Living the past six weeks in self-quarantine is beginning to feel like déjà vu (or the movie Groundhog Day ) to me! What about you? Since I work from home, my ‘normal’ routine is not too much different than 'pre-quarantine'. But I no longer go to my exercise classes four days a week, meet with suppliers, have meetings over coffee/lunch/happy hour, attend networking events, church and various other ‘outside’ activities that will make up the week. The days do begin to blur and cause me to do a reality check!
Déjà vu is a common intuitive experience – about two-thirds of people have had it. The phrase, French, translates literally as ‘already seen’ (cue the Twilight Zone music). Because it is fleeting, déjà vu is difficult to study or replicate in a laboratory environment. Research that has been done have led scientists to put déjà vu experiences into two categories.
Associative déjà vu – This most common type of déjà vu experienced by normal, healthy people is associative in nature. You see, hear, smell or otherwise experience something that stirs a feeling that you associate with something you’ve seen, heard smelled or experienced before. Many researchers think this type of déjà vu is a memory-based experience and assume that memory centers of the brain are responsible for it.
Biological déjà vu – People with temporal lobe epilepsy experience high occurrences of déjà vu. Right before having a seizure they often experience a strong feeling of déjà vu. This has allowed researchers some ability to study déjà vu and identify area of the brain where these déjà vu signals originate.
Although déjà vu has been studied as a phenomenon for over a hundred years and researchers have advanced tons of theories about its cause, there is no simple explanation for what it means or why it happens. And while interesting to research and share with you some things about déjà vu, my take is we’re in the Groundhog Day movie and we might as well make the best of it!
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