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Written by Art Funkhouser   
Friday, 21 November 2008 17:20
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Abstracts and links having to do with déjà experiences

The abstracts and links are listed in reverse chronological order: the more recent ones are listed first.

In the older literature, there were other terms used for déjà vu: paramnesia, fausse reconnaissance (French), Erinnerungsfälschung or -täuschung (German) and so on. You'll encounter these if you scroll down to the early abstracts (i.e., before 1910 or so).

For those that were published without an abstract (or for which we could not locate one) we have tried to provide some information from the paper or book.  We are sure we have not done justice to many of them and would be grateful for suggestions for amendment or correction.  There are still many that we have not been able to find abstracts for or make comments on.

The abstracts and book/paper titles are organized into sections:

1. Literary descriptions
2. Surveys
3. Déjà experiences that are not associated with diagnosed pathology
4. Déjà experiences associated with neurological pathology (primarily epilepsy)
5. Déjà experiences associated with psychiatric pathology
6. Psychoanalytic thinking
7. Parapsychology research
8. Books, papers and letters to the editor without summaries or abstracts
9. Links to articles on the Internet
10. Other (fun) déjà vu websites


To find a section, an author, year, or word, perform a search using CTRL-F.


Section one: Literary descriptions

Tsingou, Fermi, Pasta and Ulam recurrent phenomena and the déjà vu

Agüero M, Lourdes N, María de, Ongay F
Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México

Ciencia ergo sum 17(2): 189-196, 2010


We provide in this contribution with an informative overview of the research to verify the ergodic theorem on the equipartition of energy in a system of many degrees of freedom. Tsingou, Fermi, Pasta and Ulam (TFPU) in Los Alamos, New Mexico back in the second post-war years, have studied the phenomenon of heat transfer in solids. They have done this research for verifying the ergodic theorem, by means of numerical calculations based on a discrete system of masses connected by nonlinear forces. They discovered a strange phenomenon that was named a posteriori as TFPU recurrent phenomenon. This research laid the cornerstone in the rapid development of the nonlinear solitary wave theories and also in the new method of research by means of numerical experimentation. It was assumed, that this recurrent phenomenon may have its analogue in the physiological sensation called 'Déjà vu'.


'Temporary Failure of Mind': Déjà vu and Epilepsy in Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho

Schillace BL

Eighteenth-Century Studies 42( 2) 273-287,  2009


At the time The Mysteries of Udolpho was published, déjà vu had not been connected to epilepsy. Yet, as déjà vu routinely accompanies epileptic seizures, it is no surprise to find them linked in fiction, even if that link is not clinically explained; the disease and its symptoms pre-exist scientific authentication. Reading Udolpho with an understanding of the epileptic condition 'its relationship to melancholy, its production of anxiety over self-boundaries and its mimicry of madness' opens new possibilities for gothic criticism. As a symptomatic text, The Mysteries of Udolpho connects manifestations of epilepsy to the Gothic's preoccupation with dreamy or altered states.



Noriega MdJ

Doctoral thesis: Pacifica Graduate Institute, California, 2007


We live most of our lives within linear time, which is fixed and static, and we tend to find the experience of timelessness improbable and contrary to the established order of things. Often, the collective and personal experiences of timelessness have been relegated to either pathological or mystical realms. The purpose of this work is to concentrate on timelessness, based upon the atemporality of the unconscious that stem from the depth psychology of Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung. Using a hemeneutic and heuristic methodology, this phenomenological and theoretical research expands and deepens new understandings of the lived experience of timelessness as a crucial contribution to the process of collective and personal individuation and regeneration, and as an archetypal experience that allows to see things in diverse ways connecting to the imaginal, emotional, sacred, and mythic dimension. In order to deconstruct the superiority of linear time, topics that have sustained it are analyzed such as the myth of Chronos and monotheism vs. polytheism in time, and the symbolism of calendars and clocks. Timelessness is examined through the trinity of time within varied experiences. In the present time timelessness is found in attention and concentration, joy and ecstasy, illness and hope, flow and work. In the past, timelessness appears in memory as suspension of time and its relationship with the loss of paradise, and in the future through the depathologizing of dèjá vu and the analysis of synchronicity and time travel. Slowness is amplified as a precursor to timelessness in daily life and in the analytic encounter. Within the consulting room, timelessness is present in experiences such as waiting, kairos, synchronicity, and timeless presence. This work also contains a depth perspective analysis of artistic manifestations closely related to timelessness. The findings of this research affirm the presence of timelessness, inviting a depth revision of the many forms in which we have nurtured Father Time at the expense of forgetting to care for Mother Timelessness, and reveal the conceptual foundation of what I have termed temporal temenos.



Probst UM

Kunstforum International, Issue 178, 356-357, 2005


Reviews the exhibition 'Der Augen-Blick der Nachträglichkeit in der zeitgenössischen Kunst' at the Atelier Augaren, Zentrum für zeitgenössischen Kunst der Österreichischen Galerie Belvedere, Vienna (20 Oct. 2005-26 Feb. 2006). The author discusses its theme of déjà-vu as defined by Henri Bergson in his 'Le souvenir du présent et la fausse reconnaisance' (1908), and its interpretation in installations and video art by artists including Constantin Luser, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Isabell Heimerdinger, David Thorpe and Jan Mancuska, noting the increasing potential for apparent recognition of images and situations in an age of expanding media for the dissemination of images. She examines the psychological cognitive processes involved, and the methods used by the artists to explore them within the closed space of the museum.


New techniques for content-based image/video retrieval, classification, and analysis

Chen Y

Doctoral thesis: New York Polytechnic University, 2002


In this dissertation, we explored and developed new techniques and methods for image/video retrieval and classification. Various low- and high-level features have been developed. These include augmented histogram, colorfulness, most prominent color, regions computed from DCT coefficients, focus of attention, motion-activity, motion-magnitude, and cut rate. These features, together with other features such as straight lines, text, and human faces form a powerful set of low- and high-level features for image/video retrieval and classification. Their effectiveness is demonstrated in a content-based image retrieval simulation experiment we performed, a knowledge-based video classification prototype system, and a hyper-linked video retrieval prototype system we implemented. We have also explored the use of straightline features for video sub-classification, and camera transform estimation for basketball games. The augmented histogram we developed captures information about the "spatial distribution" of pixels, in addition to the intensity or color count. Since the spatial information is computed globally in terms of relative distance between pixels, it is insensitive to image rotation and translation. The knowledge-based prototype system we developed uses a rule-based implementation to classify video into one of five possible classes. The rules capture human knowledge on how to classify video. We present experimental results to demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach. The hyper-linked video retrieval system is based on the concept of human déjà vu. We present a prototype system called DejaVideo, which uses visual similarity to find similar shots.


Deja vu. Aberrations of memory in literature and media

Krapp PO

Doctoral thesis: University of California, Santa Barbara, 2000


The singular and unrepeatable experience of déjà vu refers to a past that never was; thus it shares a structure not only with fiction, but also with the ever more sophisticated time manipulations and doubling effects of media technology. This thesis historicizes and theorizes déjà vu , proposing that the acceleration of technological progress directly informs the way memory and forgetting have been constructed across various 20th century discourses. As a critique of the tendency to simplify and monumentalize memory in cultural studies, German studies, and media studies, the project emphasizes the role distraction and divided attention play in the configuration of cultural memory. Although the possibility of parapraxis informs notions of the subject since Aristotle's critique of Plato on akrasia or self-deception, the history of déjà vu proper only begins with discussions conducted in France at the end of the nineteenth century. Early theories on mnemopathology yield a pre-Freudian logic of the cover-up. Paramnesia inflects notions of self-deception and the secret in the work of Sigmund Freud, inversion and the envelope of space-time in Walter Benjamin's media theory, Heiner Müller's writing on kitsch and monument, repetition and aura in the industrial art of Andy Warhol, and cinematic violence as explored by Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven . Each chapter also focuses on the question of the feminine, which from Nietzsche to the present is intricately connected with questions of time and repetition. With the aid of contemporary theories of technology and media, "Déjà vu" refines the discourse on aberrations of cultural memory to offer a comprehensive profile of the cultural and theoretical significance of the déjà vu effect, spanning a century from discussions of psychopathology in the 1890s to the media theories of the 1990s. In so doing, this thesis offers an account of how the specific cultural effects of paramnesia drive our attention economy.


Déjà Vu

Orloff J

In: Second Sight, Warner Books, N. Y., pp. 260-267, 1996

("[Déjà vu] is a signal to pay special attention to what is taking place, perhaps to receive a specific lesson or to complete what is not yet finished.... Déjä vu is an offering, an opportunity for additional knowledge about ourselves and others." p. 261)


Deja vu

Lazerson BH


American Speech 69(3): 285-293, 1994

The evolution of the use of the French term deja vu 'already seen' in English, from its beginnings as an obscure psychological term in 1903 to its variety of modern usages, is traced. A list of current terms based on or derived from the original phrase, & with definitions & examples, is provided.


Art imitates life: Déjà vu experiences in prose and poetry.

Sno HN, Linszen DH, de Jonghe F
Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Britisch Journal of Psychiatry 160:511-8, 1992

The déjà vu experience is a subjective phenomenon that has been described in many novels and poems. Here we review over 20 literary descriptions. These accounts are consistent with the data obtained from psychiatric literature, including various phenomenological, aetiological and psychopathogenetic aspects of the déjà vu experience. The explanations, explicitly formulated by creative authors, include reincarnation, dreams, organic factors and unconscious memories. Not infrequently, an association with defence or organic factors is demonstrable on the basis of psychoanalytic or clinical psychiatric interpretation. The authors recommend that psychiatrists be encouraged to overstep the limits of psychiatric literature and read prose and poetry as well.


Iron Maiden's déjà vu. Plummer B, British Jopurnal of Psychiatry 161:134, 1992

Descriptions of psychiatric conditions in literature. Cohen RN, British Journal of Psychiatry 161:280-1, 1992


Out on a Broken Limb

Smith FL

Harvest House, Eugene, OR, 1986

("We've all experienced deja vu -- the feeling that we've been in a given circumstance or environment before, and that we are reenacting a scene we've acted out at a previous time. We all seem to have a kind of "sixth sense" about certain things or certain people -- an intuition beyond our normal physical senses. Most of us have had the feeling, when first introduced to certain people, that we've known them before." p. 44)


Borrowed sight: The halted traveller in Caspar David Friedrich and William Wordsworth

Koerner JL

Word & Image: A Journal of Verbal/Visual Enquiry 1(2): 149-163, 1985

("As in déjà-vu, the poet's sense of return or repetition involves something lost." p. 160)


Dream Thief

Lawhead S

Lion Publications, Pie, UK 1983

("It was the same sense of déjà vu pricked before at various times along the way.  He felt he really did recognize the place.  But this time the scene carried with it none of the strange panic that used to seize him in his dreams.  Of course.  That was it! His dreams! -- he had been here in his dreams.")


Out on a Limb

MacLaine S

Elm Tree Books, London, 1983

("They talk about a kind of 'veil of forgetfulness' that exists in the conscious mind so that we aren't continually traumatized by what might have occurred before.  They all say that the present lifetime is the important one, only sparked now and then by those déjà vu feelings that you have experienced something before or know someone that you know you've never consciously met before in this lifetime.  You know those feelings you sometimes get that you've been somewhere before only you know you haven't?" p. 106.  Also see pp. 156, 192-3, and 224.)


"Where or When": Still mystery and magic in the guise of "déjà vu"

Kohn SR

Journal of the Medical Society of New Jersey 76(2):101-104, 1979

(This paper includes an excellent bibliography of literary sources.)


A time for forecast

Conklin B

In: A Little Book of Yankee Humor.  Yankee, Inc., Dublin, NH, 1977

(He makes a funny remark about déjà vu on p. 14.)


Arthur Schnitzler's Die Frau mit dem Dolche: Deja Vu Experience or Hypnotic Trance?

Berlin, Jeffrey B

Journal of the International Arthur Schnitzler Research Association 7:108-112, 1974


Schnitzler's Die Frau mit dem Dolche concerns Pauline's relationships with her husband and with Leonhard, her lover. In a museum with Leonhard, she likens herself to a particular painting. As she observes it, the scene changes and reveals her thoughts in the form of a fantasy. Why does she identify with the painting? What is the nature of her experience as Paola in the trance scene? Why does she kill her lover in the trance? These issues are examined by investigating Pauline's psychological processes. It is shown that while the trance scene may seem to be a déjà vu experience, it is actually a self-induced hypnotic trance that permits repressed material to emerge from the unconscious and thus represents an attempt to effect abreaction.


Hammer und Ambos [Hammer and anvil] [Book in German]

Spielhagen F

Schwerin i/M: A. Hildebrand Verlag 1869, p. 72

(Translated from the German: "as though I had seen all this sometime already once before ...")


In the garden of sleep

Scott C

A chapter in: Arrowsmith's Summer Annual -- Travelers Tales, Arrowsmith's Bristol Library, Vol. 5, 1892, pp. 115-131

("Among the curious experiences of Life none is stranger or more mysterious than the accidental visiting of a new spot, and the sudden consciousness that you have seen it all before. Without any warning it suddenly flashes upon you, "It is not new at all. At some time or other I have visited this very place." I most cordially own that this has often happened to me at strange places, not only in England, but elsewhere; and the feeling to me, and to others, is inexplicable.
There are times when a chance conversation suggests the idea: "Just these very words spoken to me at that exact spot."
But how often, with intense suddenness, a dream of the past is revealed!
'How is it? This is not the first time I have been here?  I remember it all as if it were yesterday--in a dream, in a picture, in the flower-fields of imagination.  I have certainly been here.'  p. 117)


The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (1858)

Holmes OW

Everyman's Library, NY, 1960

(There is a lengthy description of the characteristics of déjà vu experiences based on what was known at that time [1858]. pp. 11, 69-71)


Julius oder die Bibliothek des Oheims (13. Teil) [Julius or the Oheim Library (part 13)] [Book in German]

Zschokke H

Aarau: K. R. Sauerländer Verlag, 1851

("'Ach, Fräulein, wenn man immer fände, was man suchte!' -- seufzt ich, und während ich die Worte sprach, ward mir, als wäre das schon einmal da gewesen, wie jetzt, und ich dachte mir ihre Antwort voraus: 'Oft findet man auch besseres, als man sucht.' Doch dach' ich dies nur flüchtig und unklar.  Aber sie entgegnete, was ich gedacht hatte: 'Oft findet man Besseres, als man sucht.'" p. 227)

["'Oh, girl, if one always found what one is looking for!' -- I sighed, and while I spoke the words, it seemed to me as it was once as it is now, and I had thought of an answer in advance: 'Often one also finds something better than that which one has searched for.' However I thought this only in passing and vaguely. But she replied what I had thought: 'Often one finds something better than that which one has searched for.'"]


