Does Déjà Vu Repeat Your Past?

By: Jasmine Potts 

Have you ever been sitting in a class and experienced something you swear has already occured? This phenomenon is called Déjà vu. The phrase Déjà vu translates as “already seen” in French. People who experience Déjà vu often find themselves asking how this crazy incident occurs.There are many explanations to why Déjà vu transpires, but the main reason behind it is a split-second delay in transferring information from one side of the brain to the other. One side of the brain would then get the information twice so the person would think the event happened before.

There are many triggers which can lead to Déjà vu. Fatigue, stress, and a busy schedule are major contributors to the materialization of Déjà vu. People who are exhausted or stressed tend to experience Déjà vu more. When Déjà vu occurs, a person’s body is giving them signs that they might need to get more sleep or do activities don’t contribute to stress. 

Some scientists have an alternative interpretation of Déjà vu. Psychologist Valerie F. Reyna created one of the leading theories that Déjà vu is just false memories. Déjà vu is certainly related to false memory in the sense that it is a memory disconnection kind of effect. Déjà vu dissociates reality from your memory making you stare off into space.

Some researchers have said that Déjà vu is a way for your brain to know your memory checking system is working well. Others object, if this is the case, than why does Déjà vu happen so infrequently? 

Déjà vu can also be a sign of neurological symptoms. The sensation you feel is also the same as Epilepsy (A disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures). The simultaneous activation compresses time between the two brain functions, causing us to remember present events. 

Although Déjà vu is normal, it can be scary. If one wants to prevent Déjà vu, treatments include eating healthy, getting more rest, relax, exercise, and lowering intake of caffeinated beverages. If one has concerns about their Déjà vu episodes, they should seek medical attention.

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