have is this:

You know the idea in quantum physics that every possible alternative "you" is living in simultaneous universes? What if a deja vu is when you are overlapping one or more of those universes through a shared event? That may be feel like some other "me" is filling my brain when it happens.

I have often thought about this. If we think of space and time being a "web", a "web" where every choice we make splinters off to make another part of the "web". Deja vu could be where an alternative part of this "web" interacts/influence another part of the "web".

I hope that makes sense (im not great at writing down my thoughts).

[edit on 12-5-2010 by ALOSTSOUL]

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 03:38 PM

Originally posted by camelian

You know the idea in quantum physics that every possible alternative "you" is living in simultaneous universes? What if a deja vu is when you are overlapping one or more of those universes through a shared event? That may be feel like some other "me" is filling my brain when it happens.

This could explain a deja vu experience I had when I was a kid (I had a lot more of them at that time than now). I was in a friends room with my sister and her's. We were playing a game and deja vu suddenly hit me. The CRAZY thing about this deja vu was the location of the chair in the room. Even though it was on one wall in the room in "reality" in my deja vu, it should have been on the opposite wall.

I couldn't get over it when I was a kid and even said something to everyone in the room about it. I said, "I swear that chair should be over there.". Of course, everyone just looked at me weird.

Maybe my "other self" was in a room where the chair WAS on the other wall but doing all the same stuff, with the same people, in the same clothes, at the same time, playing the same game, (you see where I'm going with this).

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 07:57 PM
Back in 2007 I had more experiences with deja vu than I have ever had before or after that year.

The most vivid thing I can think of that happened was that I was watching the breaking news about the Glasgow Airport attack shortly before I was due to fly out to America for a holiday. I was sitting exactly where I felt I should have been, the TV was exactly where it should be, my mother said the words I knew she was going to say, because everything had already played itself out in my mind long before that moment. I do not know if I had dreamt the initial scene, or if I had thought the initial scene, or even if I had lived the initial scene before but not in this reality, but it was so intense that I had to say something. The only difference is that when I was experiencing the deja vu my memory was telling me that there should have been some orange toned haze and a lot of distortion, like I was watching the memory of the event back on an old cassette tape.

2007 was a year of great changes for me, and I wonder if this incedent and others like it around that time were at all relevant, like realities were righting themselves and sorting themselves out.

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 09:19 PM
I have previously worked with autistic children, and was recently involved in a discussion about memories in those children. At times, some will remember a past incident as if had just happened; very fresh and real to them. The thought occurred to me: what if déjà vu is the result of a neuron short circuit or a chemical mismatch? What would it feel like if a just-experienced event were processed into long-term memory instead of short-term memory? I think that's basically what one of the statements above explained.


maybe we could throw time travel in here...reverse polarity neuronal charges? (I know, lousy idea.)

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 09:30 PM
When a person selects a body before they are born, they would like to experience some potential future scenario(s) and some events are "put" in the brain for the person to remember. Sometimes these memories reveal themselves and thus giving you the feeling of remembering the events before.

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 10:20 PM
reply to post by ALOSTSOUL
Thank you for bringing up this subject without giving undue attention to the super cranky theories. Have you ever heard of the opposite of deja-vu? It's called jamais vu. When you experience jamais-vu, a situation feels unfamiliar when it is actually familiar.

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 10:43 PM
Before I tackle Deja Vu, you have to understand how the brain actually works. Don't ask me how I know this, but when you go about your daily life every moment your senses are being bombarded. Your sensory receptors (skin, ears, eyes, etc.). When each of these receptors pick up a sensation, they convert it to an electrical signal and send it to your brain for processing. When these signals reach your brain, they take the path of least resistance at that time. Your brain, being a lump of tissue, scars in this pathway that the electrical currents follow. This essentially is what makes up memories. The more you recall a memory, the more electrical signals pass through that same path, causing a deeper, more permanent path, therefore the memory comes back much easier.

No two events are exactly the same according to your senses so the brain is full of pathways for each event. When you don't recall the event for a long time, the path starts to heal and the memory fades. Deja Vu is simply experiencing an event in which the stimuli being picked up by the sensory receptors very, very closely mirrors one pathway that has already been recorded into the brain.

To clear some things up, the combination of all of the different electrical signals sent by the different receptors on the body are all different in magnitude, there for following a different path. The brain is a growing organism so the path of least resistance constantly changes like the brain.


posted on May, 12 2010 @ 10:48 PM
reply to post by quisoa

My thoughts on the autistic kids recalling memories more vividly: As I am sure you know, autistic children are very focused on what ever they deem important in their own way. These children can obsess over events and objects thus constantly firing electrical signals down that same pathway each time they recall the memory (could be several hundred times a day depending on the child). This keeps the path fresh and allows no healing to take place therefore keeping the memory in the condition it was in the day it was formed.


posted on May, 12 2010 @ 10:49 PM
Even events you claim to have not ever experienced could have been experienced in a dream, the neurons would fire the same way regardless of dream or reality.

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 11:00 PM
Wow this is so freaky, I could have sworn I have seen this thread before!

Even all the posts on it...

posted on May, 13 2010 @ 12:13 AM
I agree with the person who associated deja vu with dreaming and precognition.

In the past when I would experience deja vu, I could never put my finger on what was going on. Suddenly, I'm in motion and I know my mind and body has done this before. But how? That all changed a few months back.