Near Oxford

Hawthorne N

In: Our Old Home (1863) 1912 Riverside Edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.

(On a visit to the ruins of Stanton Harcourt in Oxford, Hawthorne experienced an eerie sense of recognition [déjà visité].   He was later able to trace it to a passage in a text he had once read by Alexander Pope. [pp. 218-220])


The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (which he never meant to be published on any account)

Dickens C

Chapter 39 (Wickfield and Heep), London: Bradbury & Evans, 1850

"We have all some experience of a feeling, that comes over us occasionally, of what we are saying and doing having been said and done before, in a remote time--of our having been surrounded, dim ages ago, by the same faces, objects, and circumstances--of our knowing perfectly what will be said next, as if we suddenly remembered it! I never had this mysterious impression more strongly in my life, than before he uttered those words."

(The full text is available on-line at http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/766/pg766.txt.)


Speculations on metaphysics

Shelley PB

In: The Works of Percy Byssche Shelley in Verse and Prose, H. B. Forman (ed.).  London: Reeves & Turner, 1880

("The scene was a common scene ... The effect that it produced on me was not such as could have been expected. I suddenly remembered to have seen that exact scene in some dream of long ... "Here I was obliged to leave off, overcome by thrilling horror!" [p. 297])

(His widow, Mary Shelley, assigned the fragment bearing the heading "Catalogue of the Phenomena of Dreams, as Connecting Sleeping and Waking" to 1815, seven years before his death.)


Guy Mannering or The Astrologer

Scott, Sir Walter

James Ballantyne & Co., Edinburgh, 1815

("'Why is it,' he thought, continuing to follow out the succession of ideas which the scene prompted, -- 'why is it that some scenes awaken thoughts which belong as it were to dreams of early and shadowy recollection, such as my old Brahmin Moonshie would have ascribed to a state of previous existence? Is it the visions of our sleep that float confusedly in our memory, and are recalled by the appearance of such real objects as in any respect correspond to the phantoms they presented to our imagination? How often do we find ourselves in society which we have never before met, and yet feel impressed with a mysterious and ill-defined consciousness, that neither the scene, the speakers, nor the subject, are entirely new; nay, feel as if we could anticipate that part of the conversation which has not yet taken place!' p. 294).



Section two: Surveys

The frequency of déjà vu (déjà rêve) and the effects of age, dream recall frequency and personality factors

Funkhouser AT, Schredl M

International Journal of Dream Research 3(1), 2010

A question about déjà rêve (already dreamt, a form of déjà experience) was included in a large "sleep, dreams, and personality" survey of 444 (mainly psychology) students at three German universities.  The incidence of déjà rêve was high (95.2%) and, like most other déjà experiences, was negatively correlated with age. In addition to dream recall frequency, the most influential personality dimensions were thin boundaries and absorption.  Additional research should use diary measures and experimental approaches in addition to the trait and dream variables.


Déjà vu experiences are rarely associated with pathological dissociation

Adachi N [1]; Akanuma N [2]; Adachi T [1,3]; Takekawa Y [4]; Adachi Y [5]; Ito M [6]; and Ikeda H [7]
1 Adachi Mental Clinic, Kitano 7-5-12, Kiyota, Sapporo, Japan 004-0867
2 Adult Mental Health Service, South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London
3 Department of Psychiatry, Juntendo University Hospital, Tokyo
4 Department of Psychological Medicine, Hiratsuka Kyosai Hospital, Hiratsuka
5 Department of Internal Medicine, Sapporo Shirakabadai Hospital, Sapporo
6 National Center Hospital for Mental, Nervous and Muscular Disorders, Kodaira
7 Department of Neuropsychiatry, Sapporo Medical University Hospital, Sapporo

The Journal of nervous and mental disease 196(5):417-9, 2008

We investigated the relation between déjà vu and dissociative experiences in nonclinical subjects. In 227 adult volunteers, déjà vu and dissociative experiences were evaluated by means of the Inventory of Déjà vu Experiences Assessment (IDEA) and Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES). Déjà vu experiences occurred in 162 (71.4%) individuals. In univariate correlation analysis, the frequency of déjà vu experiences, as well as five other IDEA symptoms and age at the time of evaluation, correlated significantly with the DES score. After exclusion of intercorrelative effects using multiple regression analysis, déjà vu experiences did not remain in the model. The DES score was best correlated with a model that included age, jamais vu, depersonalization, and precognitive dreams. Two indices for pathological dissociation (DES-taxon and DES =30) were not associated with déjà vu experiences. Our findings suggest that déjà vu experiences are unlikely to be core pathological dissociative experiences.


The role of counselor spirituality and training on counselor treatment focus, self-reported willingness, and self-reported competency in therapy

Watkins KJ-A

Doctoral thesis: University of Northern Colorado, 2004

The present study was designed to explore the impact of counselors' spiritual beliefs, experiences, well-being and training on treatment themes, willingness to counsel, and self-perceived competency in counseling sessions. It was hypothesized that personal spiritual beliefs, experiences, well-being, and spiritual training would contribute to the explanation of differences in treatment themes. Additional hypotheses were that personal spiritual beliefs, experiences, well-being, and spiritual training would contribute to the explanation of differences in willingness and self-perceived competency to counsel a spiritual client. The participants were 572 counselors. Approximately 50% ( n = 290; 50.7%)were from the American Mental Health Counseling Association, 242 (42.3%) were from the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling, and 40 (7.0%) were from the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) counselor training program. Four case scenarios were presented, one at a time. The first scenario was about a near death experience, the second was a Vision Quest, the third was a déjà vu experience, and the last was about financial struggles. After completing questions about the four case scenarios, the Index of Core Spiritual Experiences (INSPIRIT; Kass, Friedman, Leserman, Zuttermeister, & Benson, 1991) was given. Next, each participant completed the Spiritual Health Inventory (SHI; Veach & Chappel, 1992). Finally, a demographic questionnaire was included. According to logistic regression results, variables from the INSPIRIT, SHI experience, SHI well-being, and training scores did explain differences in treatment themes. The results from hierarchical regression analysis indicated that the control variables (i.e., age, years counseling experience, and education) collectively accounted for 3.7% of the total variance in willingness. The primary variables (i.e., spiritual belief, experience, well-being, and training) added significantly to the explanation of willingness above and beyond the control variables, accounting for 8.7%, or 12.4% of the total variance. Lastly, the results of the hierarchical regression indicated that the control variables (i.e., age, years counseling experience, and education) did account for 11.6% of the total variance in self-perceived competency. The four primary variables (i.e., spiritual belief, experience, well-being, and training) added significantly to the explanation of competency above and beyond the control variables, accounting for 11.2%, or 22.8% of the total variance. The spiritual well-being score (INSPRIT) and the spiritual experience score (SHI experience) each contributed independently to the treatment theme (i.e., spiritual or not spiritual).


Demographic and psychological features of déjà vu experiences in a nonclinical Japanese population

Adachi N, Adachi T, Kimura M, Akanuma N, Takekawa Y, Kato M
Adachi Mental Clinic, Kitano 7-5-12, Kiyota, Sapporo, Japan 004-0867

Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 191(4):242-7, 2003

The authors investigated the frequency and correlates of déjà vu experiences in 386 healthy adult volunteers recruited from several areas in Japan. Déjà vu experiences and related experiences were evaluated using the Inventory of Déjà vu Experiences Assessment. Déjà vu experiences were observed by 294 (76.2%) of the 386 participants. Persons who experienced déjà vu were younger and more educated than persons who had not experienced it. There were no differences in the frequency of déjà vu experiences based on sex, hand preference, or area of residence. Subsequent factor analysis associated déjà vu with precognitive dreams and remembering dreams as dream- and memory-related factors rather than with the dissociation-related factors of depersonalization, derealization, jamais vu, and daydreams or with mental activity-related factors such as paranormal quality and travel frequency. Results suggest that déjà vu experiences are associated with good memory function.


[Development of the Japanese Version of the Inventory of Deja vu Experiences Assessment (IDEA)] [article in Japanese]

Adachi N, Adachi T, Kimura M, Akanuma N, Kato M

Seishin Igaku [Clinical Psychiatry] 43(11):1223-1231, 2001

The Japanese version of the Inventory for Deja vu Experience Assessment(IDEA) has been developed under agreement with Dr. Herman Sno who elaborated the original IDEA. IDEA (Japanese version) was administrated twice for 73 adult volunteers (37 men and 36 women, mean 34.9yrs) with no history of neuropsychiatric diseases. Reliability appeared to be sufficient as the Cronbach's .ALPHA. coefficient of nine items of general (A) section of IDEA was 0.69. With regard to test-retest reliability, intraclass correlation coefficients of the ordinal variables were from 0.49 to 0.88 and most of the kappa scores of the nominal variables were more than 0.30. The frequency of deja vu experiences in Japanese normal subjects was 76.7%. No gender effect was observed in its frequency. Persons of the younger generation tended to show a higher frequency than those in the older generation. As these results were concordant with those in previous studies, the validity of the Japanese version of IDEA was confirmed. These findings suggested that the Japanese version of IDEA was quite valid as an evaluation tool for deja vu experiences. (author abst.)


Déjà vu-Erfahrungen: Theoretische Annahmen und empirische Befunde [Déjà vu experiences: Theoretical suppositions and empirical findings] [Article in German]

Wolfradt U

Zeitschrift für klinische Psychologie, -Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie 48(4):359-376, 2000

Ziel der vorliegenden Studie war es, die Entwicklung der Déjà vu-Forschung zu skizzieren und eine eigene Studie zur Verbreitung von Déjà vu-Erlebnissen und deren qualitativen Merkmalen vorzustellen, Hierzu wurden frühere und neuere Studien sowie deren methodische Probleme als auch verschiedene Erklärungsmodelle fur Déjà vu-Erfahrungen behandelt. An einer Stichprobe von 224 Studierenden wurde eine deutsche Version des 'Inventory for Déjà Vu Experiences Assessment' (IDEA) (Sno et al., 1994) eingesetzt. Mittels des IDEA wurde die Häufigkeit verschiedener Erfahrungen und deren Zusammenhänge zu Alter und Geschlecht aufgezeigt. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass Déjà vu-Erfahrungen inhaltlich eher mit Tagtraumen zusammenhängen als mit Jamais vu-Erfahrungen, die eher Zusammenhänge zu Depersonalisations- und Derealisationserfahrungen aufweisen. Weiterhin zeigte sich, dalss Déjà vu-Erlebnisse und Tagträume häufiger vorkommen als Jamais vu-Erfahrungen sowie Depersonalisations- und Derealisationserfahrungen. Die Ergebnisse werden auf dem Hintergrund der Bedeutung der Déjà vus für die Persönlichkeit diskutiert.

[The aim of the present study was to outline the development of the déjà vu research and to present an own study about the occurrence of déjà vu experiences and their qualitative features. Methodological problems and different explanation models were presented for this study and other recent studies. A German version of the 'Inventory for Déjà Vu Experiences Assessment (IDEA)' (Sno et al., 1994) was used among a sample of 224 college students and the frequency of different experiences and their relation to age and gender was shown. The results show that déjà vu experiences are more closely related to day dreams than to jamais vu experiences, which are associated to depersonalization and derealization experiences. Moreover, déjà vu experiences and day dreams were found more often than jamais vu experiences as well as depersonalization and derealization experiences. The results were discussed on the basis of the meaning of déjà vu for the personality.]


A questionnaire study on second sight experiences

Cohn SA

Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 63(855): 129-157, 1999

Second sight, a psychic capacity for spontaneous prophetic visions, is reported by people from different cultural traditions. A 65-item questionnaire on second sight and other types of psychic experiences was sent to people living primarily in Scotland but also throughout the British Isles, Europe, North America, and other areas of the world. A total of 208 questionnaires were completed. The responses indicate that second sight is experienced by people of diverse ages, occupations, and religious and cultural traditions. Women tend to report more experiences than men; and an important factor related to having second sight was having had a religious experience in which there was a feeling of being at one with God or Nature. Second sight is also reported by agnostics and atheists. Second sight experiences are reported far less than other types of psychic experiences. Changes in the way of life have affected the manner in which second sight is expressed, especially those experiences closely bound up with particular local customs. Other studies in different traditions may help to elucidate further the possible cultural and genetic factors involved in second sight.

Déjà Vu 138 (yes)  40 (no)  27 (not sure) 3 (missing) 66% (yes)

Déjà Vu 66.7% (yes females)  68.7% (yes, males)


Paranormal contact with the dying: 14 contemporary death coincidences

Wright SH

Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 63(857): 258-267, 1999

In interviews, 61 sane, healthy adults who had sensed contact with the dead described their experiences, some veridical. Most common were vivid dreams (35), sense of presence (34), symbolic events (34) and telepathic communication (34). Sight, hearing, smell and touch were also reported; many events involved electric lights, radios and telephones. Thirteen reported death coincidences, recounted here. Nineteen respondents were children of substance abusers; nineteen reported intensely authoritarian, angry and/or abusive pressures during childhood. Children traumatized by violence may respond by dissociation, disengaging from their immediate world and attending to other stimuli. This may heighten sensitivity to psi phenomena.

Some support for this result is indicated by a sociological study conducted on a large sample of Americans (Greeley, 1976). Respondents classed as psychics (defined as those who experienced clairvoyance, ESP and/or déjà vu) tended to report high levels of tension in their childhood homes. As adults — much like my own subjects — they were likely to be more confident than average, better educated, more liberal politically, less conventionally religious yet more likely to believe in human survival.


Modeling precognitive dreams as meaningful coincidences.

Houran J, Lange R
Southern Illinois University, School of Medicine, USA.

Psychological reports 83(3 Pt 2): 1411-1414, 1998


50 college students completed the Anomalous Experiences Inventory, the AT-20 measure of tolerance of ambiguity, and a frequency of dream recall questionnaire. Using path analysis we show that precognitive dreams can be modeled as accidental 'hits' with increased dream recall and the interpretation of such hits as 'meaningful coincidences' seems facilitated by a belief in the paranormal. As predicted, both factors are affected by tolerance of ambiguity, which provides the flexibility required to store and recall ambiguous dream information while simultaneously allowing dream recallers to assume a paranormal origin of their 'precognitive' dreams. Moreover, the fit of the proposed model did not depend on sex or age. Alternative models that provided a better fit to the data validated the roles of tolerance of ambiguity and belief in the paranormal in eliciting experiences of precognitive dreaming, but frequency of dream recall was not confirmed as a crucial factor.

