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  1. #1
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    Deja vu 'recreated in laboratory'

    Scientists believe they have found a way to probe the mysterious phenomenon of feeling you have witnessed something before - deja vu.

    Leeds Memory Group researchers say they have gone some way to recreating the sensation in the lab using hypnosis.

    New Scientist magazine reports the researchers hope their work will shed light on the fundamental workings of the human memory.

    It is estimated that as many as 97% of people have experienced deja vu.

    In some severe cases it can be distressing to the point of causing depression and some sufferers have been prescribed anti-psychotic medication.

    However, experts suspect that many people who experience the sensation are unwilling to discuss it with their doctor.

    Two stage process

    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.

    The researchers showed volunteers 24 common words, then hypnotised them and told them that when they were next presented with a word in a red frame, they
    would feel that the word was familiar, although they would not know when they last saw it.

    Green frames would make them think that the word belonged to the original list of 24.

    Peculiar sensation

    After being taken out of hypnosis, the volunteers were presented with a series of words in frames of various colours, including some that were not in the
    original 24 and which were framed in red or green.

    Of the 18 people studied so far, 10 reported a peculiar sensation when they saw new words in red frames and five said it definitely felt like deja vu.

    Researcher Akira O'Connor presented the findings to an International Conference on Memory in Sydney, Australia.

    He told New Scientist: "This tells us that it is possible to experimentally dissociate these two processes, which is really important in establishing that
    they are indeed separate."

    Some people with temporal lobe epilepsy report frequent deja vu.

    And previous work in France has found that electrically stimulating parts of the temporal lobe can trigger a sensation of familiarity with everything a
    person encounters.

    Professor Alan Brown, an expert in deja vu at South Methodist University in Dallas, said: "Using hypnotic suggestion to either stimulate, or simulate, a
    deja vu experience could potentially be a very fruitful way to explore this phenomenon.

    "I don't have a lot of detail about the Leeds project but from what I know it certainly seems to be solid work with an intriguing outcome."

  2. #2
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    Re: Deja vu 'recreated in laboratory'

    I read an interesting article regarding deja-vu some time back. The author(s) theorised that when you enter a room or such your brain unconciously makes a quick scan of your surroundings. Such a scan developed evolutionarily to check for immediate dangers, ie. a lion sitting in the corner about to pounce on you. Once you have made this scan, the brain then erases it and starts to take in the scene in more detail. The author(s) believed that deja-vu occurs when the first scan is not erased, so you actually observe the same scene twice, and the second time you recognise it as familiar.

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    Re: Deja vu 'recreated in laboratory'

    Quote Originally Posted by kazza
    I read an interesting article regarding deja-vu some time back. The author(s) theorised that when you enter a room or such your brain unconciously makes a quick scan of your surroundings. Such a scan developed evolutionarily to check for immediate dangers, ie. a lion sitting in the corner about to pounce on you. Once you have made this scan, the brain then erases it and starts to take in the scene in more detail. The author(s) believed that deja-vu occurs when the first scan is not erased, so you actually observe the same scene twice, and the second time you recognise it as familiar.
    Yeah there are plenty of theories and they're mostly essentially variations on that theory. I mean all involve a brain 'hiccup', where you really do observe something twice in a split-second but somehow the 1st observation (or a ghost of it) is stuck in a long-term memory part of the brain instead of being erased.
    It often feels like - for me anyway - that the memory is from a dream. I mean when I have deja vu I don't feel so much like it's happened to me before, but more like I had a dream about it at some stage. It's led me to think the first observation perhaps goes to some frequently accessed part of the subconscious, as opposed to the more common theory of the semi-conscious long-term memory region.
    Just a thought anyway, I haven't tested it at all.

  4. #4
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    Re: Deja vu 'recreated in laboratory'

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazza.
    Or maybe it is, in reality, a "time warp", where the individual experiences the moment more than once! I can see where this might drive people nuts.
    Personally, I really enjoy the odd deja-vu. (Of course, it spoils it a bit when you know what is going to happen next!!)

    Have you ever wondered why you can anticipate what someone is going to say next?? While you're thinking "I bet they say this or that next" and they DO!
    It's freaky



    Whoa! Deja-vu!

    ;)
    Haha :)

    Wouldn't this test disprove the idea that it was a time-warp? If one reproduces the effect in the lab without using time-warps it seems likely it's not time-warps.

  5. #5
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    Re: Deja vu 'recreated in laboratory'

    Quote Originally Posted by SubJunk
    Yeah there are plenty of theories and they're mostly essentially variations on that theory. I mean all involve a brain 'hiccup', where you really do observe something twice in a split-second but somehow the 1st observation (or a ghost of it) is stuck in a long-term memory part of the brain instead of being erased.
    It often feels like - for me anyway - that the memory is from a dream. I mean when I have deja vu I don't feel so much like it's happened to me before, but more like I had a dream about it at some stage. It's led me to think the first observation perhaps goes to some frequently accessed part of the subconscious, as opposed to the more common theory of the semi-conscious long-term memory region.
    Just a thought anyway, I haven't tested it at all.
    like you COULD test it ALL if you WANTED TOO!?hehe!?just askin....everything HAPPENS!!by WILL......now what we have to determine is......WHO'S will or WHAT will if you prefer....like findin your car keys.....WHO LOST THEM!?and WHY!?hehe!!

