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deja vu

Mark D. Morin mdmpsyd at PETERHOOD69.earthlink.net
Sun Dec 3 09:58:13 EST 2000


Robert M Best wrote:

>                                                      DEJA VU
> by Robert M. Best

..


> The brain formation that recognizes new episodes and commits them to memory
> is the right hippocampus (HC).

That would be visual/spatial episodes.  Linguisticly based episodes are normally
processed by the Left Hippocampus (95% of right handers and about 75% of left
handers).  Since most episodes in life are a combination of linguistic and
nonlinguistic components, both hippocampi are usually involved.

snip of a decent summary of the neurology of memory


> By removing redundancy and compressing the input pattern to essential
> features, the DG discards information, just as compression of a digital
> picture in a JPG file discards information.  Without details, sooner or
> later a new pattern will match a prior pattern based on only the essential
> features, but not match the details in the uncompressed memory.  Since the
> details do not match, the prior memory does not become conscious, but the HC
> has already signaled that the pattern is a familiar one because the
> essential features do match.  This is the deja vu feeling.  We feel that a
> new situation has occurred before but cannot recall when or where.

my initial gut reaction is that this isn't quite what déjà-vu is about.  It's
not experienced so much as a memory but a reliving.  In any event, you are
getting at the underlying brain response to this phenomenon.  All brain response
are electro/chemical.  One can simply explain déjà-vu as an electrical blip that
shouldn't have happened.  Simplistic yes.

If you were to do long term telemetry on people experiencing frequent déjà-vu
you would more likely than not find evidence of seizure activity.  If you think
about it, it makes sense--most seizures will come from the mesial temporal
lobe--an area proximal to the hippocampi.




--
===============================================================
"I'll remind you that men never do evil so completely and
cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.  Put
another way, in general, bad people do evil things; good
people do good things.  But, it takes religion to make a good
person do something really bad."
                    --Jill Tarter, member of SETI

http://members.mint.net/mdmpsyd


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