(Déjà vu is listed as a keyword.)


The SPR centenary census: II. The survey of beliefs and experiences

Thalbourne MA

Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 39(835): 420-431, 1994

As part of the activities to celebrate the Centenary of the founding of the SPR a questionnaire was mailed in 1982 to all those persons who were members at that time. Some 402 persons – about half the membership – returned usable data. The questionnaire contained an ESP test (the results of which were reported in Part 1) and 51 questions pertaining to belief in and experience of phenomena ranging from the paranormal to religion to dream-life. This paper details the responses to those questions, and confirms previously discovered relationships both between belief in various aspects of the paranormal and between it and aspects of religion and dream-life.

(Those who ranked high on the Sheep-Goat Scale [i.e., strong believers in ESP] claimed to have had déjà vu experiences [r = +0.18] p. 425.  Of the 402 respondents, 59% claimed to have had déjà vu experiences, 11% were uncertain and 30% responded with "no" to the survey question.  p. 429).


Surveys of anomalous experience: A cross-cultural analysis

McClenon J

Journal of the American Socety for Psychical Research 88(2): ll7-135, 1994

The author polled Caucasian-American, African-American, Chinese and Japanese students on their experience and belief about deja vu, night paralysis, ESP, contact with the dead, OBEs and belief in ESP. He assessed the cultural source theory (the assumption that religious preference, religiosity and scientific training affect the incidence of anomalous experiences and belief in the paranormal). This perspective views "the proliferation and longevity of supernatural doctrines. . ." as reflecting ". . .social disorders, tension, and flaws in the scientific education system."

Testing the cultural source theory, Mcclenon found that the incidence of reported experiences did vary cross-culturally. On the other hand, a respondent's religious preference, self-reported religiosity and scientific training provided little predictive ability regarding the frequency of anomalous experience or belief in ESP. McClenon proposes another model in terms of dissociative faculties and related traits, which regulates the incidence of anomalous experience.


The Popularity of Paranormal Experiences in the United States

MacDonald WL II
Dept Sociology Ohio State U, Newark 43055

Journal of American Culture 17(3): 35-42, 1994


Four national surveys during 1973-1989 investigated the relationship between sociodemographic factors & reported experiences of deja vu, telepathy, clairvoyance, & contact with the dead. The rate of reported paranormal experience increased between 1973 & 1984, but declined by 1989. Deja vu & telepathy were most common, each reported by 55+% of respondents in all survey years. Contact with the dead was reported by fewer than 50% & clairvoyance by fewer than 33%. Age, gender, race, religion, political orientation, & socioeconomic status were significant variables determining beliefs.


A study of psi: Manifestations of phenomena and experiences of ordinary and extraordinary people

Sloan PE

Doctoral thesis: The Union Institute, Ohio, 1994


The purpose of this project was to investigate psi phenomena through surveying and talking with ordinary people and through dialogues with spiritual leaders who regularly experience psi as a spiritual phenomenon in their ceremonies and rituals. Several studies have suggested that normal individuals sometimes have experiences which are called paranormal or "psychic" and are hesitant about reporting these experiences to others because of both religious and social taboos against such claims. New evidence suggests that people who experience some of these psi phenomena are undergoing what is called a "spiritual emergency". The newly revised (1994) DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) has included spiritual emergencies in the new manual as a non-pathological category of mental disorder in the new V Code. Both pathological and non-pathological manifestations of mental disorders are seen as contributing to the spiritual growth of the individual. The Sloan Paranormal survey was mailed to adults between the ages of 21 and 65 drawn at random from the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. A college sample was also included. Gender, race/ethnicity, education, income, and geographical origin of immediate family were found to be significantly related to experiencing paranormal events. The dialogues with three extraordinary spiritual leaders revealed that their spiritual experiences were unusual and included spirit possession and out-of-body travel. All of their experiences may be called paranormal. The paranormal experiences of ordinary people were many and varied: They included seeing angels, predicting the death of someone, seeing a child before it was born, having dreams come true, experiencing deja vu, and many other paranormal events. It is believed that this PDE will help people by raising consciousness regarding the most neglected area of human development, the intuitive intellect. This PDE will help people to look at their dreams, visions, and psi experiences, not as aberrations, but as meaningful, relevant experiences, and thereby help them find meaning and purpose in their lives. It may, perhaps, help fill the spiritual vacuum of Modern Western Society.


The inventory for déjà vu experiences assessment. Development, utility, reliability, and validity

Sno HN, Schalken HF, de Jonghe F, Koeter MW
University Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 82(1):27-33, 1994

In this article the development, utility, reliability, and validity of the Inventory for Déjà vu Experiences Assessment (IDEA) are described. The IDEA is a 23-item self-administered questionnaire consisting of a general section of nine questions and qualitative section of 14 questions. The latter questions comprise 48 topics. The questionnaire appeared to be a user-friendly instrument with satisfactory to good reliability and validity. The IDEA permits the study of quantitative and qualitative characteristics of déjà vu experiences.


An early Dutch study of déjà vu experiences

Sno HN, Draaisma D
University Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Psychological Medicine 23(1):17-26, 1993

In 1904 and 1906, Heymans reported the results of two prospective questionnaire surveys on déjà vu experiences and depersonalization in a sample of mainly students. Déjà vu experiences appeared to be more frequent than episodes of depersonalization. Emotional sensitivity, unstable mood fluctuations, apathetic episodes and irregular working rhythm emerged as predisposing personality traits. With the exception of the working rhythm, these traits were more prominent among the respondents with episodes of depersonalization than among those with déjà vu experiences. Heymans inferred that these findings supported his hypothesis that déjà vu experiences and depersonalization both resulted from the diminishing or disappearance of a sense of familiarity due to a momentary reduction of psychological energy. A re-analysis of Heymans' data partly confirmed his findings and conclusions as to the predisposing factors. The authors conclude that his studies and his hypothesis have been hitherto undervalued and would deserve more attention.


Reflections on the Investigation of Spontaneous Cases

West DJ

In: Psi and Clinical Practice,  Lisette Coly and Joanne D.S. McMahon (eds.). New York: Parapsychology Foundation, 1993

(Donald J. West looks at the paranormal in everyday life. Utilizing a postal questionnaire answered by 840 people, West replicates the line of inquiry found in the "Census of Hallucinations" developed by the Society for Psychical Research more than a century ago. West includes additional questions about these phenomena: deja vu; unexplained physical effects and movements; silent and premonitory apparitions; coincidences.)


Young people and the paranormal

Gaynard TJ

Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 58(826):165-180, 1992

Surveyed 340 college students (aged 16–19 yrs) regarding their beliefs in the paranormal. 54.4% of the sample claimed personal experience of at least 1 paranormal event. Analysis of the various categories of experience showed their relative frequencies to decrease in the following order: déjà vu, precognition, ghosts, telepathy, out of body experience, unidentified flying objects, poltergeists, and apparitions of the living. Gender, intellect, and training in science (as opposed to the arts) had little effect on susceptibility to paranormal experience, but it was tentatively concluded that certain types of phenomena may occur earlier, rather than later, in life. Belief in the paranormal was independent of both intellect and science/arts training, but there was some indication that belief in OBE, reincarnation and déjà vu is greater amongst females than males.

Strong evidence was obtained to suggest that the tendency to experience paranormal phenomena is enhanced if their existence is already accepted.

(An incidence of 42% for event-related déjà vu and 38% for place-related déjà vu was found.  31% claimed to have had both types, 11% said they had experienced only event-related déjà vu and 6% only place-related déjà vu.)


The structure, stability, and social antecedents of reported paranormal experiences

Fox JW

Sociological Analysis 53: 417-431, 1992

Using national sample data from the General Social Surveys, this study assesses cultural source theories of reported paranormal experiences. The reported paranormal experiences of extrasensory perception, clairvoyance, contact with the dead, and mysticism, but not deja vu, are found to have an invariant and stable factor structure across the 1984, 1988, and 1989 General Social Survey data. Deja vu is more frequent among younger and more highly educated respondents, but it is unaffected by sex, race, income, marital status, and religious preference differences. Other reported paranormal experiences are higher among women but are unaffected by age, race, education, income, marital status, and religious preference differences. The effects of age and education on deja vu and the effect of sex on other reported paranormal experiences are consistent across 1984, 1988, and 1989 General Social Survey data. The findings of this study suggest that cultural source theories and deprivation theory have little empirical support in explaining reported paranormal experiences.


A preliminary report on African-American anomalous experiences in northeast North Carolina

McClenon J

Parapsychology Review 21(1):1-4, 1990

(This paper compares the results made at three Chinese universities with those from two US universities. For a total of 314 Chinese students, 64% claimed to have had déjà vu experiences.  89% of 214 University of Maryland dormitory residents and 80% of 391 Elisabeth City State University students (in North Carolina) made the same claim.  These results were uniformly twice as high as the incidences for the other parapsychological experiences that were polled. p. 2)


Chinese and American Anomalous Experiences: The Role of Religiosity

McClenon J
Elizabeth City State University, NC 27909

Sociological Analysis 51(1): 53-67, 1990


After reviewing cultural & experiential source paradigms of anomalous experience (eg, see Hufford, D., The Terror That Comes in the Night, Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania Press, 1982), the occult experiences of US & Chinese college students are compared. Questionnaires completed by 314 Chinese students at 3 universities in Xi'an, People's Republic of China, & 214 students at the U of Maryland reveal a significantly greater number of occult experiences -- eg, deja vu, night paralysis, & out-of-body, extrasensory, & contact-with-the-dead incidents -- among the Chinese. It is concluded that cultural conditioning affects the interpretation of such experiences, though many episodes contain elements that transcend culture, as evidenced by the correspondence between reports of Chinese & US students, despite the Chinese having had no formal religious socialization. The value of the experiential source hypothesis for further theoretical development in the sociology of religion is discussed.


A survey of Chinese anomalous experiences and comparison with western representative samples

McClenon J

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 27(3): 421-426, 1988


Random samples of dormitory residents at three colleges in Xi'an, People's Republic of China, were polled regarding frequency of deja vu, night paralysis, extrasensory perception, communication with the dead, out-of-body experience, and belief in a "sixth sense." The Chinese students (N = 314) revealed incidence of these experiences, and faith in a "sixth sense," equivalent to, or higher than those found in Western populations. Since Chinese students engage in no formal religious practices, this finding suggests that such experiences are not totally a product of religious faith, but are universal in some sense.

(Out of 314 students from three Chinese universities, 64% claimed to have had déjà vu experiences. p. 424)


Mysticism goes mainstream

Greeley A

American Health Jan./Feb. 1987, pp. 47-49

New data show most Americans have experienced ESP or had contact with the dead -- and psychological tests show they may be better for it.

(This 1984 survey of 1,473 adults resulted in an incidence of 67% who said they had experienced déjà vu.  A previous survey in 1973 showed an incidence of 59% [N = 1,476].)


The incidence of déjà vu

Neppe VM

Parapsychological Journal of South Africa 4(2): 94-106, 1983

The incidence of déjà vu is in part dependent on the operational definition of déjà vu, the measuring instrument, the giving of concrete examples and the recall of, recognition of, and the admitting to of déjà vu by the subject.  Sixteen studies of déjà vu are reported chronologically.  No single study (other than the McCready-Greeley one) used adequate sampling. Only the two studies by the author used an adequate screening questionnaire for déjà vu.  There are no prospective studies. These results are discussed.


A survey of psi experiences among members of a special population

Kohr RL

Journal of the American Soceity for Psychical Research 74:395-411, 1980

A nationwide sample of members of the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) was surveyed in 1975–1976 regarding psi and psi-related experiences. A polling instrument developed and used by J. Palmer (see record 1980-06507-001) in a survey of townspeople and college students in Charlottesville, Virginia, was used. Over 400 persons responded to the ARE questionnaire. Since ARE members represent a special population of individuals attracted to such an organization because of their personal interest in psi, the high incidence of claimed psi experiences in the poll was not surprising. This atypical sample differed somewhat from Palmer's sample, which was more representative of the general population, but numerous correspondences were observed, including a tendency to report many occurrences of a particular type of experience and to have more than just 1 or 2 types of experience. Mystical experiences, dream recall, and lucid dreams were strong correlates of psi experiences, while demographic variables were not. Several internally consistent indices of psi experiences were constructed on the theory that a general psi sensitivity trait exists. These measures revealed high multiple correlations with predictor variables. The strongest correlate was a composite measure of mystical experience. (8 ref)

(406 A.R.E. members filled-out and returned a questionnaire.  Of these 93% claimed to have had déjà experiences. p. 400)


A community mail survey of psychic experiences

Palmer J

Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 73(3): 221-251, 1979

In March, 1974, a 46-item questionnaire was mailed to a randomly selected sample consisting of 300 students from the University of Virginia and 700 other adult residents of Charlottesville and surrounding suburbs. Respondents were asked to report the incidence and detailed characteristics of various psychic and psi-related experiences. Information concerning attitudes and the personal impact of such experiences was solicited, along with demographic data. Usable questionnaires were obtained from 89% of the student sample and 51% of the town sample. Claims of such experiences were widespread: over half of the respondents claimed at least 1 extrasensory perception (ESP) experience, for example. There was a tendency for persons who claimed these experiences to claim a large number of them. Variables related to naturally-occurring altered states (e.g., vividness and frequency of dream recall) tended to be strong predictors of such experiences, while demographic variables generally were poor predictors. However, there was a strong negative relationship between age and claims of déjà vu experiences. Many respondents indicated that psychic or psi-related experiences affected their attitudes toward life and/or life-styles.

