Certainly many of us have experienced the déjà vu experience at least once in our life. Assumptions were made according to which this phenomenon is linked to out of body experiences or that it might be a proof of the existence of a past life. According to science it could be just a neural misfire. Nevertheless since déjà vu is a very unpredictable phenomenon scientists have had a difficult time studying it.
Studies have showed that 66 percent of people or two-thirds of us have encountered this phenomenon at least once. One factor which seems to influence the occurrence of déjà vu is age. It seems that those who are most likely to experience déjà vu are people with ages between 15 and 25, whereas in the case of older people the number of those who experience déjà vu decreases dramatically. This has made scientists wonder whether the déjà vu feelings is related to brain development, especially since it is a well-known fact that the brain is not completely developed until the age of 25 or even later.
Anne Cleary, a déjà vu researcher, explains that memory is certainly not perfect and thus people fail to remember everything that happens in everyday life. However, even though we do not remember things this does not mean that they are not there, Cleary adds. It only means that memory fails to be accessed and these types of situations might be what trigger the impression of familiarity on which the déjà vu sensation is based.
Studies have also showed that the déjà vu phenomenon is more common in the case of people who travel more often and watch more movies and in the case of people with higher education and higher socioeconomic class. This aspect makes sense when linked to the idea according to which déjà vu involves recognition based on similarity. People with higher education might watch movies more often and those from higher socioeconomic classes can travel more often. Thus when people travel they have more opportunities to recall things that might seem familiar from movies.
Other researchers have discovered that those people who are able to remember their dreams more frequently are also more likely to experience the déjà vu sensation. Scientists were even able to induce déjà vu experiences in a study which involved epileptic patients. They sent an electric current to the medial temporal area of the brain and discovered that it is easier to trigger déjà vu through the rhinal cortex, which is involved in feelings of familiarity, in spite of the fact that the part of the brain responsible with memory is the hippocampus.
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