A few weeks before Christmas I had a horrible dream, where my daughter had been in an accident, was on life support, we were told there was nothing they could do. In the brief moment where we do dream, I dreamed days worth of material. I woke myself because I was whimpering in my sleep. My husband was getting ready for work and I told him, "I've had a horrible dream. Sissy died and I went through the whole thing." Later that day, I told my daughter about it and I called my sister and told her too.

Then I forgot about it.

The week after Christmas, we're on the way to Kroger, my son calls and tells us the State Police are at the house. Our daughter has been in a wreck and she is being lifeflighted to O.S.U. medical center. To make a God awful story short, she wrecked on a Monday and Wednesday they took me and my husband into this small conference room and told us there was nothing they could do. I stood up and walked the few feet to the door and as I put my hand on the door handle - deja vu - I've done this before. I dreamed it but it was so bad, I had supressed it.

Because it was so traumatic, I've been able to put my finger on it. Most of the time we experience deja vu we are not under such duress and we are more than likely experiencing trivial events in the future because they are stepping stones to something much bigger.

Deja vu deals with truth and true truth is from the Spirit of God. The promise is his Spirit will guide us, into all truth even when it's more than we can bear. Therefore the phenomena of deja vu is linked to prophecy.

So from experience, deja vu is the beginning of tapping into the source.

posted on May, 13 2010 @ 09:24 AM
reply to post by Myrtales Instinct

The difficult challenge for us to understand Déjà Vu is the fact that it stems from memory that is affected from sleep induced amnesia.

SIA occurs when your temporal frontal lobes shut down during sleep. You know, the part of your brain responsible for memory.

It is the deactivation of the TFL that causes SIA, and is also the reason why the mass of the planet wakes up with little or no dream recall. Research done at the Montreal Sleep Labratory discovered that during the 5 stages of sleep, we have 1 stage that is REM and 4 stages of NREM.

REM is where we mostly remember our dreams. However, in deeper NREM sleep, we still dream but the deactivation of our TFL makes this memory access nearly inaccessible by our waking conscious mind.

Our brain functions within a frequency range, and should it surprise you that what we think and experience within these frequency ranges also alters slightly? The nature of our consciousness is transformational, meaning it must enter into altered states ranging from an alert wakefulness as you are now, to an empty void like unconsciousness.

During unconsciousness however, it does not mean that the mind is not generating or experiencing dream based stimuli. It is proven scientifically that the mind is still generating data in the form of dreams during all the 5 stages of sleep.

How this concludes to a precognitive dream that bridges Déjà Vu and makes it Déjà Rêvé stems from a simple formula of Memory Awareness and Perception. The quality and range of these three cognitive attributes during sleep will be the determining factor if a subject who has now accessed precognitive information will indeed have access to this information when awake.

It comes in the form of a dream, and as time passes into days, weeks, months and years, it is the act of actualization into a physical event that graduates the dimly aware Déjà Vu into what it really is... Déjà Rêvé.

Do dreams and reality share similarities? Can a dream be of a future event? Google precognitive dreams or just look at your own personal dream experiences and draw such a conclusion based on your own personal experiences.

If you take any time to understand this entire process you will see that there is much more going on under the hood then what most dream illiterate people can offer in terms of practical information of this regard.

Ignorance is bliss.

[edit on 13-5-2010 by YouAreDreaming]

posted on May, 13 2010 @ 10:50 AM

Originally posted by Tearman
reply to post by ALOSTSOUL
Thank you for bringing up this subject without giving undue attention to the super cranky theories. Have you ever heard of the opposite of deja-vu? It's called jamais vu. When you experience jamais-vu, a situation feels unfamiliar when it is actually familiar.

Im familiar with jamais vu and I think ive experienced it. It was quite sometime ago. I went to my local pub a place that I have been to hundreds of times as I walked through the front door I look around and for about 10 seconds I (Kinder) didn't have a clue where I was or who any of the people where. Its a very strange feeling far stranger than Deja vu.

posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:15 AM
Im glad to see this post and wish I had gotten here sooner. I myself have had Deja vu all of my life and have written several posts on ATS about it myself. I have never run across a discussion that has been this scientific which was what I was looking for when I breached the subject with others here.

All of the theories make sense. What I think is the most powerful part of the experience is the fear that is created while the phenomena occurs. I am often overtaken by a feeing of "why the hell is this happening to me". My conclusions are either that I have some external force acting upon me or that I need a CAT or PET scan. I have had both in an attempt to figure out if there was any physical cause. There was not.

I encourage everyone here to continue to research this. I have spent 30+ years trying to come to grips with being a Deja vu person. It often is very lonely. I am glad that there are others. S&F

posted on May, 13 2010 @ 11:31 AM
Ok I'll bite.

My experiences with Deja Vu are not what you actually label as "Deja Vu".

Here goes.

I have had numerous predictive dreams my entire life.
SO many that the number outweighs the actually lucid, or imaginary dreams I've had.

With that being said, I don't actually believe in Deja Vu.

When I first experienced DV, it felt weird and to me it felt as though the entire process actually took place before. Whether it was a normal day, or a conversation with a person, or whatever the circumstance was. I have an incredible memory and this took place as a young child. (around age 6)

I, later through life, have had many predictive dreams where I could actually finish sentences of those I had the experience with. I don't actually tell the person, rather I keep it to myself and record it at home. I'm a little OCD when it comes to this, as I like to write down things that may seem important at a later date.

It definitely influences the way I perceive this world and its boundaries.
Just because of this, I believe in my own destiny as pre-written and those of others. I can't predict anything for fear of being wrong. But I have had dreams that took place to the "T", 3-4 months, sometimes years, later.
Talk about weird.

But, these are beliefs and I don't try to push them on others.

Good thread.

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