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It’s not déjà vu, but a memory of a dream long since passed

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#1 InfiniteNow



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Posted 04 June 2007 - 10:45 PM

Ever had an amazing sense of déjà vu? Yes/no.

If you feel safe enough to post it online, I’d enjoy reading dialog here where people share their personal perspectives on the topic. Sometimes it helps us understand our own thoughts by hearing more from others.

This isn’t about time. It isn’t about drugs. It isn’t about attacking. It’s about experience and interpretation.

Whoa. :confused:

#2 Jay-qu


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Posted 04 June 2007 - 10:48 PM

So is the title line one crazy idea you had :cup:

I get them from time to time, and I have had some really wierd that like you said, I was sure I had experienced in a past dream. Perhaps the way the brain has the sence of experiencing the present as a memory is somewhat similar to the way we remember dreams :confused:

#3 Qfwfq


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Posted 05 June 2007 - 03:07 AM

I think both things can happen, the standard explanation i. e. brain giving a false sense of remembering, and having had a dream that just happened to resemble later events.

In a couple of cases I was able to remember dreams quite well that had been previous to events and see both analogies and differences. In both cases I had the dreams when I could see the first signs of oncoming troubles. In one of them I remembered the dream as the similar events were happening. In the other case I only remembered the dream a few weeks later and thought it must have been in the mean time, but then realized it wasn't and that I had mentioned it to my girl of the time. She confirmed. Some details of the dream were such an uncanny allegory that it seemed impossible, but that must have been chance.

#4 Godspeed2012



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Posted 24 August 2007 - 08:25 AM

I think deja vu's can be various things. I do believe most of them are fleeting rememberances of dreams.

Deja vu means already seen, so... it is quite possible you have done the same things over and over and sometimes your brain goes to file it and finds one almost identical and theres the feeling.

Some say that you are living multiple parallel lives, and since they are all you they have a universal connection which you access every apect of yourself. I sometimes i think the inner thoughts telling me whats right or wrong could very well be just a future or past self.

#5 cslagle



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Posted 06 September 2007 - 06:54 PM

I believe that these moments are of passed life expereriences. I am open to all posible explinations. The reason I embrace this one is because it works for me. I like the idea that if I messed something up before, I get the chance to fix it this time around. Deja vu, could be my ultimate memory telling me where to go, or where not to go in life. It helps me put these moments into perspective, use them for something good, instead of passing them off as nothing important.
I liked the idea of parallel lives, I will think on that as another possible explination.

#6 DougF


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Posted 07 September 2007 - 12:48 PM

Ever had an amazing sense of déjà vu? Yes/no.

Yes, I have and most of the people I know (that are willing to talk about it) have also had this happen to them, as to whether It’s a memory of a dream long since passed or just the brain giving a false sense of remembering,
or having had a dream that just happened to resemble later events.
or maybe we are living multiple parallel lives,
I don't know but Some details of déjà vu were so close to the present experience that it is uncanny.

#7 secnarf



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Posted 07 October 2007 - 07:28 AM

[quote name='InfiniteNow']Ever had an amazing sense of déjà vu? Yes/no.

yes.....many times.

i guess for me, now that i think about it i have four types of deja vu.
one i can feel its of a dream ive had recently.
another(which doesnt happen alot)is of a dream that i had when i was a kid. its like the deja vu itself has my childhood feelings/self attached to it.
third, its just something ive done heaps of times ie.going to the sink and getting a drink.
last is just the ramdom deja vu. it dosent have that dream feeling/connection with it that comes with the others and its not a repeated behavior. these ones totally feel weird as they seem familiar yet you have no idea where they came from. also its these ones that go the longest. you know those ridiculously long ones with heaps of detail.yeah......they are definately the weirdest..... but also kinda fun.

#8 Biomajor



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Posted 15 December 2007 - 04:14 PM

I'm not sure why we have them...or what exactly they mean, but i know that when i have them I take it as a red flag to really pay attention to what is going on...to take note, be cautious, etc.

#9 HydrogenBond



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Posted 17 December 2007 - 06:02 PM

One experience I had was associated with a group of female friends who needed to periodically to go to psychics so they can get a handle. One night I had a dream of meeting their psychic. The next night we all went out and we bumped into their psychic at a nightclub. I had never seen or met him before but I recognized him from my dream, and pointed him out.

