Frequent Deja vu

It s a fairly rare occurrence

It would be good to know how frequently this occurs, of course, and how strong the sensation of deja vu. Is it daily, weekly feeling, more like intuition, or a strong one, like you are certain?

Depending upon your answers to that it could fall within "normal range" or even be more explicable than initially expected.

But thinking generally about the "causes" of deja vu, there are a range of possible explanations.

  • The most likely is misrecognition or familiarity. Your memory is fallible, your retrieval moreso. It could be that you have been somewhere similar and certain sensory 'cues' are firing up past memories of that similar place or action. These sensory inputs could be sound and smell as well as vision. So it's just a random mistake, a mix-up.
  • Also worth considering is a passing glitch in the memory "system". It can also happen to any of us. In this explanation you would sometimes "file" a working memory or even a duplicate copy of that memory in the "wrong" order or place. It may have the "look and feel" of a long-term memory when in fact you had only just experienced it. It's just a hypothesis, but if you didn't realise that you had just formed that memory only moments before, it may be both very convincing - and confusing!
  • Some medications may also have unexpected side effects on the memory.
  • And there is the lesser possibility that there's a disorder behind the sensation. I'm not a practitioner in this field and I can't give you any specific advice, certainly none that you would want to take; however if it really is a concern for anyone then consulting a doctor and having a chat about it is a good way forward.
Wikipedia has a good summary of the subject with further detail. It's worth a read:

Oh, and a more science-fiction-friendly answer might be that the "many worlds" hypothesis is true and in another universe you really did see or do what you think you saw or did. And it's somehow leaking across the void into our universe. Not very likely but a lot more fun to consider!

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