July 25th, 2006 | researchmaterial
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…