deja vu

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel are re-living it, like it’s happening all over again word by word, and to the tiniest detail? I’ve had this happen a few times and though it puzzles me, Ive never spent too much time analyzing. I attribute it to over-imagination of my brain cells and some fuzzy logic and forget it, amused to an extent.

Yesterday I was standing at the top of the stairs talking with my son, more like giving him an earful about a few specifics that he was supposed to have done and didn’t.He launched into a bunch of excuses, and then conversation drifted around school and a funny incident that happened with a kid and how he got into trouble. My daughter walks out and says “hey, didn’t Tim get into trouble just yesterday? You just told us all this yesterday, didn’t you?”

She has a puzzled look on her face, and I recognized it.

?!

I really need to do some research.

Update – Sep 26th 06

Ive been doing some reading on this phenomenon – deja vu – and it seems to me that there are quite a few hypotheses out there, nothing concretely established as this is what causes it. It’s probably becos for any scientific evidence to substantiate there needs to be evidence and recording of such evidence in a scientific manner. As in there needs to a logical workaround of what leads to what and how the process is routed to arrive at conclusions.
I believe there are variations of the ‘feeling’ with slight differences and hence classified differently.
precognition, deja vu, deja vecu, clairvoyance, and then the numerous combinations of these.

Pattern Recognition seemed to figure prominently. It makes sense, but somehow what I read didn’t completely answer why you feel you are in a situation when you really could not have ever been there at all? How can we remember or feel infinitely similar stuff when now way in God’s green earth we could have? It’s quite puzzling.

Along my readings, a hypothesis caught my attention. [purely based on the fact that I am partial to anything related to the eye] It claimed that there could be a minute delay in the signals reaching the brain, that could result in the feeling of having seen something earlier when it was essentially a faulty sinal processing. So I dusted out my Kanski and Gray from the basement, and spent some time on the workings of the eye. [I miss it so much *sigh* ] Apart from the fact that hashing through memory and all the awesome times from school and the professors’ quixotic antics, I couldn’t connect the two.
The main flaw in the argument I felt, was if nerve bundles are affected on one side then the signal is distorted, not delayed as proposed. So, if there was a dystrophy or malfunction in the simultaneous processing of the visual signal from both eyes, the ‘good’ signal is sent through. The brain is quite smart in recognizing ones that make sense, and to trash the ones that do not.

And then there was something about Artificial intelligence – metlin was referring to also – but that didn’t make too much sense to me. Maybe he’d be kind enough to blog about it :-)

Yesterday prime time TV on NBC was interesting and to say a little creepy, as it was on this very same topic. Imagine that!!

Ive been swamped at work, and with all the reading Ive been doing, it’s been like 10 days since Ive written here? okay!

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13 thoughts on “deja vu

  1. It’s all a big conspiracy, I tell you!

    On a more serious note, it’s just that we are nothing but very advanced pattern recognition agents with a deep-rooted urge to make sense out of just about anything.

    So, given the infinitely diverse world of experiences that the brain is subject to, sooner or later some patterns trigger similar responses like other patterns, causing you to think that something feels analogous (or that it has happened before) even though it really hasn’t.

    Focus in grad school was on AI, and a cog.sci. prof had some fun things to say on Deja Vu. Interesting phenomenon.

  2. Tried & tested !it is just that immaterial of how many ever times we tell the kids to do the same thing, they do what they want & so we end up Saying the same things over & over again. So much so that,they actually know what’s coming next! So no worry! It’s just a phase!

    Rashmi.

  3. Yes i have had similar experiences but not to the tiniest detail but the broad sequence of events and players.
    I am tempted to believe it is the kind of pattern recognition that metlin talks about.
    Let me know when you figure out.

  4. So did you finally figure out if it is your son that is telling the story the second time or your daughter mistakenly thinking it was already told?

  5. Blogger din’t allow me to comment earlier for some stranger reason…and i was like this has happened before…deja vu !
    Just kidding !!
    On a serious note….it is an interesting thought…

  6. metlin – it’s extremely interesting. You should write or give me some links to read up on. [am hooked to this, till I get my answers :( ]

    Gingko – tell me about it!

    random – that’s what I chalked it down to too, but things have happened with me [nothing to do with kids] that’s just plain weird. But you are right in a way – we go over so much with the kids, I truly feel like a broken record.

    usha – it’s actually quite common I am told.

    Twisted dna – :)) it was my son telling his tales.

    shilpa – lol. deja vu probably doesn’t cover technical glitches. That’s just nincompoop business from the maintenance ;-)

  7. don’t let me start on that.. There was a time when most of the things seem to reoccur. I think it was after I had babies & was sleep deprived:-) But seriously, I had lots of them in the past.. I thought I was going crazy:-)

  8. Sounds so familiar :) I’ve had these feelings myself and what I am bowled over by is the completeness with which the situation seems to be repeating itself…I am alarmed about how I remember the exact words and the atmosphere from sometime before. It’s eerie really :) Need to google this and really get deep into this one!

  9. I put an article about this on my Heroes blog, if you want to check it out. Searching for real super hero stories, i made the mission seek out people with the 6th sense, and someone wrote in about dejavu. I invite you to share your story with us.

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