("Déjà Vu. This question was phrased as follows: 'Have you ever had the strong feeling or impression that you had been some place or in the same situation before, even though you had never actually been there before or were experiencing the event for the first time in "real life"?'
This question evoked a far higher percentage of affirmative responses than did any of the other questions relating to the supposedly psi-related experiences we examined. It was answered affirmatively by 68% of the T [town] sample [N = 354] and 88% of the S [student] sample [N = 268]. This difference is highly significant (p < .001)." p. 233)


An inventory of everyday memory experiences

Herrmann DJ, Neisser U

In: Practical Aspects of Memory, M. M. Gruneberg, P. E. Morris, and R. N. Sykes (eds.), Academic Press, New York, 1978, pp. 34-51

The Inventory of Memory Experiences (IME) includes 48 questions about how often the respondent experiences various kinds of everyday forgetting (Part F) and 24 questions about how well he remembers certain things from early childhood and daily life (Part R).  It was administered to 205 college students; 41 took it twice.  Analysis of Part F indicated the existence of about 8 specific memory abilities (for names, converstations, errands, etc.) as well as a general factor.  Part F had a reliability of .68.  Results for Part R included a significant sex difference in recall of childhood experiences and a solid relation between the rated quality of memories and their ages.  Overall, it is clear that everyday memory is not a unidimensional trait.

(There was a question involving déjà vu but the results of the data analysis are not included for it.  See pp. 37-9.)


Spontaneous psi experiences among unselected high school students

Haight J, Kennedy E, Kanthamani H

In: Research in Parapsychology, The Scarecrow Press, Methuen, NJ, 1978

(A short report of two surveys carried out of 113 high school students in which, among other things, they described the experiences they had had. Their answers were divided among 5 categories, one of which was déjà vu.  The number of students claiming to have had these experiences is not given. pp. 46-7)


A community mail survey of psychic experiences

Palmer J, Dennis M

In: Research in Parapsychology, J. D., W. G. Roll and R. L. Morris (eds.), Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, N.J., 1974, pp. 130-3

("Déjà vu experiences were reported in 68 percent of the townspeople [N = 357] and 88 percent of the student sample [N = 267]." p. 132)


Spontaneous 'paranormal' experiences in relation to sex and academic background

Green CE

Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 43:357-363, 1966

A survey of 115 students intended to measure the frequency of deja-vu experiences, lucid dreaming, out-of-body experiences, hallucinations, and ESP in relationship to the gender and academic backgrounds of the respondents. Tabulates the percentage of affirmative and negative responses obtained. Notes that the results seem to be independent of sex and academic orientation.

(80% of 112 students of Aberdeen University said they had had déjà vu experiences.  83.5% of the 97 men and 73.3% of the women said they had had them.  This was also true of 85.7% of the 84 science majors and 73.9% of the arts majors.)


Between wakefulness and sleep: Hypnagogic imagery

McKellar P, Simpson L

British Journal of Psychology General Section 45:266-276, 1954

(For déjà vu, the authors write that 78 out of 110 students reported having had such experiences. p. 268)


Déjà vu experience and conscious fantasy in adults

Chapman AH, Mensh IN

Psychiatric Quarterly Supplement 25(2):163-75, 1951-2

220 persons, ranging in age from 15 through 69 years, were individually interviewed. Data were obtained on their psychological experiences of déjà vu and day-dreaming (conscious fantasy) and on related factors. In general, déjà vu experience was found to be significantly and inversely related to age; there was a slight relation to education, occupation, and travel; and there were no sex differences. Day-dreaming was also found to decrease significantly with age, occurred in nearly twice as many individuals as did déjà vu, and was not related significantly to sex, education, occupation, or travel.


Weitere Daten uber Depersonalisation und "Fausse Reconnaissance" [Further data concerning depersonalization and "false recognition"] [Article in German]

Heymans G

Zeitschrift für Psychologie und Physiologie der Sinnesorgane 43:1-17, 1906

(Based on questionnaires filled out by 88 students at university lectures, 16% said they experienced false recognition often, 47% said they experienced it rarely and 37% said they had never experienced it. See Table 1, page 4. The Heyman 1904 and 1906 surveys were reviewed in a 1993 paper by Herman N. Sno and Douwe Draaismaa entitled An early Dutch study of déjà vu experiences [Psychological Medicine 1993 23(1):17-26].)


Eine Enquête uber Depersonalisation und "Fausse Reconnaissance" [An inquiry concerning depersonalization and "false recognition"] [Article in German]

Heymans G

Zeitschrift für Psychologie und Physiologie der Sinnesorgane 36:321-343, 1904

(An early questionnaire-based survey of a total of 45 university students. D and FR results are combined. The Heyman 1904 and 1906 surveys were reviewed in a 1993 paper by Herman N. Sno and Douwe Draaismaa entitled An early Dutch study of déjà vu experiences [Psychological Medicine 23(1):17-26, 1993].)


Section three: Déjà experiences that are not associated with diagnosed pathology

Déjà vu experiences in healthy subjects are unrelated to laboratory tests of recollection and familiarity for word stimuli.

O'Connor AR1, Moulin CJ2.

1 School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK
2 Laboratoire d’Etude de l’Apprentissage et du Développement (CNRS UMR 5022), Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France

*Correspondence: Akira R. O’Connor, School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of St Andrews, St Mary’s College, South Street, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9JP, Scotland, UK e-mail: ku.ca.swerdna-ts@2ora

Frontiers in Psychology 4: 881, 2013   doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00881. eCollection 2013.

Recent neuropsychological and neuroscientific research suggests that people who experience more déjà vu display characteristic patterns in normal recognition memory. We conducted a large individual differences study (n = 206) to test these predictions using recollection and familiarity parameters recovered from a standard memory task. Participants reported déjà vu frequency and a number of its correlates, and completed a recognition memory task analogous to a Remember-Know procedure. The individual difference measures replicated an established correlation between déjà vu frequency and frequency of travel, and recognition performance showed well-established word frequency and accuracy effects. Contrary to predictions, no relationships were found between déjà vu frequency and recollection or familiarity memory parameters from the recognition test. We suggest that déjà vu in the healthy population reflects a mismatch between errant memory signaling and memory monitoring processes not easily characterized by standard recognition memory task performance.


The similarity hypothesis of déjà vu: On the relationship between frequency of real-life déjà vu experiences and sensitivity to configural resemblance

Sugimoria Ea, Kusumib Tb

a Waseda Institute for Advanced Study, 1-6-1 Nishi Waseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 169-8050, Japan
b Division of Cognitive Psychology in Education, Graduate School of Education, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan

Journal of Cognitive Psychology  2013  DOI: 10.1080/20445911.2013.854248

Prior research has suggested that configural resemblance between a current scene and a previously experienced but forgotten one may trigger déjà vu experiences. The present study examined whether there is a relationship between the frequency of actual déjà vu experiences, measured by questionnaires, and sensitivity to a configural resemblance between past and present events, measured by questionnaires, and between two scenes presented simultaneously in the laboratory. We measured familiarity ratings and remember – know judgements of several scenes. Some scenes had been previously presented, some were similar to previously presented scenes and the others were dissimilar. Déjà vu tendencies were significantly correlated with sensitivity to similarity in the measured questionnaires and in the laboratory, as well as to a feeling of familiarity for similar scenes. In this study, we found for the first time that people who more frequently experience déjà vu states were also more likely to regard themselves as sensitive to similarity and more likely to notice the similarity between two scenes in the laboratory.


Schizophrenia and the paranormal: More psi belief and superstition, and less déjà vu in medicated schizophrenic patients

Shiah YJ1, Wu YZ2, Chen YH3, Chiang SK4

1 Graduate Institute of Counseling Psychology and Rehabilitation Counseling, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan. Electronic address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
2 Graduate Institute of Psychology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan.
3 Integrated Brain Research Unit, Division of Clinical Research, Department of Medical Research, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan; Laboratory of Integrated Brain Research Unit, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.
4 Clinical and Counseling Psychology Department, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan.

Comprehensive Psychiatry 55(3):688-92, 2013

pii: S0010-440X(13)00323-4. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2013.11.003. [Epub ahead of print]


The present study examined the relation between déjà vu experiences and paranormal beliefs in schizophrenic patients.

A total of 522 participants (54.5% female; mean age=33.3, SD=16.02) were recruited, including 422 healthy adults (60.9% female; mean age=29.48, SD=15.07) and 100 medicated adult schizophrenic patients (27.3% female; mean age=48.98, SD=8.57). The Chinese version of the Inventory of Déjà-vu Experiences Assessment was created via back translation. Chinese versions of the Revised Paranormal Belief Scale (CRPB), Beck Anxiety Inventory (CBAI), and Perceived Stress Scale (CPSS) were also used.

After controlling for age, gender, education, and anxiety, the results supported the following three hypotheses. Schizophrenic persons have fewer déjà vu experiences than normal persons. These experiences are positively related to paranormal beliefs in healthy adults but not in schizophrenic patients. Schizophrenic patients have higher scores than healthy adults on the psi and superstitious subscales of the CRPB.


[Electroencephalographic characteristics of the deja vu phenomenon] [Article in Russian]

Vlasov PN, Cherviakov AV, Gnezdinsiĭ VV

Zhurnal nevrologii i psikhiatrii imeni S.S. Korsakova 113(4, Pt 2):3-9, 2013

Déjà vu (DV, from French "already seen") is an aberration of psychic activity associated with transitory erroneous perception of novel circumstances, objects, or people as already known. An aim of the study was to investigate EEG characteristics of DV in patients with epilepsy. We studied 166 people (63.2% women, mean age 25.17±9.19 years). The DV phenomenon was studied in patients (27 people) and in a control group (139 healthy people). Patients were interviewed for DV characteristics and underwent a long (12-16 h) ambulatory EEG-monitoring study. In EEG, DV episodes in patients began with polyspike activity in the right temporal lobe and, in some cases, ended with the slow-wave theta-delta activity in the right hemisphere.


Déjà vu experiences in healthy subjects are unrelated to laboratory tests of recollection and familiarity for word stimuli

O'Connor AR1, Moulin CJ2
1 School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of St Andrews St Andrews, UK
2 Laboratoire d'Etude de l'Apprentissage et du Développement (CNRS UMR 5022), Université de Bourgogne Dijon, France

Frontiers in Psychology 4:881, 2013. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00881

Recent neuropsychological and neuroscientific research suggests that people who experience more déjà vu display characteristic patterns in normal recognition memory. We conducted a large individual differences study (n = 206) to test these predictions using recollection and familiarity parameters recovered from a standard memory task. Participants reported déjà vu frequency and a number of its correlates, and completed a recognition memory task analogous to a Remember-Know procedure. The individual difference measures replicated an established correlation between déjà vu frequency and frequency of travel, and recognition performance showed well-established word frequency and accuracy effects. Contrary to predictions, no relationships were found between déjà vu frequency and recollection or familiarity memory parameters from the recognition test. We suggest that déjà vu in the healthy population reflects a mismatch between errant memory signaling and memory monitoring processes not easily characterized by standard recognition memory task performance.


Unveiling the mystery of déjà vu: the structural anatomy of déjà vu

Brázdil M, Marecek R, Urbánek T, Kašpárek T, Mikl M, Rektor I, Zeman A
Behavioral and Social Neuroscience Research Group, CEITEC-Central European Institute of Technology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic  E-mail: mbrazd a med.muni.cz

Cortex 48(9):1240-3, 2012

Déjà vu (DV) is a widespread, fascinating and mysterious human experience. It occurs both in health and in disease, notably as an aura of temporal lobe epilepsy. This feeling of inappropriate familiarity has attracted interest from psychologists and neuroscientists for over a century, but still there is no widely agreed explanation for the phenomenon of non-pathological DV. Here we investigated differences in brain morphology between healthy subjects with and without DV using a novel multivariate neuroimaging technique, Source-Based Morphometry. The analysis revealed a set of cortical (predominantly mesiotemporal) and subcortical regions in which there was significantly less gray matter in subjects reporting DV. In these regions gray matter volume was inversely correlated with the frequency of DV. Our results demonstrate a structural correlate of DV in healthy individuals for the first time and support a neurological explanation for the phenomenon. We hypothesis that the observed local gray matter decrease in subjects experiencing DV reflects an alteration of hippocampal function and postnatal neurogenesis with resulting changes of volume in remote brain regions.

(see comment by Labate and Gambardella: Cortex 49:1162, 2013)


Familiarity from the configuration of objects in 3-dimensional space and its relation to déjà vu: a virtual reality investigation

Cleary AM, Brown AS, Sawyer BD, Nomi JS, Ajoku AC, Ryals AJ
Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA E-mail: Anne.Cleary a colostate.edu

Consciousness and Cognition 21(2):969-75, 2012

Déjà vu is the striking sense that the present situation feels familiar, alongside the realization that it has to be new. According to the Gestalt familiarity hypothesis, déjà vu results when the configuration of elements within a scene maps onto a configuration previously seen, but the previous scene fails to come to mind. We examined this using virtual reality (VR) technology. When a new immersive VR scene resembled a previously-viewed scene in its configuration but people failed to recall the previously-viewed scene, familiarity ratings and reports of déjà vu were indeed higher than for completely novel scenes. People also exhibited the contrasting sense of newness and of familiarity that is characteristic of déjà vu. Familiarity ratings and déjà vu reports among scenes recognized as new increased with increasing feature-match of a scene to one stored in memory, suggesting that feature-matching can produce familiarity and déjà vu when recall fails.


An approach to nineteenth-century medical lexicon: the term "dreamy state"

Lardreau E
University of Paris-Diderot, Paris, France   E-mail: esthercotelle a wanadoo.fr

Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 20(1):34-41, 2011

Hughlings-Jackson coined the concept of dreamy state: According to him, one of the sensations of a "dreamy state" was an odd feeling of recognition and familiarity, often called "deja vu". A clear sense of strangeness could also be experienced in the "dreamy state" ("jamais vu"). Jackson himself did not use these French terms, but he was quite clear about the vivid feelings of strangeness and familiarity, which can occur in both normal and pathological conditions. In order to explore some of the exchanges between medical and nonmedical vocabularies, we examine the historical origins of this technical concept. By basing the study on European (medical and nonmedical) literature of the nineteenth century, we review the first descriptions of this state and compare them with the famous Hughlings-Jackson definitions. It appears that this medical concept was partly borrowed from a wide cultural background before being rationally developed and reworked in the fields of neurology and psychiatry.

Comment in The “dreamy state” in the work of John Hughlings Jackson. [Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 2011]


Recognition without identification, erroneous familiarity, and déjà vu

O'Connor AR, Moulin CJ
Department of Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA. E-mail: aoconnor a wustl.edu

Current Psychiatry Reports 12(3):165-73, 2010

Déjà vu is characterized by the recognition of a situation concurrent with the awareness that this recognition is inappropriate. Although forms of déjà vu resolve in favor of the inappropriate recognition and therefore have behavioral consequences, typical déjà vu experiences resolve in favor of the awareness that the sensation of recognition is inappropriate. The resultant lack of behavioral modification associated with typical déjà vu means that clinicians and experimenters rely heavily on self-report when observing the experience. In this review, we focus on recent déjà vu research. We consider issues facing neuropsychological, neuroscientific, and cognitive experimental frameworks attempting to explore and experimentally generate the experience. In doing this, we suggest the need for more experimentation and a more cautious interpretation of research findings, particularly as many techniques being used to explore déjà vu are in the early stages of development.


