THE QUESTION: Ever experienced a strange feeling of having lived through the present situation before, just like having visited a place/ seen a person while you do so for the first time?


Right now, some of you might be thinking that you have already come across the same question. Well, you people are now experiencing DÉJÀ VU and THE QUESTION defines this term. The word DÉJÀ VU meaning ‘already seen’ traces its root to French. It is a common phenomenon which happens for an infinite number of reasons. Almost every person in the world experiences DÉJÀ VU at least once in his/her lifetime. Here are some of the causes of DÉJÀ VU:


1. People with temporal lobe epilepsy are closely associated with DÉJÀ VU.


2. It might not be an actual DÉJÀ VU. You could have actually had past experience and it is just that you could not recollect. Your brain is playing ‘luka chuppi’ with you!


3. One may have had the same experience in a dream while it is happening for the first time in reality.


4. Some researchers associate DÉJÀ VU with the past life of a person where the person had experienced the present situation in his/her past life.


5. DÉJÀ VU occurs frequently for the persons who have a dominant eye. That is, one eye sends the information to the subconscious before both the eyes process and store the information.






Since DÉJÀ VU occurs for no particular reason, at no particular time and lasts only for seconds, this topic has always been a hotspot for scientific research. Researchers continue to prove/ disprove the causes of DÉJÀ VU through various experiments. Let me list some of those experiments and theories here:



1. Dr. Anne Cleary, a psychologist artificially recreated the feeling of DÉJÀ VU. The experiment involved 298 people. The subjects were shown a video which consisted of turning and moving in different directions inside a room. Then, a series of videos were shown to the subjects with each of the videos consisting of the same moves but in different layouts. The subjects were asked to guess the final move. Nearly half of the participants reported that they had felt the feeling of DÉJÀ VU.


2. In an experiment conducted by Dr. O’Connor, the subjects were given a list of related words to remember but without revealing the connection between those words. For example, the participants were presented with the words bed, pillow, dream and night. The word connecting these words is ‘sleep’.After a long time, when the subjects were asked to list the words, most of them tended to believe that they had heard the word ‘sleep’.


3. DÉJÀ VU can also be explained through the tuning fork phenomenon which occurs when the frequency of one person resonates with the frequency of the other person.


4. Another interesting theory is the existence of a parallel universe (multiple universes). Some people say that DÉJÀ VU happens when the ‘you’ in this universe does the same thing as the ‘you’ in some other universe.Though there are multiple theories and experiments explaining DÉJÀ VU, there are no concrete proofs to suffice these theories thus holding a place for DÉJÀ VU in the list of scientific mysteries!


Written by Nirupama. S, Second year, CT.

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