My theory is I picked this up from my friends, unconsciously. It came to consciousness in the dream. This allowed me to translate it. When I scanned the crowd he acted like a trigger that reinforced the memory.

#10 PsyCho



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Posted 24 February 2008 - 07:56 AM

So, deja vu then. What is it? How does it work? And can we mess with it

On the subject of deja vu it's thought to be on the spectrum of delusional misidentification syndomes. Theory goes like this:

When you consciously percieve an object, several different streams (circuits) are involved in the higher perception of that object/event/image.

Basically put, it goes something like this:

Ie = Image External
Ps = Primary signal (we'll ignore refinement and accessory streams interesting as they are)
V1 - Primary visual cortex
Vo - V2-V5 (metalayers of visual cortex constructing progressively more detailed image)
Vi = Internal representation of image (RAW)

V1,Vo and Vi all take place in the occipital lobe of the brain at the back

OF - Occipto-Frontal Circuit

OTF(h) - Occipto-temporal-frontal (via hippocampus) Memory accessing (Object recognition)

OTF(L) - Occipto-temporal-fronal (via limbic; Probably enters through a funky wee structure called the amygdala (amyg) into the emotive circuit (circuit of Papez) causing the emotional response

I've included OT(amyg) -> Certain signals will cause the amygdala to release flight of fight response, so you act before you've "seen", this is a lower more primative processing pathway. This is probably mediated via the locus coerelus (LC) (more on this funky wee structure later me feels, but consider it the wake up and take note button; causing increased awareness, sharpened attention), however it is also possible to have direct amygdala stimulation by a fast signal... (is this via VC? It seems so but some suggest it is actually direct from visual tract... Hmmmmm)

Anyway, back to deja vu:

Ve -> V1 -> VO = Vi

1) Vi -> OF -> F............ Image construction

2) Vi -> OTFh -> F.......... Memory integration of image

3) Vi -> OTFl -> F ......... Emotive response to image

Vi -> LC -> OTFa -> Raw emotion (flight or fight) (faster than perception -> Release of primitive circuits causing defense response whilst simutaneously tickling your fear respose and causing healthy release of adrenaline)

OTFa -> OTFl -> extended amygdala -> Emotive response -> Papaz circuit -> Frontal

I'm pretty sure that the OTF circuit integrates with a few others that I'll write about shortly to produce time perception; But now comes the interesting parts 1) How does it go wrong and 2) How can we **** with it harmlessly (I'll post more on this). I should point out I'm ignoring about 75% of what happens in processing and concentrating on delusional misidentification.

Circuits 2 and 3 constitue the "Lower Stream" and 1 the "Upper stream"

A) What goes wrong?

Ideally, Circuits 1,2 and 3 should arrive at frontal integrating system within the same temporal window (though from first principles I would infer that the emotive and direct awareness (3 and 1) arrive faster and closer together as it sometimes takes a few milliseconds more to dredge those memory banks).

When they don't arrive within said temporal window, a discrepancy between image and perception is felt and this can manifest as a spectrum of temporal disorders. Presumably:

Circuit 1 - Will manifest as awareness without awareness (a double negative I hear you say, well not really; though not covered here circuit 1 takes a trip to the frontal lobe via the pariental lobe (above the temporal lobe), certain strokes affecting this region can cause a symptom called neglect. The patient can "see" everything, but ignores one half of their body in preference for the other. The exact detail is debatable and not nearly as exciting as the lower streams)

Problem between Circuit 1 and Circuit 3 (delay) with intact circut 2:
There is a discrepancy between your conscious awareness of an image and your emotive response to this. The brain has trouble handling discrepancies like this so rationalises the situation by taking one of several assumptions:

- The person you are seeing, are not who they say they are; infact they may look identical they are infact a stranger:
......... This is Capgras syndrome (delusion of doubles, this can extend to objects, places etc.,)

Problem between Circuit 1,2,3 (need to bash out this one)

- Presumably this is the origin of FREGOLI syndrome. This is where you believe that a person is persecuting you, but that person has taken on the identity of others (i.e. Different appearance same personality). Named after Leonard Fregoli the master of diguise (Italian quick change actor, could take on the appearance of many different people). I reakon it is Similar to Capgras but you have a pre-existing persecutory delusion (where you pathologically misinterpret the signals/behaviours of others.. Ah yes, temporal obe again - Isn't it great!) which is then comlicated by the Capgras pathology, making it rarer (which it is). Meta-Capgras maybe?

