Have you ever been busy doing something like sitting in class taking notes, or talking to a friend and then suddenly a hazy wave of familiarity washes over you?
You feel like you’ve been in this situation before although rationally, you know that you haven’t.
Could it be that you’re reliving your past?
Does it only happen to a few of us?
This is Déjà vu.
It is a common experience among humans- as many as 80-90% of us experience Déjà Vu in our daily lives. But because Déjà vu is a feeling rather than a physical phenomenon, it’s difficult to understand it.
But humans have formulated various explanations for it.
Some believe it is the recollection of experiences from a past life or crossing lives with other versions of ourselves in a parallel universe, and the like.
But as science would have it- the answer can be found much closer home- in our own brains.
After much study and experimenting, scientists claim that déjà vu takes place in the brain’s medial temporal lobe, with the hippocampus playing an active part in the experience.
The hippocampus is a small organ located within the medial temporal lobe and plays an important role in memory making. It makes a mental map of new places and experiences, and stores them away for later use.
Neuroscientists believe that some sort of electrical phenomenon in the medial temporal lobe activates the memory in such a way that it causes déjà vu to occur.
Of the many theories, a prominent one suggests that our memory stores items in fragments. When these old memories overlap with new experiences, an overlap creates a feeling of recognition which could cause the experience of déjà vu.
So it’s much like losing a toy when you were child, and forgetting about it for many years till a similar, but brand new toy in a store reminds you of your lost toy.