  6. #6
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    Re: Deja vu 'recreated in laboratory'

    Quote Originally Posted by kazza
    I read an interesting article regarding deja-vu some time back. The author(s) theorised that when you enter a room or such your brain unconciously makes a quick scan of your surroundings. Such a scan developed evolutionarily to check for immediate dangers, ie. a lion sitting in the corner about to pounce on you. Once you have made this scan, the brain then erases it and starts to take in the scene in more detail. The author(s) believed that deja-vu occurs when the first scan is not erased, so you actually observe the same scene twice, and the second time you recognise it as familiar.
    yes!this sounds practical in nature while being deadly in fact!?but to put it anohter way......what is memory or remembered sensation/imagination based on probable outcomes!?or what is THOUGHT!?hehe!!and is there a realm/reality/real-estate,mental/pshycologial of existance not DEPENDENT on thought!?and what does this say about the MIND as we know it!?is there another CHOICE beyond the KNOWN!?and why/how could this exist!?AND.....who could/would adventure there!?..teasers at seven,facts at eleven!?hehe!!just askin......
    Last edited by lexx; 07-31-2006 at 10:20 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Deja vu 'recreated in laboratory'

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazza.
    Have you ever wondered why you can anticipate what someone is going to say next?? While you're thinking "I bet they say this or that next" and they DO!
    It's freaky
    not really. Being social creatures by nature, it is definitely in our best interest to be able to 'predict' human behaviour. (or animal behaviour for that matter) If we couldn't predict how other animals and humans react to their environment, then we would find ourselves being ostracized for saying the wrong thing all the time (and never learning that they don't like it), and for offending people, and for taking things which aren't ours and not understanding that they don't like it etc etc.

    Being able to predict the future is simply a matter of learning the past and applying the same forumla forwards. Extrapolation.

    Unfortunately, of course, this doesn't apply accurately to chance events, like lotto. Although, it does apply to playing the lotto. Smart people will apply past experience: i haven't come close to winning the lotto, and I know no one who has, to the future and reach the correct conclusion: Playing lotto is a waste of money.

    See, i just predicted the outcome for tomorrow nights lotto. Don't waste your money!

  8. #8
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    Re: Deja vu 'recreated in laboratory'

    Quote Originally Posted by aegist
    not really. Being social creatures by nature, it is definitely in our best interest to be able to 'predict' human behaviour. (or animal behaviour for that matter) If we couldn't predict how other animals and humans react to their environment, then we would find ourselves being ostracized for saying the wrong thing all the time (and never learning that they don't like it), and for offending people, and for taking things which aren't ours and not understanding that they don't like it etc etc.

    Being able to predict the future is simply a matter of learning the past and applying the same forumla forwards. Extrapolation.

    Unfortunately, of course, this doesn't apply accurately to chance events, like lotto. Although, it does apply to playing the lotto. Smart people will apply past experience: i haven't come close to winning the lotto, and I know no one who has, to the future and reach the correct conclusion: Playing lotto is a waste of money.

    See, i just predicted the outcome for tomorrow nights lotto. Don't waste your money!

    MINORITY REPORT people!!hehe!!but i must add dejavu(did you vue,the first time,again!?)!?) is not precognition!?de ja vu is a wakeup where precog is a later effect of SAME origin!?and foreknowledge is the HOPE and PEACE of the eternal LIFE!?not to be confused by aquired/past effects/preconception/prediction/EXPERIENCE........otherwise KNOWN as FASCIST thinking/BEING!?and only if applied on the LARGER scale does THIS become DANGEROUS!?how likely is that!?ask aegis!?so then we must seperate the IDEA of PLAYING the lotto and actually WINNING?!and that separation CANNOT be an IDEA!?or planned!?(same thing!?)hehe!!just askin....

  9. #9
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    Re: Deja vu 'recreated in laboratory'

    Quote Originally Posted by Gazza.
    Or maybe it is, in reality, a "time warp", where the individual experiences the moment more than once! I can see where this might drive people nuts.
    Personally, I really enjoy the odd deja-vu. (Of course, it spoils it a bit when you know what is going to happen next!!)

    Have you ever wondered why you can anticipate what someone is going to say next?? While you're thinking "I bet they say this or that next" and they DO!
    It's freaky



    Whoa! Deja-vu!

    ;)

    you dont MEAN by any chance the moment when you get to witness your intended VICTIM opening their present that you bought them and the RESULTING tirade of YOU STUPID SOB!?...DO YOU!?hehe!!just askin...

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