Deja vu (the feeling of an event having experienced an event before it has happened) probably occurs when you recieve the emotive response and/or memory for an image first, and the circuit 1 stream outside the temporal integration window. Therefore you either feel or remember the event before you consciously percieve it. I personally feel it relies more on the emotive stream (3) as deja vu tends to reflect a strong sense of familiarity which is probably rationalized as having happened before. Sometimes it is so strong that you are convinced it has happened before - It is debatable whether this is because both memory and emotive circuits become involved, or if it is persistence of deficit which reinforces significance of familiarity so that it is associated with simililar but not identical events. There are in fact 3 types of deja vous described:

deja vecu — already experienced or lived through
deja senti — already felt
deja visite — already visited.

I still maintain it is the emotive sense of familiarity combined with varying degrees of memory recognition arriving before the visual image; you can combine the first and last ones in that list because they are really the same thing under different situational contexts (i.e. The sensation of visiting is actually in the experince group). Then that gives you two groups; one purely emotive, one mixed emotive-memory.

The opposite (and slightly rarer pole) is Jamais vous; the feeling that something is completly novel. This would complete our triad (and you know how I like 3s), in being a (temporary) disorder of the memory circuit

So there we have it - Temporo-identification pathology based on a nice lovely triad. There's so much more to write but it probably boils down to that deja/jamais vous triad I've described. In normal folk that's how it's experienced, but add a spice of psychiatric illness and you get:

Capgras delusion

Fregoli delusion

Intermetamorphosis is the belief that people in the environment swap identities with each other whilst maintaining the same appearance (Fregoli syndrome inversed, same appearence different personalities vs same personality different appearance)

Mirrored self-misidentification is the belief that one's reflection in a mirror is some other person (kids go through this, you can differentiate intellegent animal species based on this insight)

Subjective doubles, in which a person believes there is a doppelganger or double of him or herself carrying out independent actions.

Reduplicative paramnesia is the objects people or places have been redulicated.

And though debatable, I mention because it's invetesting Cotard delusion is the belief that oneself is dead or does not exist; sometimes coupled with the belief that they are putrifying or missing their internal organs... Usually schizophrenics.

Now finally, on the case of recalled dreams. Yes this could be a cause, but I would wager this is a minority of actual deja vu cases, and that no-one has written down the dream before the deja vu (I would like to be corrected).. Why, well the brain is very slippy, particularly in relation to memories. And if something is going wrong and doesn't quite make sense it will fluently confabulate an answer to resolve any discrepancies. I.E. why do I remember this event that hasn't happened. Ans-I've dreamt it before. A natural stable attractor. The beauty is the brain will not only believe this whole-heartedly, but will remember (falsely) dreaming it. Yet another example of the array of cognitive illusions we are all prone to.
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#11 Brinnie



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Posted 24 February 2008 - 08:09 PM


conciseness is the most misunderstood and has yet to be reduced to an exact science.


#12 InfiniteNow



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Posted 24 February 2008 - 08:15 PM


conciseness is the most misunderstood and has yet to be reduced to an exact science.


Hi Brinnie,

I know you're new here still, so I'll try to say this kindly. It's important to look at the topic of a thread, and make your comments relate to that topic. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that your comments above are somehow pertinent and that I'm too daft to understand. Can you elaborate how your comments about consciousness and how your label of this topic being very misunderstood has any relevance on the experience on deja vu and the conjecture that it's a memory of a dream long since passed?

#13 johnfp



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Posted 09 April 2008 - 08:20 AM

I once read that deja vu was due to out left and right half of our brains going slightly out of sinc. That is, your left eye (or your right) sees and the brain processes a sequence of events sightly faster then the other eye and other side of the brain does. Thus the one side of the brain is lagging and reports the events as already have happened which in fact were already processed by the faster brain side.

#14 Tolouse



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Posted 09 April 2008 - 08:29 AM

well, i never called it deja vu, but that movie Radio i swore i had seen it

and i did, in a dream

but then i started seeing previews for it

that, for me, was kinda strange

it kinda ruined it for me too since i never went to go see it in the theaters when it came out