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Posted on: June 4th, 2010

Déjà Vu Phenomenon: Disease, Abnormality or Providence?

brainIt is a well-known fact that human brain is the most unexplored organ. Many scientists suggest that people use their brain at no more than 10%. There are so many incomprehensible and unpredictable phenomena connected with brain activity, and people have no explanations for those phenomena. And it is not even confined to reading somebody’s thoughts or lifting objects, there are much slighter examples of unexplained brain activities.
For example, each of you at least once had a feeling of déjà vu; it is when you feel as if you had seen, heard, felt, smelled, experienced something. Do you expect that scientist, psychologists or, at least, psychiatrists have found out what it is? Well, there is still no distinct explanation. People still are not sure whether it is a kind of pathology or some natural phenomenon, like sleep, for instance. What is it anyway?

What Is Déjà Vu?

Émile BoiracTerm Origin.
As you might know, this term is a French one, and it means “already seen”. Émile Boirac, a French philosopher, is believed to introduce this term.
First Researches.
Of course, this phenomenon existed very long ago, though researchers started considering it only in the 19th century. Scientists, psychologists, psychiatrists, even mediums tried to define what it is and how it is happening. For example, Sigmund Freud also paid much attention to déjà vu, considering it as a kind of psychopathology, like schizophrenia.
Different Definitions.
The number of definitions and theories about déjà vu is approximately the same as explanations about Mona Lisa’s smile. Though, recently (in 1980s) Vernon Neppe MD, PhD, the famous neuropsychiatrist, suggested the following definition which became a standard one: “any subjectively inappropriate impression of familiarity of a present experience with an undefined past”.
Different Explanations.
This part is very interesting. Since nothing is known for sure about human brain, on the whole, and déjà vu phenomenon, in particular, hundreds of versions exist.
For example, the most accepted theory is based on the short-term and long-term memory correlation. In few words: scientists suggest that a person experiences something (sees a photo), then he/she forgets about the experience and the circumstance under which he/she saw this photo, after some time when the person sees the photo again he/she does not recognize it but has a specific feeling: déjà vu.
There are also very interesting theories. For instance, some scientists suggest that déjà vu phenomenon can be easily explained by the peculiarities of human sight. Thus, they claim that one eye perceives and sends the information to the brain faster than the other one; that is why when the other (slower) eye sees the same object or situation the feeling of déjà vu emerges. Hmm. Then what about smells or other déjà vu “provokers”? Are human nostrils, hands, ears different in perception as well? Of course not! But still the theory exists.
Spiritual Explanation.
Sigmund FreudApart from scientific approach to the problem, there is also a spiritual one. All religions always find some explanations to everything even very doubtful and provocative. For example, Christianity did beat Darwin’s arguments, claiming that dinosaurs were not the creation of evolution, but creation of God, who destroyed them as out of favor. Thus, religious people say that déjà vu is a fragment memory from one’s previous life. Though, this approach is even more obscure than with two different eyes, since the life after death is also “sub-investigated”.

Can We Master Déjà Vu?

Is It a Disease?
As mentioned above, some scientists supposed that this phenomenon is a kind of psychological disease, though no link between déjà vu and mental disorders was found. Scientists held a lot of surveys based on questionnaires, observation and even hypnosis, but still failed to prove that it is a disease.
Can People Provoke Déjà Vu?
deja vuThe famous psychotherapist, Sigmund Freud, analyzed the possibility of provoking déjà vu by hypnosis. Many of his followers and, actually, a lot of different scientists tried to do the same. It is interesting, but all of them succeeded. In many cases people did feel the déjà vu effect! Actually, this made some scientists believe that déjà vu is a matter of memory.
There are other cases when people could provoke déjà vu effect. Thus, one man took some medicine to cure his flu, and noticed that he started having déjà vu feeling too often. Then he went to psychiatrist and this case was recorded and then analyzed. Apparently, combination of some drugs caused the increasing of déjà vu effect.
Can People Get Rid of Déjà Vu?
People still cannot understand what déjà vu is. Since it is not a disease it cannot be cured. Besides, people only know how to provoke it, but have no idea about how to stop it. Two hundred years of researches resulted in doubtful knowledge of the essence of this phenomenon. People still do not know what to do about it. Since people are not sure about the origin of déjà vu they cannot invent the way how to stop it.

Do People Need to Master Déjà Vu?

But do we really need to get rid of this phenomenon? Of course, many people want to get rid of something in their body (especially women). However, déjà vu is not flu to be cured. It is a very peculiar feeling which spontaneously strikes a person. It is a kind of adrenaline discharge.
memoryOf course, it is necessary to understand what déjà vu is, and what causes it. But, perhaps, people do look for the answers in the wrong place.
Thus, scientists, medics and even ordinary people try to reveal the enigma of human consciousness and memory, defining what déjà vu is. Though, this phenomenon is still obscure and sometimes frightening. Several theories and several approaches consider it, providing different (sometimes opposite) explanations. People do not understand what it is but feel it so often. However, déjà vu is an interesting play of brain. Why don’t we play?

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