Novel insights into false recollection: A model of déjà vécu

O'Connor AR [a], Lever C [b], Moulin CJA [c]
a Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA
b Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
c Leeds Memory Group, Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 15(1 - 3): 118 - 144, 2010

The thesis of this paper is that déjà vu experiences can be separated into two forms: déjà vu, arising from the erroneous sensation of familiarity, and déjà vécu, arising from the erroneous sensation of recollection. We summarise a series of cases for whom déjà vécu is experienced frequently and for extended periods, and seek to differentiate their experiences from “healthy” déjà vu experiences by nonbrain-damaged participants. In reviewing our cases, we stress two novel ideas: that déjà vécu in these cases is delusion-like; and that these cases experience déjà vécu for stimuli that are especially novel or unusual. Here we present a novel cognitive neuroscientific hypothesis of déjà vécu. This hypothesis assumes that the signal of retrieval from memory is neurally dissociable from the contents of retrieval. We suggest that a region downstream of the hippocampus signals “recollection” by detecting the timing of firing in hippocampal output neurons relative to the theta oscillation. Disruptions to this “temporal coding” mechanism result in false signals of recollection which may occur without actual retrieval and which, ironically, may arise particularly during situations of contextual novelty.


Chapter 2 - Digging into déjà vu: Recent research on possible mechanisms

Brown AS, Marsh EJ

Psychology of Learning and Motivation 53:33-62, 2010

The déjà vu experience has piqued the interest of philosophers and physicians for over 150 years, and has recently begun to connect to research on fundamental cognitive mechanisms. Following a brief description of the nature of this recognition anomaly, this chapter summarizes findings from several laboratories that are related to this memory phenomenon. In our labs, we have found support for three possible mechanisms that could trigger déjà vu. The first is split perception, which posits that a déjà vu is caused by a brief glance at an object or scene just prior to a fully aware look. Thus, the perception is split into two parts and appears to be eerily duplicated. A second mechanism is implicit memory, whereby a prior setting actually has been experienced before by the person but stored in such an indistinct manner that only the sense of familiarity is resurrected. Another example of an implicit memory effect involves a single part of a larger scene that is familiar but not identified as such, with the result that the strong sense of familiarity associated with this portion inappropriately bleeds over onto the entire scene. Others have found support for gestalt familiarity, that the framework of the present setting closely resembles something experienced before in outline but not in specifics. We also present physiological evidence from brain and cognitive dysfunctions that relate to our understanding of déjà vu. Finally, some important but unresolved issues in déjà vu research are noted, ones that should guide future research on the topic.


Using a change-detection task to simulate divided perception and its effects on recognition memory for objects

Kostic B

Doctoral thesis, Colorado State University, 2010


Déjà vu is defined as high levels of familiarity for objects or situations that are objectively unfamiliar. One theory of déjà vu is that objects viewed under conditions of divided perception can later evoke familiarity. The present study examined whether a change detection task could simulate divided perception and affect later recognition memory performance for changed items. Participants viewed a study list in which one version of a scene alternated once with another version of the same scene, but with one item missing. Participants attempted to determine the location of the change. On a subsequent test list, participants viewed items from the scenes in isolation and made recognition judgments on them. Across five experiments, this task was used to determine how detection status affected familiarity ratings, how stimulus characteristics affect familiarity ratings, and what recognition processes (i.e., recollection and familiarity) drive recognition decisions for undetected items. Overall, these experiments show that simulated conditions of divided perception do affect recognition memory, which is a first step towards investigating déjà vu directly.


Can deja vu result from similarity to a prior experience? Support for the similarity hypothesis of deja vu?

Cleary AM, Ryals AJ, Nomi JS.
Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1876, USA. E-mail: anne.cleary a colostate.edu

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 16(6):1082-8, 2009

The strange feeling of having been somewhere or done something before--even though there is evidence to the contrary--is called déjà vu. Although déjà vu is beginning to receive attention among scientists (Brown, 2003, 2004), few studies have empirically investigated the phenomenon. We investigated the hypothesis that déjà vu is related to feelings of familiarity and that it can result from similarity between a novel scene and that of a scene experienced in one's past. We used a variation of the recognition-without-recall method of studying familiarity (Cleary, 2004) to examine instances in which participants failed to recall a studied scene in response to a configurally similar novel test scene. In such instances, resemblance to a previously viewed scene increased both feelings of familiarity and of déjà vu. Furthermore, in the absence of recall, resemblance of a novel scene to a previously viewed scene increased the probability of a reported déjà vu state for the novel scene, and feelings of familiarity with a novel scene were directly related to feelings of being in a déjà vu state.


Creating illusions of past encounter through brief exposure

Brown AS, Marsh EJ.
Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275, USA. E-mail: abrown a smu.edu

Psychological Science 20(5):534-8, 2009

Titchener (1928) suggested that briefly glancing at a scene could make it appear strangely familiar when it was fully processed moments later. The closest laboratory demonstration used words as stimuli, and showed that briefly glancing at a to-be-judged word increased the subject's belief that it had been presented in an earlier study list (Jacoby & Whitehouse, 1989). We evaluated whether a hasty glance could elicit a false belief in a prior encounter, from a time and place outside of the experiment. This goal precluded using word stimuli, so we had subjects evaluate unfamiliar symbols. Each symbol was preceded by a brief exposure to an identical symbol, a different symbol, or no symbol. A brief glance at an identical symbol increased attributions to preexperimental experience, relative to a glance at a different symbol or no symbol, providing a possible mechanism for common illusions of false recognition.


Neuroimaging and cognitive changes during déjà vu

Kovacs N [a], Auer T [a, b, c, d], Balas I [b], Karadi K [a, e], Zambo K [f], Schwarcz A [b, d], Klivenyi P [g],    Jokeit H [h], Horvath K [a], Nagy F [a], Janszky J [a, d]

a Department of Neurology, University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary  E-mail: kovacsnorbert06 a gmail.com
b Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary
c Biomedizinische NMR Forschungs GmbH am Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, Germany
d Pécs Diagnostic Institute, University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary
e Institute of Behavioral Sciences, University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary
f Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary
g Department of Neurology, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
h Swiss Epilepsy Center, Zurich, Switzerland

Epilepsy & Behavior 14(1):190-6, 2009. Epub 2008 Oct 5


OBJECTIVE: The cause or the physiological role of déjà vu (DV) in healthy people is unknown. The pathophysiology of DV-type epileptic aura is also unresolved. Here we describe a 22-year-old woman treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the left internal globus pallidus for hemidystonia. At certain stimulation settings, DBS elicited reproducible episodes of DV.

METHODS: Neuropsychological tests and single-photon-emission computed tomography (SPECT) were performed during DBS-evoked DV and during normal DBS stimulation without DV.

RESULTS: SPECT during DBS-evoked DV revealed hyperperfusion of the right (contralateral to the electrode) hippocampus and other limbic structures. Neuropsychological examinations performed during several evoked DV episodes revealed disturbances in nonverbal memory.

CONCLUSION: Our results confirm the role of mesiotemporal structures in the pathogenesis of DV. We hypothesize that individual neuroanatomy and disturbances in gamma oscillations or in the dopaminergic system played a role in DBS-elicited DV in our patient.


Scene recognition without identification

Cleary AM[a], Reyes NL[b]
a Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, 1876 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1876, United States
b Psychology Department, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, P.O. Box 7150, Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7150, USA

Acta Psychologica 131(1):53–62, 2009

Recognition without identification (RWI) is old-new discrimination among recognition test items that go unidentified. Recently, the effect has been shown in situations that require pre-experimental connections between unidentified studied items and their test cues, such as when the test cues are general knowledge questions and the unidentified studied items are their answers, or when the test cues are pictures of celebrities and the unidentified studied items are their names. In these cases, RWI demonstrates a peculiar relationship with tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) experiences: Participants give higher recognition ratings when in a TOT state than when not, even though studying an item does not increase the probability of a TOT state for that item. The present study extends these findings to the recognition of scene information. We demonstrate a scene RWI effect with scenes when scene names cannot be retrieved, and replicate the previously reported relationship between TOT states and RWI. In addition, we show that the relationship between RWI and reported TOT states also occurs between RWI and reported déjà vu states with the test scenes.


Recognition memory, familiarity, and déjà vu experiences

Cleary AM

Address correspondence to Anne M. Cleary, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1876; E-mail: anne.cleary a colostate.edu

Current Directions in Psychological Science 17(5): 353 - 357, 2008; Published Online: 15 Oct

Déjà vu occurs when one feels as though a situation is familiar, despite evidence that the situation could not have been experienced before. Until recently, the topic of déjà vu remained largely outside of the realm of mainstream scientific investigation. However, interest in investigating the nature of déjà vu is growing among researchers of cognitive processes. In some cases, déjà vu may be understood within the context of research on human recognition memory. Specifically, déjà vu may sometimes result from familiarity-based recognition, or recognition that is based on feelings of familiarity that occur without identification of their source.


Déjà vu in the laboratory: a behavioral and experiential comparison of posthypnotic amnesia and posthypnotic familiarity

O'Connor AR, Barnier AJ, Cox RE
University of Leeds, United Kingdom   E-mail: aoconnor a wustl.edu

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 56(4): 425-50, 2008

This experiment aimed to create a laboratory analogue of déjà vu. During hypnosis, 1 group of high hypnotizables completed a puzzle game and then received a posthypnotic amnesia suggestion to forget the game (PHA condition). Another group of highs were not given the game but received a posthypnotic familiarity suggestion that it would feel familiar (PHF condition). After hypnosis, all participants were given the game and described their reactions to it. Whereas 83% of participants in both conditions passed their respective suggestions, more in the PHF condition felt a sense of déjà vu. An EAT inquiry revealed that they experienced sensory fascination and confusion about the source of familiarity, akin to everyday déjà vu. These findings highlight the value of using hypnosis as a laboratory analogue of déjà vu and provide a framework for investigating clinical manifestations of this phenomenon.


States of awareness and recognition: insights from deja vu

O'Connor AR

Doctoral thesis: University of Leeds, 2007

Recognition occurs with the awareness that a perceived stimulus has been perceived before. This awareness is typically an accurate representation of true recognition, but it can occasionally be misleading. This thesis explores deja vu from the viewpoint that it is an error of recognition memory. The experience of deja vu is characterised by the juxtaposition of two conscious states of awareness, objective unfamiliarity and subjective familiarity (Brown, 2004). This dissociation was used as the theoretical basis for the investigation of the deja vu experience. Three approaches were taken: the investigation of individual differences in measures of memory associated with deja vu; the development of experimental analogues of the experience; and the study of three cases with unusual presentations of the experience. In the investigation of individual differences associated with deja vu occurrence (Experiment 1), it was anticipated that people reporting a high frequency of deja vu occurrence would display a pattern of recollective experience paradigm recognition characterised by familiarity (F) for false positives. Although no difference in F was found when high and low deja vu subgroups were compared, a positive correlation between F and deja vu occurrence was found in all participants. Three experimental analogues of deja vu were then developed (Experiments 2, 3, 4, & 5) using posthypnotic amnesia (PHA), posthypnotic familiarity (PHF), and the mere exposure paradigm (Experiment 6). Differences in quantitative measures of memory were not found to be associated with participants who reported deja vu as a result of the procedures, or with individual stimuli eliciting the sensation. Additionally, participants experienced deja vu for both experimental and distracter stimuli, suggesting that deja vu may be experienced as an overarching cognitive feeling rather than a state of memory associated with individual stimuli. In phenomenological analyses of participants' experiences of the analogues,the PHF procedure was most likely to elicit spontaneous comparison with deja vu. Finally, the three cases reported deja vu in a blind man, deja vu in a man with epilepsy and a manifestation of deja vu characterised by recoliection and behavioural change (deja vecu) in an elderly man (Chapter 6). The experiments and cases in this thesis produced results which were consistent with Brown's definition of deja vu. It is a subjective experience of familiarity juxtaposed with an objective unfamiliarity. In addition, this thesis produced novel findings which indicate that deja vu is a top-down memory error, and a novel theoretical framework is used to asses deja vu, specifically the involvement of an overarching metacognitive correction process (Koriat, 2006). The experiments also raised questions as to the dissociation characterising the deja vu experience, the formation and perpetuation of the experience, and the role played by additional factors such as ' stimulus novelty and the metacognitive correction process involved in the experience. Deja vu is a memory failure typified by a sensation of familiarity corrected in favour of an objective assessment of novelty. The mechanisms of deja vu have been elucidated by the use of standard memory paradigms, such as recollective experience (Tulving, 1985).


Human metacognition and the déjà vu phenomenon

Kusumi T

Chapter 14 in: Diversity of Cognition: Evolution, Domestication, and Pathology. K. Fujita & S. Itakura (eds.) Kyoto University Press; Kyoto, 2006, pp. 302-314

(He provides a useful survey of what percentages of déjà vu experiences are concerned with what sorts of situations and places.  pp. 307-8)


Normal patterns of déjà experience in a healthy, blind male: challenging optical pathway delay theory

O'Connor AR, Moulin CJ
Leeds Memory Group, Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK. E-mail: a.r.o'connor a leeds.ac.uk

Brain and Cognition 62(3):246-9, 2006. Epub 2006 Aug 4.

We report the case of a 25-year-old healthy, blind male, MT, who experiences normal patterns of déjà vu. The optical pathway delay theory of déjà vu formation assumes that neuronal input from the optical pathways is necessary for the formation of the experience. Surprisingly, although the sensation of déjà vu is known to be experienced by blind individuals, we believe this to be the first reported application of this knowledge to the understanding of the phenomenon. Visual input is not present in MT, yet the experiences he describes are consistent with reports in the literature of déjà vu occurrence in sighted people. The fact that blind people can experience déjà vu challenges the optical pathway delay theory, and alternative causes are briefly discussed.


The Déjà Vu Illusion

Brown AS

Department of Psychology, Dedman College, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275; E-mail: abrown a smu.edu.

