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Déjà Vu: The Science Behind the Eerie Feeling of Familiarity

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https://www.thoughtco.com/causes-of-deja-vu-4159448

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Déjà Vu: The Science Behind the Eerie Feeling of Familiarity
If you've ever had the feeling that a situation feels very familiar even though you know it shouldn't feel familiar at all, like if you're traveling in a city for the very first time, then you've probably experienced déjà vu.

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That Familiar Feeling

Déjà vu is French for ‘already seen’. It is a feeling that the situation(or surrounding) is familiar subjectively, but unfamiliar objectively.

Almost two-thirds of individuals have experien...

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Déjà vu

Déjà vu is French for ‘already seen’. It is a feeling that the situation(or surrounding) is familiar subjectively, but unfamiliar objectively.

Almost two-thirds of individuals have ...

29 SAVES


Our Memory

Déjà vu can be explained in terms of our memory:

  • Single Event Familiarity: When one element is familiar but other elements are not.
Example: When you see a ...

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Our Neurology

Déjà vu can be explained in terms of our neurological activity:


  • Spontaneous Brain Activity: When a part of your brain is engaged with memory, thoughts can ove...

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The smells and tastes of the past infuse wonder, colour and depth to our life.

The Science of Memory

  1. Encoding - the stage when the brain consciously acknowledges information based on our senses. When we attach meaning or factual knowledge to any of this sensory input, that'...

Lifestyle Changes That Can Improve Memory

  • Get a good night's sleep or take a power nap after learning something new, to help retain and retrieve memories better. Sleep deprivation and acquisition of too much information will not help you save those memories.
  • Get moving, to improve the flow of oxygen-rich blood in your brain and to trigger neuron growth and new connections in the brain - critical for memory.
  • Improve your diet. Fats from food can build up the brain, resulting to poor blood flow.

Mnemonics

Any system or device designed to aid memory:

  • patterns of letters or words (common mnemonics)
  • ideas (memory palace)
  • associations (chunking)

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The Neuroscientist Karl Friston

The Neuroscientist Karl Friston
  • Karl Friston, a neuroscientist, published a radical theory called the ‘Free Energy Principle’ that has the neuroscience field in a tizzy. His papers, published in various journals, are heavil...

The Free Energy Principle

It states that the world is uncertain and full of surprises. Our brain, through perception, beliefs and action are trying to remain stable by minimizing the spikes, triggers and surprises.

We live inside our brains, and each of us has a unique perception of the outside world. Anything we say or document is just our way to explain the world we have lived. It has nothing to do with reality.

The Beautiful Mind

  • Our mind is programmed to sample the world so that the immediate future can be predictable, as a way to survive it with minimum surprises and disruptions, and as a way to conserve energy.
  • Free energy, outside the mind, maybe incomprehensible and even impossible to grasp fully, but our mind filters and curates much of the information and presents it to us in palpable format.
  • Our mind, when seen neurologically, is infinitely vast, much like the universe, which it even resembles visually.

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