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Lost in Time: Unveiling the Psychological Riddles of Deja Vu

Lost in Time: Unveiling the Psychological Riddles of Deja Vu

Tasnim Tabassum

Sitting in a place with siblings and talking about old incidents and suddenly felt that I had been in this situation before. Everything looks very familiar. Is this incident creating a live image in your mind? Can you relate this incident to your life? You probably know the feeling: You’re in the midst of a conversation or an activity when, all of a sudden, you’re overwhelmed by the sensation that you’ve done this exact same thing before. Almost everyone has had this kind of experience in their life.

This situation is called déjà vu. Déjà vu is the feeling that a person has when they see a situation or scene and suddenly feel familiar with it. In this case, the event, scene, and feeling seem familiar, but there is uncertainty about how they work in the person.

The word déjà vu is originally from the French language (Déjà vu), which means 'already seen'. Its other name is Paramnesia, which is derived from the Greek word 'promnesia'. Paramnesia is a definite sensory experience that one has previously experienced or witnessed. The French psychoanalyst Emile Boirac was the first to use this name.

While a student at the University of Chicago, he wrote a book called L'Avenir des sciences psychiques, he uses the term déjà vu in one of his essays.
Switch researcher Arthur Funkhouser divides the process of déjà vu (déjà experiences) into two distinct categories based on differences in experience to facilitate understanding. One is the experience of having seen or visited before, and the other is the experience that has been experienced before.

There are few people in the world who have not experienced this. Southern Methodist University psychologist Alan S. Based on one of his findings in 2003, Brown said, "More than 70 percent of the world's people have witnessed this situation at some point in their lives."

Although this experience is natural, it is closely related to psychology. If one witnesses such a situation repeatedly over a long period of time, along with other symptoms such as hallucinations, then it is considered a 'symptom of mental or neurological illness' in the individual.

The most cited cause of déjà vu is a temporary blockage of the nervous system in the brain. Abnormalities in the normal processes of the nervous system produce a strong sensitization, resulting in a tendency to associate a present event or experience with an experience, i.e., déjà vu.

Déjà vu can be perplexing also in some cases. One famous story involving déjà vu is the case of Jeanne, a woman from France who claimed to have experienced recurring episodes of déjà vu throughout her life. This story gained significant attention in the late 19th century.

According to accounts, Jeanne began experiencing déjà vu in her early teenage years. She described feeling as though she had lived through certain moments before, even though she knew she hadn't.

The sensation was often accompanied by vivid details and a strong sense of familiarity. What made Jeanne's case particularly intriguing was that she claimed to remember not only the present moment but also specific details of future events she believed she had already experienced. She accurately predicted conversations, actions, and even trivial occurrences, leaving those around her astounded.

Jeanne's experiences caught the attention of researchers and scientists, who were fascinated by her case.

They conducted numerous experiments and psychological evaluations to understand the phenomenon better. Some believed that Jeanne had extraordinary psychic abilities, while others suggested that her experiences were a result of an overactive imagination or a neurological condition. Despite the extensive studies, no conclusive explanation was ever reached regarding Jeanne's déjà vu episodes. Some skeptics dismissed her claims as mere coincidence or exaggeration, while others speculated that she might have tapped into a different perception of time or alternate realities.

Jeanne's story remains a well-known example of the perplexing nature of déjà vu. While it doesn't provide definitive answers about the phenomenon, it continues to ignite curiosity and fuel discussions about the mysteries of the human mind and consciousness.

Initially, researchers tried to connect déjà vu with various mental disorders like anxiety, panic attacks, and schizophrenia. But no evidence of their interdependence or correlation has been found. A 2008 study found a psychological link to the phenomenon of déjà vu. Then déjà vu came up in research as a 'pathological dissociative experience'.

Various explanations about déjà vu:Many researchers have worked on the subject of déjà vu. From the past to the present, many people have given various interpretations based on their research results. Upon analysis of the explanations, several factors emerge as 'influencers' in the occurrence of déjà vu. These are- the effects of dreams, effects of memories, and brain effects. The most acceptable explanation, in this case, is: "The déjà vu process is related to memory. Just as a sound suddenly comes to the tip of our tongue, a memory can suddenly come to our minds. But here's the problem: this waking memory is a completely subconscious process, much like a dream."

Research by Annie Cleary, a psychologist at Colorado State University, has long studied déjà vu. According to him, the process is largely triggered by a previous apprehension. It has to do with our feelings.

A person experiencing déjà vu can predict the future with relative accuracy based on their normal assumptions. Many other scientists have at various times spoken of the mind's close relationship with déjà vu. But according to Cleary, preconceptions play a controlling role in this case. He said, "We cannot always remember events that happened consciously. But our brain finds an analogy in this.

This is why we have such an uncertain reaction because we think we have done it before or something like this has happened to us before. But we don't have an answer to 'why or where'." A study said, "Déjà vu is caused by temporary stimulation of the outer layer of our brain." Based on these observations, Clary conducted an experiment on 298 individuals. They are allowed to play the same computer game in different environments.

The results of this experiment disprove previously established ideas about déjà vu. Clary reiterated, "The experience of déjà vu never provides an idea of the future." A recent study by Akira O'Connor and his team, researchers at a UK university, found some sensational information.

Their research completely rules out the ‘false memories’ issue in déjà vu experiences. The déjà vu experience has long been an impenetrable mystery to the public. They claim to have solved this déjà vu mystery through a special process in the lab. Their research completely rules out the ‘false memories’ issue in déjà vu experiences. The déjà vu experience has long been an impenetrable mystery to the public. They claim that they have been able to solve this déjà vu mystery through a special process in the lab.

Akira conducted an experiment on some volunteers at his university, essentially adopting Hosei Urquhart's method. By researching 'past memories," they are introduced to some old memories and experience déjà vu. Akira wrote in her thesis, "The relationship between our brain and our old memories is like a war; there is no room for lies. Deja vu happens depending on how much the individual remembers."

Apart from these explanations, many compare déjà vu to life after death or reincarnation. Many people feel this phenomenon because they remember their previous lives in this life. But it has no scientific basis.

The writer is a student of Department of Marketing, Jahangirnagar University

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