Current Directions in Psychological Science 13(6):256-9,

The déjà vu illusion occurs when a person has an inappropriate feeling of familiarity in a situation that is objectively unfamiliar or new. The amorphous nature of this experience has made identifying its etiology challenging, but recent advances in neurology and understanding of implicit memory and attention are helping to clarify this cognitive illusion. More specifically, déjà vu may result from (a) a brief change in normal neural transmission speed causing a slightly longer separation between identical messages received from two separate pathways, (b) a brief split in a continuous perceptual experience that is caused by distractions (external or internal) and gives the impression of two separate perceptual events, and (c) the activation of implicit familiarity for some portion (or all) of the present experience without an accompanying conscious recollection of the prior encounter. Procedures that involve degraded or occluded stimulus presentation, divided attention, subliminal mere exposure, and hypnosis may prove especially useful in elucidating this enigmatic cognitive illusion.


A review of the déjà vu experience

Brown AS
Department of Psychology, Dedman College, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas 75275, USA. E-mail: abrown a mail.smu.edu

Psychological Bulletin 129(3):394-413, 2003

For more than a century, the déjà vu experience has been examined through retrospective surveys, prospective surveys, and case studies. About 60% of the population has experienced déjà vu, and its frequency decreases with age. Déjà vu appears to be associated with stress and fatigue, and it shows a positive relationship with socioeconomic level and education. Scientific explanations of déjà vu fall into 4 categories: dual processing (2 cognitive processes momentarily out of synchrony), neurological (seizure, disruption in neuronal transmission), memory (implicit familiarity of unrecognized stimuli),and attentional (unattended perception followed by attended perception). Systematic research is needed on the prevalence and etiology of this culturally familiar cognitive experience, and several laboratory models may help clarify this illusion of recognition.


[Dreams and interhemispheric asymmetry] [Article in Russian]

Korabel'nikova EA, Golubev VL

Zhurnal nevrologii i psikhiatrii imeni S.S. Korsakova 101(12):51-4, 2001

The dreams of 103 children and adolescents, aged 10-17 years, have been studied. The test group included 78 patients with neurotic disorders; control one consisted of 25 healthy subjects. Dream features, which were common for those with preferentially left asymmetry profile both in patients as well as in healthy subjects, were: less expressed novelty factor and frequent appearance of rare phenomena, such as "déjà vu in wakefulness", reality, "mixed" (overlapped) dreams, prolonged dreams in repeat sleep, frequent changes of personages and scenes of action. Left-hander dream peculiarities, being detected only in neurotic patients but not in healthy subjects, emerged as lucid phenomena deficit, "dream in dreams" and "dream reminiscence in dream" syndrome, which have been found only in left-handers. Right and left hemispheres seem to contribute in different ways to a dream formation. In authors believe that the left hemisphere seems to provide dream origin while the right hemisphere provides dream vividness, figurativeness and affective activation level.


Expression of one group of genes maintains one unit of long-term memory in a brain model

Wong CW
Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong. E-mail: c1951 a netvigator.com

Medical Hypotheses 55(2):99-102, 2000

In a brain model, a unit of long-term memory is stored in the encoding synapses of a neuron as a presynaptic axonal 'on-off' pattern through the establishment of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Repetitive activation of one presynaptic axonal 'on-off' pattern speeds up the subsequent re-activation of the same pattern by inducing expression of a corresponding group of genes in support of the enzymes, protein substrates, and second messengers for the LTP and LTD that encode the unit of long-term memory. Phantom limb pains are memorized and re-activated through the expression of the corresponding group of genes, and re-experiencing the stressful event in post traumatic stress syndrome results from the expression of another group of genes. The sense of requiring less time to experience the content of a successfully retrieved long-term memory reflects an increased speed of re-activating the presynaptic axonal 'on-off' patterns of the memory, or an increased speed of thinking. Giving rise to a sense of familiarity with new things, déjà vu may also be a mental state with increased speed of thinking. The speed of thinking may be decreased in jamais vu that is opposite to déjà vu. Progressive increases in the speed of thinking when engaging in a hobby may open up a previously unused neural pathway that turns a previously happy feeling into an aversive one.


A model-based theory for déjà vu and related psychological phenomena

Findler NV

Corresponding author contact information: Department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-5406 USA

Computers in Human Behavior 14(2): 287–301, 1998

An explanatory mechanism is discussed that leads to a so-called sufficiency theory of certain psychological phenomena, such as standard recognition as opposed to déjà vu, imagined novel experience, jamais vu, disturbed recognition, incorrect recognition, and hallucination — experiences that have not been explained before in a satisfactory scientific manner. Sufficiency theory, in general, means that a proposed structure of plausible mechanisms is sufficient but may not be uniquely necessary to explain, understand, and predict the behavior of the phenomenon under study.


Role of memory strength in reality monitoring decisions: Evidence from source attribution biases

Hoffman HG

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 23(2):371-83, 1997

Reality monitoring of verbal memories was compared with decisions about pictorial memories in this study. Experiment 1 showed an advantage in memory for imagined over perceived words and a bias to respond "perceived" on false alarms. Experiment 2 showed the opposite pattern: an advantage in memory for perceived pictures and a bias to respond "imagined" on false alarms. Participants attribute false alarms to whichever class of memories has the weakest trace strengths. The relative strength of memories of imagined and perceived objects was manipulated in Experiments 3 and 4, yielding changes in source attribution biases that were predicted by the strength heuristic. All 4 experiments generalize the mirror effect (an inverse relationship between patterns of hits and false alarms commonly found on recognition tests) to reality monitoring decisions. Results suggest that under some conditions differences between the strength of memories for perceived and imagined events, rather than differences in qualitative characteristics, are used to infer memory source.

(Paramnesia and déjà vu mentioned on page 371.)


Il fenomeno "déjà vu" tra psicopatologia ed opera letteraria [The phenomenon of deja vu in psychopathology and literature] [Article in Italian]

Farina B, Verrienti D
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Istituto di Psichiatria e Psicologia, Roma

Minerva Psichiatrica 37(2):99-106, 1996

In this paper we attempted to review the concept of déjà vu. Déjà vu is a common experience in life and it is largely described in psychopathology and in artistic literature. Starting descriptions of writers like Camus, D'Annunzio, Simeon, Bunuel, Schnitzler, Dickens we propose a first phenomenological way of reading of déjà vu experience referring to the different hypotheses in psychopathology: a memory disorder, perception disorder, attentional disorder, considering the phenomenon as a consciousness disorder according to Ey's theories. Secondly we attempted to compare the consciousness disorder hypothesis to a psychoanalytic reading according Freud and Matte Blanco studies.


Childhood antecedents of out-of-body and déjà vu experiences

Irwin HJ

Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 90: 157-173, 1996

A questionnaire survey of Australian university students addressed potential childhood antecedents of the out-of-body experience and déjà-type experiences. Prevalence of several different forms of childhood trauma were found to discriminate out-of-body experients from nonexperients. Proneness to déjà-type experiences was not related to parental encouragement of imaginative involvement during childhood and was predicted by only one of the childhood traumas surveyed in the study. The findings are discussed with particular reference to studies of dissociative experiences.


Déjà vu in France during the 19th century: a conceptual history

Berrios GE
Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, UK

Comprehensive Psychiatry 36(2):123-9, 1995

The feeling of déjà vu features as prominently in the creative as in the clinical literature. However, its meaning and mechanisms remain unclear, and it is posited here that this has partially resulted from the way in which this symptom was originally conceptualized. During the late 19th century, medical opinion seemed agreed that déjà vu was a disorder of memory (a paramnesia). However, its study was obfuscated by an overemphasis on its secondary features (e.g., "feeling of conviction," "fleetingness") and by "parapsychological" interpretations. Around the turn of the century, the problem was compounded by the development of narrow models of memory (inspired by association psychology) that left no room for the descriptive complexities of déjà vu. Consequently, it soon became (and has remained) a "symptom without a psychological function." French psychological writers played a crucial role in the conceptualization of déjà vu and this report presents a detailed history of their contribution.


Three types of déjà vu

Funkhouser AT

Science and Medical Network Journal 57:20-2, 1995

(The author argues that the term "déjà vu" has been used to include a wide range of different experiences and that it would serve scientific inquiry and research to have a more precise and differentiated nomenclature.  He recommends that we begin to use déjà vécu [already experienced or lived through] for instances in which life situations seem strangely familiar, déjà visité [already visited] for instances in which locations or places seem uncannily familiar, and déjà senti [already felt] for instances in which a feeling or emotional state suddenly feels strange yet familiar.)


Déjà vu experiences and reduplicative paramnesia

Sno HN, Linszen DH, de Jonghe F
Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

British Journal of Psychiatry 161:565-8, 1992

A schizophrenic patient with different forms of experiences of inappropriate familiarity is described. The authors discuss traumatic experiences as aetiological factors in déjà vu experiences and reduplicative paramnesia. Finally, the differential diagnostic problem in psychotic and dissociative phenomena is stressed.


[Depersonalization and déjà vu experiences: prevalences in nonclinical samples] [Article in German]

Probst P, Jansen J
Psychologisches Institut II, Universität Hamburg

Zeitschrift für klinische Psychologie, Psychopathologie und Psychotherapie 39(4):357-68, 1991

According to the relevant psychological and psychiatric literature, depersonalization and déjà vu experiences are usually viewed as symptoms of severe psychiatric or neurological disorders, especially in schizophrenia, depression and epilepsy. Studies of these phenomena in non-clinical populations are rate. In this article we present the results of several epidemiological investigations. On the basis of survey and interview research, quantitative and qualitative aspects of both phenomena were assessed, as well as the relations with personality variables like emotionality. The results indicate prevalence rates up to 80 percent in non-clinical populations. Based on epidemiological considerations, the question of differentiation between clinical and non-clinical forms of depersonalization and déjà vu is discussed.


The déjà vu experience: remembrance of things past?

Sno HN, Linszen DH
University Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

American Journal of Psychiatry 47(12):1587-95, 1990

The déjà vu experience is a common phenomenon, occurring in pathological as well as nonpathological conditions. It has been defined as any subjectively inappropriate impression of familiarity of a present experience with an undefined past. The authors discuss the epidemiologic data, clinical features, and etiology of the phenomenon of déjà vu. They also review the different hypotheses on the psychopathogenesis of the déjà vu experience and introduce an explanation based on the hologram as a mnestic model.


KAFKA JS: Deja vu and synesthesia, Am J Psychiatry July 1991; 148 (7): 951c-952.

KOHN SR: Déjà Vu Phenomena, Am J Psychiatry, Oct 1991; 148 (10): 1417a-1418.

PAGLIARO L: Déjà Vu Phenomena, Am J Psychiatry, Oct 1991; 148 (10): 1418.

ROSEN DH: Déjà Vu Phenomena, Am J Psychiatry, Oct 1991; 148 (10): 1418-1418.

FLEMINGER S: Déjà Vu Phenomena, Am J Psychiatry, Oct 1991; 148 (10): 1418b-1419.

MEURS EJA & HES R: Déjà Vu and Holographic Images, Am J Psychiatry, Apr 1993; 150 (4): 679a-680.


Déjà vu

Zusne L, Jones WH

In: Anomalistic Psychology: A Study in Magical Thinking.  (Second edition) Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 1989

("Streets, houses, buildings, and interiors have a great deal of commonality, and there is no reason why conditioned generalization should not take place with respect to these larger complexes of stimuli, thus producing the déjà vu experience." p. 149)


An illusion of memory: False recognition influenced by unconscious perception

Jacoby LI, Whitehouse K

Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 118(2): 126-135, 1989. doi: 10.1037/0096-3445.118.2.126

The results of two experiments showed that an illusion of memory can be produced by unconscious perception. In a first phase of those experiments, a long list of words was presented for study. For the test of recognition memory given in the second phase of each experiment, presentation of a "context" word preceded that of most recognition test words. Ss were to judge whether or not the test words had been presented during the earlier study phase of the experiment. Effects of a context word on this recognition memory decision were opposite when Ss were aware vs. unaware of its presentation. For example, as compared to a condition in which no context word was presented, the probability of false recognition was increased when Ss were unaware but decreased when Ss were aware of the presentation of a context word that matched the recognition test word. Results are discussed in terms of unconscious influences on an attribution process.

(On crossing the street, the person experiences false recognition as the feeling of having previously crossed that same street, a feeling of déjà vu. p. 126)


Expanded consciousness: Nurses experiences

Barnum BJ

Nursing Outlook 37(6)20-266, 1986

(This paper reports on a questionnaire survey made of nurse leaders. There were 118 usable questionnaires. One of the questions had to do with déjà vu. The number or percentage reporting experiences of déjà vu is not given but there is an account of what I call "déjà visité" is given on p. 263.)


The Three-Pound Universe

Hooper J

Macmillan Publishing Company, NYC, 1986

(In this introductory text about neuroscience for lay people there are numerous references to déjà vu: e.g.,  pp. 37, 150, 189, 192.)


Distal eidetic technology: Further characteristics of the fantasy-prone personality

Myers SA, Austrin HR

Journal of Mental Imagery 9(3):57-66, 1985

200 undergraduates were tested to replicate and clarify the findings of S. C. Wilson and T. X. Baxter (1982), as well as other investigations in relation to the "fantasy-prone" personality. Ss completed the Wilson-Barber Inventory of Childhood Memories and Imagining—Children's Form [ICMIC], an ESP survey, Rotter's Internal–External Locus of Control Scale, a death anxiety scale, an absorption scale, and the Jackson Personality Inventory. In general, results support Wilson and Barber's findings and also clarify some of the major personality attributes of the fantasy prone personality in terms of A. Ahsen's (1982) findings concerning eidetic imagery.

(It appears that the ICMIC déjà vu question was "I have known something would happen before it happened even though there was no real way I could have known" [p. 59].  This is actually a question about precognition.  For an undergraduate student population of 195, the correlation of those claiming to have had this form of déjà experience with the results from the ESP questionnaire was a .18 [p = .005]. p. 61)


Using cognitive diaries to investigate naturally occurring memory blocks

Reason J, Lucas D

Chapter 4 in: Everyday Memory Actions and Absent-Mindedness, J. E. Harris and P. E. Morris (eds.).  Academic Press, New York, 1984, pp. 53-69

("Although our data do not inform us directly on the matter, the simplest [though perhaps not the most parsimonious] way to account for these processes within our cognitive control model is to postulate two distinct sets of parallel schemata (or two distinct aspects of the same schemata). One set is concerned with controlling the output of words and names in speech, writing and/or consciousness in response to instructions from the Intention System [see Chapter 7 of the present volume]. Another corresponding set reacts to input data from vision, hearing, or, in the case of the contents of consciousness, to the "mind's eye" or the "mind's ear". The former set we call "output schemata", the latter "recognition schemata". Both are under the influence of the same general activating factors (context, need, association and recency/frequency). Such an arrangement would also be compatible with the usual advantages of recognition over recall, with other schema-based theories [see Schmidt, 1975] and with anomalous experiences such as déjà-vu [Hunter, 1957]." p. 65)


Déjà vu: Memory and Emotion

O'Flaherty WD

In: Dreams, Illusions and Other Realities, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill, 1984.

