Scientists Explain: Why Do We Experience Déjà-vu?

O’Connor and his colleagues came up technique for artificial incitement of déjà vu. In order to achieve this, they presented a series of related words to the participants, without revealing the word which connects all the words. For example, there were words like bed, pillow, and night, but the word sleeping, which obviously connects all, was left out.

They asked the participants whether they’ve heard some word that begins on the letter “s”, but their answer was negative. However, later, when they were asked to repeat the presented words, most of them thought of having heard the word sleeping, together with the rest 3 words, which might a possible indicator of déjà vu.

With the help of magnetic resonance, the team noticed that during the occurrence of a déjà vu, the most active centers in the brain of the participants weren’t those related to memory, but those included in decision making. O’Connor explains that these centers probably supervise our memories looking for faults in their content, and when an irregularity is found, they’re activated.

A professor from the Ontario University considers that during déjà vu, there is resolving of conflicts going on in the brain. However, further research is needed so that this theory can be proven.

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