Fleur de Dee (silverdee) wrote,
Fleur de Dee

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Déjà Vu - There & Back Again

"The way the coffee cups were lined up on the table," said Gretchen Purcell, a business consultant in the Washington area. "The whole scene was so familiar I thought I knew what people were going to say before they said it. It was like I was in a movie I'd already seen."

That kind of experience is called déjà vu (the term is French for "already seen"). It is the sort of fleeting, intimate experience that reveals itself more readily to novelists than to researchers. As recently as the 1990s, social scientists doing population surveys asked about it in the same breath with which they inquired about contact with the dead.

But recent research on memory has opened a promising window on the phenomenon, providing possible explanations for the sensation and novel ways to create and measure it.

Tags: miscellany
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