("Karma is a ready-made classical Hindu explanation for the phenomenon of déjà vu." p. 221)


The temporal lobe and anomalous experience

Neppe VM

Parapsychological Journal of South Africa 5(1): 36-47, 1984

This paper argues that the logical anatomico-physiological correlate for such anomalous happenings as subjective paranormal experience (SPE) is the temporal lobe.  The author's research in this area is reviewed:  there is evidence that a background trait of anomalous temporal lobe functioning may predispose to the occurrence of SPEs.  Moreover, the contiguity in time of SPEs and possible temporal lobe symptoms implies that a particular state of temporal lobe functioning may predispose to the occurrence of SPEs.  Detailed analysis of specific anomalous experiences such as the olfactory hallucination are examined suggesting that subjective paranormal experients may experience a quite different quality of anomalous smell to the temporal lobe epileptic or dysfunction patient.  A similar finding occurs when deja vu phenomena are analysed in detail.  These results strengths the possibility that these experiences reflect something different from abnormal temporal lobe firing.  Research on the genetic links of such 'temporal lobe abnormalities and SPEs is briefly mentioned.  Finally, the possible association of the temporal lobe with other related anomalous experiences like mysticism and religion is cited.


Affective discrimination of stimuli that are not recognized: II. Effect of delay between study and test

Seamon JG, Brody N, Kauff DM

Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 21(3): 187-9, 1983

Results of a study of 64 right-handed undergraduates indicate that repeated exposure to briefly presented stimuli increased positive affect through familiarity without enhancing recognition of the stimuli. Following exposure, Ss selected previously shown target stimuli on the basis of affect in the absence of stimulus recognition. Interpreted in terms of the manner in which information can be accessed in long-term storage, the present study extends earlier research by showing that the ability to select target stimuli by affect can occur undiminished over a delay of 1 wk between study and test. Repeated processing during study can produce a form of perceptual learning, called perceptual fluency, that can serve as the basis for stimulus discrimination in the absence of recognition at the time of test. The present results of familiar but unrecognized stimuli are analogous to the memory phenomenon of déjà vu.


Religious and mystical experience as artifacts of temporal lobe function: A general hypothesis

Persinger MA
Laurentian University

Percepual and Motor Skills 57:1255-1262, 1983

Mystical and religious experiences are hypothesized to be evoked by transient, electrical mlcroseizures within deep structures of the temporal lobe. Although experiential details are affected by context and reinforcement history, basic themes reflect the inclusion of different amygdaloid-hippocampal structures and adjacent cortices. Whereas the unusual electrical coherence allows access to infantile memories of parents, a source of god expectations, specific stimulation evokes our-of-body experiences, space-time distortions, intense meaningfulness, and dreamy scenes. The species-specific similarities in temporal lobe properties enhance the homogeneity of cross-cultural experiences. They exist along a continuum that ranges from "early morning highs" to recurrent bouts of conversion and dominating religiosity. Predisposing factors include any biochemical or genetic factors that produce temporal lobe lability. A variety of precipitating stimuli provoke these experiences. but personal (life) crises and death bed conditions are optimal. These temporal lobe microseizures can be learned as responses to existential trauma because stimulation is of powerful intrinsic reward regions and reduction of death anxiety occurs. The implications of these transients as potent modifiers of human behavior are considered.

("Less severe displays, which are woven within the dynamics of borderline or "soft" temporal lobe signs and do not involve disorders in thought processes, constitute the central region of the scale. Typical symptoms would include: early morning highs (0200 to 0400 hr.), deja-vu experiences, vibration sensations before sleeping, "waves of energy permeating the body," recurrent vivid dreams, intense meaningfulness after reading material about unusual or unexpected situations, feelings of unreality (depersonalization), peaceful or quiescent episodes of diffuse concentration, memory blanks, experiencing the presence of other beings, the special personal significance of chance events, and the distortions in serial order of events (telepathic/precognitive experiences.  They are normal responses, only their frequency or duration occurrence and the degree to which they dominate the person's behavior predict the potential pathology." p. 1258-9)


The concept of déjà vu

Neppe, Vernon M.

Parapsychological Journal of South Africa 4(1):1-10, 1983

Provides a theoretical motivation for the empirically tested operational definition for déjà vu, namely, any subjectively inappropriate impression of familiarity of the present experience with an undefined past. Reasons are given for the rejection within the definition of other terms, and déjà vu is differentiated from flashbacks, pseudopresentiment, actualized precognition, and cryptomnesia. The 21 kinds of déjà vu, including 10 new terms introduced by the author, are mentioned. The metaphorical journalistic use of the term is briefly discussed.


The causes of déjà vu

Neppe, Vernon M.

Parapsychological Journal of South Africa 4(1):25-35, 1983

Argues that there is no single theoretical cause of déjà vu that can explain its wide variety of clinical manifestations. Most instances of associative déjà vu are associated with a predisposing milieu of anxiety and are triggered by restricted paramnesia and redintegration. The psychodynamics theory is the most common psychoanalytic explanation. However, temporal lobe firing and the double access theories account for many of the experimental and clinical features of the déjà vu experience of temporal lobe epileptics. Also, several parapsychological hypotheses have been advanced. Déjà vu in schizophrenics reflects a further nosological category, again implying different etiologies, precipitators, and pathogeneses.


To the editors

Neppe VM

Journal of Parapsychology 47:182-4, 1983

(A note taking exception to an article by R. Stanford [1982] in the same journal (46:231-271) in which Dr. Stanford spoke about the inverse relation between the frequency of déjà vu occurrences and age.  Dr. Stanford's reply follows on pp. 184-5)


The different presentations of the déjà vu phenomenon: New research

Neppe VM

Parapsychological Journal of South Africa 4(2): 124-139, 1983

The seven phenomenological perspectives of déjà vu were considered. The difficulty in interpreting which of these perspectives were correct was then raised.  The hypothesis that there were, in fact, several distinct clinical pictures of déjà vu which were homogeneous for diagnostic or nosological subtype was tested using two major population categories,  "Normals'1 and "Neuro-psychiatrics", each with distinct, operationalized comparative sample populations.  Neppe's Déjà Vu Questionnaire consisting of Screening and Qualitative Questionnaires as well as a less structured Chosen Case description was used as a measuring instrument to retrospectively evaluate déjà vu experience. This was done in a personal interview situation on 89 subjects. Four distinct clinically homogeneous subdivisions of déjà vu emerged.  In the 'Normals', the 'Subjective Paranormal Experients', déjà vu was characterized by its time distortions and specific predictions component.  The 'Subjective Paranormal Non-Experients' (i.e. "average" population groups) déjà vu had a lack of memorable/outstanding features.  In the 'Neuropsychiatrics'. the 'Temporal Lobe Epileptics' déjà vu was characterized by post-epileptic features.  These do not occur in 'Non-Temporal Lobe Epileptics' or 'Non-Epileptic Temporal Lobe Dysfunctions'. Schizophrenics' déjà vu were characterized by psychotic intrusions into the experience.  Examples were given and these results discussed.


A historical review of déjà vu

Funkhouser AT

Parapsychological Journal of South Africa 4(1):11-24, 1983

This paper is a brief and provisional survey of déjà vu concepts and theories as they have appeared in occidental literature and technical publications down through the years. Primarily, various "firsts" are mentioned, the development of the terminology is touched upon, various early surveys and a thesis are described, and the early relationships of deja vu to such areas of research as physiology, epilepsy, and psychoanalysis are gone into.


The "dream" theory of déjà vu

Funkhouser AT

Parapsychological Journal of South Africa 4(2): 107-123, 1983

There have been many explanations for how the experience known as déjà vu is caused.  Here personal experience and various authorities (e.g., Dunne and Mylius) are brought together to support the notion that at least some occurrences of déjà vu result from precognitive dreams which are remembered concurrently with their "coming true".  It is asserted that such "previews of the future" while asleep are different in feeling tone from ordinary dreams.  "Déjà visité" (unusual knowledge concerning a place one has never been to before) is held to be a different experience. Various characteristics of the déjà vu experience are described as well as instances of precognitive dreams.


A "déjà vu" review: "Where or when": Still mystery and magic in the guise of "déjà vu."

Kohn SR

Parapsychological Journal of South Africa 4(1): 70-82, 1983

"Déjà vu" is an inappropriate feeling of familiarity with new events or with new surroundings.  The following review will attempt to touch upon the definition and nomenclature of "déjà vu" and will offer some of the neurologic, psychiatric, and psychological explanations for the phenomenon.  The review will also attempt to give vivid personal, scientific, and literary examples of this provocative phenomenon.


Der Assozitationscortex [The association cortex] [Book in German]

Creutzfeldt OD

Chapter 7 in Cortex Cerebri, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1983

(Déjà vu and déjà vécu mentioned on p. 308.)


Precognitive and prophetic visions in near-death experiences

Ring K

Anabiosis: The Journal of Near-Death Studies 2:47-74, 1982

An investigation is reported concerning two types of precognitive phenomena that are associated with unusually deep near-death experiences (NDEs). Personal flash forwards (PFFs) refer to visions in which a near-death survivor glimpses events that will involve him personally sometime subsequent to his NDE. Prophetic visions (PVs) refer to a kind of preview of planetary-wide events. Data from approximately a dozen cases of each type are presented. Analysis of these data offers suggestive evidence that at least some PFFs contain veridical elements; PVs were found to disclose a pattern of remarkable uniformity across respondents, suggesting a global scenario over the next twenty years marked by a period of increasing catastrophe to be followed by an era of spiritual enlightenment. Various interpretations of the data on precognitive effects are offered, and empirical procedures to determine the possible predictive significance of PVs are proposed.

("At such moments, there is usually an uncanny sense of deja vu; the event, which had already been experienced, is now fulfilled in fact, and its realization is accompanied by the shock of absolutely certain prior knowledge of it outcome." p. 49)


Modern time

Dossey L

In: Space, Time and Medicine. Shambhala Publications, Boulder, CO, 1982

(He wrote there "is a sense of the eternal return in every experience of deja vu.", p. 32-3.)


Targ's ESP teaching machine

Gardner M

In: Science: Good, Bad, and Bogus. Avon (Discus), NYC, 1981

("The authors [Puthoff and Targ in Psychic Exploration - Putnams, 1974] think that the 'familiar déjà vu phenomenon is the most common form of precognition." p. 79)


Remembering and understanding

Claxton G

Chapter 6 in: Cognitive psychology, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Boston, 1980, pp. 197-235

(An explanation for déjà vu is given on p. 224.)


The Natural History of the Mind

Taylor GR

New York: E. P. Dutton, 1979

(He briefly describes various forms of déjà experience in his "I Have Been Here Before" section, pp. 154-6.)


Beispiele exogener Stimulierung [Examples of exogenous stimulation] [Book in German]

Flechtner H-J

In: Das Gedächtnis: Ein neues psychophysisches Konzept. S. Hirzel Verlag, Stuttgart, 1979

(Déjà vu mentioned on p. 344.)


The nature of recognition

Glass AL, Holyoak KJ, Santa JL

Cognition. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Reading, MA, 1979

(Déjà vu treated on p. 63.)


Déjà vu

Reed G

Section in Chapter 1, Part 1 of: Functional Disorders of Memory, John F. Kihlstrom and Frederick J. Evans (eds.). Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N. J., 1979, pp. 13-14

("A more subtle hypothesis is that the 'first' experience took place in a dream, a proposition that accords well with the dreamlike quality of déjà vu itself." p. 13

"A more fruitful psychological approach to the consideration of deja vu may be to de-emphasize the recall aspect, with its presumption of a "previous" or "first" event. and examine the experience in terms of its other name: 'fausse reconnaissance' [false recognition]. Instead of 'Why is the observer unable to recall the previous situation?' the question reverts to 'Why does the observer feel that he recognizes the present situation?' This, indeed, was the approach taken by Pierre Janet, the first psychologist to identify. describe. and analyze the experience. He argued that the problem was not to do with how the observer
remembers a previous situation but with how he perceives the present one." p. 14)


Déjà vu

Reed G

Section in Anomalies of Recognition, Chapter 5 in: The Psychology of Anomalous Experience, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1974, pp. 105-111

("Déjà vu
"In the 'believe it or not' section of repertoires of personal anecdotes there is often one like this:
'I was about fifteen at the time. We'd gone on a school excursion to York [or Canterbury, Zürich or Wigtwistle-on-Sea]. I came around a corner from the High Street into one of those little eighteenth-century side streets. And suddenly I knew I'd been there before-I recognized the butcher's shop and the old inn sign-everything. The joke is that there's no doubt whatsoever that I'd never been near the place before in my life ... I know it sounds rather mysterious ... .'

"The raconteur then shrugs modestly and sits back while his (or her) audience earnestly discuss possible explanations of the mystery." p. 105)


The mystery of deja vu: Who knows where or when?

White R

Psychic  4:44-9, 1973

(This is an article for the general public about déjà vu and provides a good overview of both scientific and more lay thinking about the phenomena involved in its various forms.)


The psychology of anomalous experience: A cognitive approach

Reed G

London: Hutchinson University Library 1972

The aims of this book are modest and its level intentionally simple. First, the book is concerned with "experience," rather than with behaviour. Second, it focusses upon "unusual" experiences, upon the irregular or atypical as opposed to the usual. Thus, thirdly, discussion here is in terms of "normal" psychology. And fourthly, the emphasis is placed upon "cognitive" processes, as opposed to affective or motivational concepts.


Varieties of consciousness: Comparison of some cognitive characteristics

Buck LA

Perceptual and Motor Skills 30:183-186, 1970

The present study was an attempt to describe and contrast a variety of states of consciousness. The results indicate that dreams, hypnagogic and hypnopompic experiences, depersonalization, déjà vu, synesthesia, and day-dreams can be differentiated by means of a series of descriptive characteristics.


