occurrence of déjà vu is actually quite common, 70% of
us experience it at least once in our lifetimes. There
are many theories regarding the nature of déjà vu experiences.
In recent years déjà vu has been the subject of serious
psychological and neurological research.
The most likely explanation, according to scientists in
these disciplines, is that déjà vu is an anomaly of memory.
Basically these theories link déjà vu with a misfiring
of brain signals related to memory and recollection. Connections
have been found between the experience of déjà vu and
disorders such as schizophrenia and anxiety. People with
these disorders are more likely to experience a déjà vu
phenomenon than the rest of society.
The strongest pathological association of déjà vu is with
temporal lobe epilepsy. People with this form of epilepsy
often report experiencing déjà vu. This correlation has
led some researchers to believe that the experience of
déjà vu is a neurological anomaly related to improper
electrical discharge in the brain. Most people suffer
a mild, non-pathological epileptic episode regularly.
The sudden jolt, or hypnagogic jerk, A hypnagogic jerk
is the experience of a large jolt, usually felt just before
falling asleep and often described as an electric shock
or falling sensation. It may be that a similar mild neurological
abnormality in the form of a jolt to our memory functions
can cause the experiences of déjà vu. It is worth noting
that people in the 15 to 25 year old age group report
having far more instances of déjà vu.
One speculation is that déjà vu is a kind of mental misfiring
that occurs as the brain is maturing or as we have more
life experiences. The study of déjà vu experiences has
until recently been relegated mostly to the fields of
parapsychology and paranormal research. It is interesting
to note that the symptoms of temporal lobe epilepsy involve
many experiences which are common elements of paranormal
Seventy-five percent of people diagnosed with temporal
lobe epilepsy experience partial seizures which may include
such features as: déjà vu, hallucinations of voices, music,
smells, or tastes, feelings of unusual fear or joy, and
the appearance of auras.
Patients may also describe a sense of dissociation in
which they report seeing their own body from the outside,
commonly referred to as astral projection. Far from discounting
the study of the paranormal, the recent theories describing
déjà vu experiences as electro-chemical misfiring in the
brain, and the connections with temporal lobe epilepsy
highlight the importance of continued research into paranormal
Many of the subjects of paranormal research exist as such
simply because mainstream science regimes deem them unworthy
of study. Déjà vu like many other experiences, (dreams,
astral projection, precognition, thought healing, etc,)
have been discounted or undervalued as a topic of serious
Nonetheless these experiences are encountered by a vast
number of people and therefore worthy of study for that
reason alone. We may find that focusing serious research
efforts on subjects currently within the realm of the
paranormal will lead to a greater understanding of "real
We may also find that while some myths may be shattered
along the way, many of the topics of paranormal research
will be proven, validated and absorbed into the world
of the commonplace.