Deja vu ‘recreated in laboratory’

July 25th, 2006 | researchmaterial

Scientists believe they have found a way to probe the mysterious phenomenon of feeling you have witnessed something before – deja vu.

Leeds Memory Group researchers say they have gone some way to recreating the sensation in the lab using hypnosis.

Two key processes are thought to occur when someone recognises a familiar object or scene. First, the brain searches through memory traces to see if the contents of that scene have been observed before. If they have, a separate part of the brain then identifies the scene or object as being familiar. In deja vu, this second process may occur by mistake, so that a feeling of familiarity is triggered by a novel object or scene.

The Leeds team set out to create a sense of deja vu among volunteers in a lab. They used hypnosis to trigger only the second part of the recognition process – hoping to create a sense of familiarity about something a person had not seen before…


6 Responses to “Deja vu ‘recreated in laboratory’”

  1. I think I’ve heard about this before.

  2. …weed often has the same “fake deja-vu” effect on me.

    If any researchers out there want to put me up in luxury (I’m guessing not Leeds, somehow), and pay me to take drugs, I’m available!

  3. It would be interesting to see if they could use similar techniques to produce the sensation of jamais vu.

  4. Who wants to experience a jamais vu? Scares the crap outta you until it just goes away (hum, might be interesting if used in art, though).

  5. […] (BBC News, via Warren Ellis) […]

  6. For anyone wanting to advance our knowledge of déjà vu, I have put a questionnaire about it on the Internet at:
    http://silenroc.com/dejavu