The D j Vu Experience

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Taylor & Francis, Jun 1, 2004 - Psychology - 272 pages
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Most of us have been perplexed with a strange sense of familiarity when doing something for the first time. We feel that we have been here before, or done this before, but know for sure that this is impossible. In fact, according to numerous surveys, about two-thirds of us have experienced déjà vu at least once, and most of us have had multiple experiences.

This déjà vu experience has been studied since the mid-1800s and the present book summarizes the broad range of published work from philosophy, religion, neurology, sociology, memory, perception, psychopathology, and psychopharmacology.

There are a number of credible scientific interpretations of déjà vu, and these fall into four categories: (a) two cognitive functions (e.g. retrieval and familiarity) are momentarily out of normal synchrony; (b) a brief alteration occurs in the usual time course of neuronal transmission; (c) an implicit familiarity with part (or all) of the present situation goes unrecognized; and (d) a 'double perception' occurs where an unattended initial perception (glance) is followed immediately by perception under full attention.

The Déjà Vu Experience covers the recent scientific discoveries and theorizing in perception, cognition, and neurophysiology, which have the potential to help clarify the cause of the déjà vu experience. In addition to summarizing the major historical and contemporary theoretical approaches to the déjà vu experience, the volume should also stimulate additional research on this curious cognitive glitch.

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