The Cathars and Reincarnation: The record of a Past Life in Thirteenth-Century France

Guirdham A

Neville Spearman, London, 1970

(Examples of déjà visité -- though not called that -- are provided, pp. 37 - 40.)


Varieties of consciousness: Comparison of some cognitive characteristics

Buck LA

Perceptual and Motor Skills 30:183-186, 1970

The present study was an attempt to describe and contrast a variety of states of consciousness. The results indicate that dreams, hypnagogic and hypnopompic experiences, depersonalization, déjà vu, synesthesia, and day-dreams can be differentiated by means of a series of descriptive characteristics.


Déjà Vu

Orme JE

Section F in the Variations in Time Experience chapter of: Time, Experience and Behaviour, American Elsevier Books, New York, 1969, pp. 14-16

(The author reviews what is known medically about déjà vu, speaking mostly about Efron's theory of signal delay across the corpus callosum [a modern revival of Wigan's 1844 idea].)


Disorders of Memory and Learning

Talland GA

Harmondsworth, Middlesex, GB: Penguin Books, 1968

(Two mentions of déjà vu in the Temporal and Frontal lobectomies section, pp. 112-3, and two further mentions in the Paramnesias section, p. 151.)


Psychologie in Biologischer Sicht [Psychology from a biological point of view] [Book in German]

Hess WR (ed.)

Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart, 1968

(Déjà vu briefly discussed on  pages 71 and 91.)


Varieties of consciousness: I Intercorrelations

Buck LA, Geers MB

Journal of Clinical Psychology 22:151-2, 1966-7

The present study evaluated the interrelationships between the reported frequency of occurrence of the daydream, synesthesia, déjà vu, depersonalization, hypnagogic experience and the dream. Significant correlations were found in 33 of 55 comparisons.


Déjà vu

Wyburn GM, Pickford RW, Hirst RJ

In: Human Senses and Perception, G. M. Wyburn (ed.) Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1964, pp. ??

(This book includes a brief section on déjà vu.)


Fundamentals of Psychology

Geldard FA

John Wiley & Sons, NY, 1963

(See pp. 220-2.)


Temporal perception, aphasia and déjà vu

Efron R

Brain 86(3):403-424, 1963

(The author presented an updated version of the 1844 hypothesis of A. Wigan that déjà vu arises from a delay in transmission between the cerebral hemispheres across the corpus callosum.)


Sleep Deprivation

Brauchi JT West LJ

Journal of the American Medical Association 171(1):11-14, 1959   doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010190013003

The effects of prolonged wakefulness were studied in a man who had been hospitalized for nervous disorders on three previous occasions. After the third hospitalization he had worked successfully under exacting conditions for six years, until he subjected himself to two periods of sleep deprivation. The first period of 89 hours precipitated an acute state of confusion from which he quickly recovered. The second period produced hallucinations, delusions, and complete disorganization. It was terminated at 168 hours and 33 minutes, but the psychotic symptoms and personality changes persisted. His affairs became confused, and he sought treatment. After four months of hospitalization he returned to work. He has been in reasonably good health for more than a year since that time.

(Déjà vu mentioned on p. 13)


Déjà Vu and Eidetics

Janzen EK

Folia Psychiatrica Neurologica et Neurochirur- gica Neerlandica 61:170-177, 1958

The presumption is here expressed that déjà vu is caused by the interference in the perception of eidetic images and objects. In principle the eidetic image has a quality of memory, "sine die". Consequently in the déjà vu series, when directed to objects, a reminiscence occurs, and when directed to images, an anticipatory intuition, a presentiment. The images were or are percepted before - so strictly speaking déjà vu is not an illusion of memory.


Some types of individual subjective differences

McKellar P

Chapter 4 in: Imagination and Thinking. Cohen & West, London, 1957

(The author includes the results of a survey of Aberdeen University students.  126 or 69.23% of 182 students claimed to have had déjà vu experiences. Table III, p. 54)

(He wrote "Such experiences are sometimes supernaturally interpreted as recollections from a previous life.  Various alternative, more scientific explanations have also been advanced; but it is probable that none of these covers all instances of déjà vu." p. 55)


Memory: Facts and Fallacies

Hunter IML

Pinguin Books, Ltd., Harmondsworth, U.K., 1957

(Déjà vu is discussed in the section on paradoxical recognition in the chapter on What is Memory.)


Vorschau und Rückschau im Traum (Das Déjà-vu-Phänomen) [Preview and hindsight in dreams (the déjà vu phenomenon)] [Article in German]

Moufang W, Stevens WO

Chapter 10 in: Mysterium der Träume, Paul List Verlag, München, 1953, pp. 333-351

(With examples, the authors write about the relationship of déjà vu experiences with precognitive dreams.)


A case of paramnesia in Nathaniel Hawthorne

Zangwill OL

Character and Personality 13:246-260, 1944/48

(After presenting a concise overview of déjà vu in the scientific literature, the author relates an incident in which Nathaniel Hawthorne, the New England author of the House of Seven Gables, visited the ruins of Stanton Harcourt in England and was amazed that it seemed so familiar to him [déjà visité], even though this was his first visit to England.  He was later able to trace this knowledge to an account written two centuries earlier by Alexander Pope in which he described the manor house in great detail.  Thus, it turned out this incident of déjà vu had a perfectly mundane explanation.)


One form of paramnesia: The illusion of déjà vu

Leeds M

Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 38(1):24-42, 1944

(He wrote that he had so many déjà vu experiences that he decided to study them systematically.)



Coleman SM

British Journal of Psychology 90:152-192, 1944

(A short review of what is known about déjà vu is given on p. 174.)


A restricted paramnesia of complex origin

Pickford RW

British Journal of Medical Psychology 19:186-191, 1941-3

(The author elucidates the differences between restricted paramnesias and incidences of déjà vu.  His point of departure is the 1941 paper by Banister and Zangwill who wrote "In déjà vu there is always present the illusion of reliving a situation in its entirety, and the illusion is not obviously initiated by an isolated feature and always bears upon the situation as a whole.  Déjà vu, moreover, may relate to a situation lacking all parallel in the history of the subject.  Paramnesia, on the other hand, in its localized forms, almost always turns out to have a genuine foundation in past experience." p. 186)


Experimentally induced visual paramnesias

Banister H, Zangwill OL

British Journal of Psychology 32:30-51, 1941

Illustrations are given of restricted paramnesias set up in response to material for which post-hypnotic amnesia had been induced. These responses are strikingly similar to paramnesia in daily life. 3 moments can usually be distinguished in the paramnesic response: (1) an initial judgment of reference to the past, (2) a phase of perplexity marking an effort at recall, (3) an act of rationalization often wholly constructive in character. Rationalization took various forms, one of the most common of these being a projection of the paramnesia on to material previously seen in the waking state. Fabulation was prominent in the responses of one subject. The results provide some evidence in support of MacCurdy's theory of paramnesia, but throw little light on the origin of déjà vu.


Les trois mémoires [The three memories] [Article in French]

Delay J

Journal de psychologie normale et pathologique, Paris 37-38:374-393, 1940-41

(Déjà vu is mentioned on p. 383.)


Die Entstehung der Wiedererkennungstäuschung [The genesis of the familiarity illusion] [Article in German]

Wolf H

Zeitschrift für Psychologie 149:306-320, 1940

(The author discusses the various theories having to do with déjà vu.)


Primitiveformen des Gedächtnisses [Primitive forms of memories] [Article in German]

Stern W

Chapter in: Algemeine Psychologie auf personalistischer Grundlage, Haag: Marinus Nijhoff, 1935

(Déjà vu discussed on pp. 279-280.)


Learning and other memory functions

Koffka K

In: Principles of Gestalt Psychology, Harcourt, Brace & Co., New York, 1935

("In Katzaroff's words: 'One may therefore assume that the feeling of familiarity (sentiment de familier) déjà vu which accompanies a repeated sensation results from the fact that the sensation where it passed through our consciousness for the first time, became associated with the very feeling of our 'Ego? (s'est associée au sentiment lui-même de notre 'moi') and was, so to speak, enveloped by it'" p. 594)

(The reference is to Contribution à l'etude de la récognition, Katzaroff D, Arch de Psych 1911 p. 78)


Differenzen in den einzelnen psychischen Funktionen [Differences in the individual psychological functions] [Book in German]

Heymans G

In: Einführung in die spezielle Psychologie, J. A. Barth Verlag, Leipzig, 1932

(He mentions illusory memory and paramnesias. p. ???)


Über das déjà vu und andere Täuschungen des Bekanntheitsgefühls [About déjà vu and other illutions of familiarity] [Article in German]

Berndt-Larsson H

Zeitschrift für das gesamte Neurolgie und Psychiatrie 133:521-543, 1931

(The author provides an excellent and thorough overview of what was known about déjä vu and related mental conditions.  He managed to classify theories about déjà vu into three groups:

Group 1: Those that hold that the phenomenon is only seen as an effect  caused by analogies and likenesses with earlier real experiences.

Group 2: That see it as the result of a more or less intellectual operation whereby most speak of a coincidence of two ideas that correspond, one with the perception, the other with the memory, and these two images are made to be present in the psyche at the same time.

Group 3: That see in the phenomenon only a process in which the feeling, the so-called familiarity feeling alone predominates and an attempt is now made to explain its illogical and unexpected presence in one way or another. p. 527)

(For the author's definitions of déjà vu as it is experienced by normals and as it is experienced by the mentally ill, see Dietrich, 1962.)


Die Pseudomnesien [The pseudomnesias] [Book in German]

Schneider K

Section 2 in Die Störungen des Gedächtnisses chapter of: Handbuch der Geisteskrankheiten, Vol. 1, O. Bunke (ed.). J. Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1928, pp. 522-9

("Kraepelins dritte Form, die 'identifizierende' Erinnerungsfälschung, ist ungleich besser bekannt.  Es handelt sich um das, was man als die falsche Erinnerung, die fausse reconnaissance, als das déjà vu, déjà éprouvé, déjà vécu zu bezeichnen pflegt." p. 523)

[Kraepelin's third form, the 'identifying' memory illusion, is much better known.  It involves what one usually terms false memory, false regcognition, as déjà vu, déjà éprouvé, déjà vécu. p. 523]



MacCurdy JT

Chapter 11 in: Common Principles in Psychology and Physiology. Cambridge University Press, 1928, pp. 112-130

("In studying déjà vu, it is found that the affect is due to the arousal of the memory of something [as co-conscious images?] similar in nature to the immediate exciting stimulus; this memory does not penetrate into consciousness." p. 116)


Über reduplizierende Paramnesie (Pick) und verwandte Symptome bei progressiver Paralyse [Concerning reduplicative  paramnesia (Pick) and related symptoms in progressive paralysis] [Article in German]

Westphal K

Zeitschrift für die gesamte Neurologie und Psychiatrie 110:585-610, 1927

(The author reported on various cases of reduplicative paramnesia, first described by Pick.  Twice he quoted Rosenberg's notion that déjà vu is related to, or even a repressed form of, reduplicative paramnesia. pp. 586, 590)


A note on recognition

Murray E

American Journal of Psychology 39:259-263, 1927

("The peculiar phenomenon of paramnesia or fausse reconnaissance is apparently an experience cut on a similar pattern but abnormally conditioned.  A momentary block or gap in the perceptual function, due to 'nerve fatigue' dissociates the two stages or phases [centering and arrest]; resumption of function stamps the earlier anticipatory portions as a remote prior experience -- the re-coalescence of the two provoking a vivid but arrested recognitory awareness." p. 263)


Fundamentals of Objective Psychology

Dashiell JF

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, MA, 1927

(The author holds that paramnesias "turn out to be cases in which identical elements are the crucial items." See pages 378-380.)


"Déjà vu"

MacCurdy JT

Chapter 43 in: The Psychology of Emotion, Morbid and Normal. Kegan Paul, London, 1925, pp. 425-432.  (Also published the same year in the US by Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc., N.Y.)

(This chapter contains a review of what was known at that time, but is mainly concerned with déjà vu as something that occurs in connection with an illness.)


[The symptom of the déjà vu illusion in creative processes] [Article in Russian]

Skvortzov KA

Klinicheskii Arkhiv Geneal Nosti i Odarenosti 1:111-?, 1925

(Based on the fact that occurrences of déjà vu are more frequent during adolescence the author suggested that there might be some connection with hormones.)


Wiedererkennen, Erinnern, Vergessen [Recognition, remembering, forgetting] [Book in German]

Schilder P

Section 2 in Das Gedächtnis chaper of: Medizinische Psychologie, J. Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1924, pp. 121-7

("Beknnntheitsgefühl und Bekanntheitsqualität sind nicht elnfache Gefuhle, sondern das Wiedererkennen setzt ein Erinnern voraus, einen Gedankenkeim, der die Beziehung auf das frühere Erlebnis enthalt. Das Wiedererinnern vergessener Namen. Das déjà vue als Deckungserscheinung zwischen den Vorstufen des Erlebens und dem Endprodukt. Das déjà raconté. Die phänomenale Gedachtnisse und die Komplexbildung beim Lernen. Die Schemen und Diagramme. Das phänomenale Gedächtnis beruht auf der sinnvollen Gliederung des Stoffes zu Komplexen. Die Spezialgedäctnisse und nochmals die Typen. Das Vergessen bei den organischen Hirnerkrankungen als Hemmung. Das Vergessen in der Hypnose und das Vergessen in dem hysterischen Ausnahmezustand als Verdrängungssymptom, als Abwendung uberhaupt. Auch im epileptischen Ausnahmezustand Erlebtes ist nicht verloren. Das Vergessen als Folge von Einstellungen und Hemmungen. Der biologische Faktor ist fur das Vergessen und Erinnern massgebend. Determination und latente Determination. Die Reichweite des Gedächtnisses.")

[Feelings of familiarity and the quality of familiarity are not simple feelings, but rather the recognition presupposes a memory, a seed of thoughts, that contains a relationship with the earlier experience.  The recovery of forgotten names.  Déjà vu as the umbrella appearance between the precursor of the experience and the end product.  Déjà raconté. The memory of phenomena is based on a meaningful arrangement of the material to complexes. The special memory and once again the types. Forgetting that occurs in organic cerebral illnesses as inhibition. Forgetting in hypnosis and forgetting in the hysterical exceptional state as a symptom of repression, as avoidance in any case.  Also in epileptical exceptional states that which is experienced is not lost.  Forgetting as a consequence of attitudes and inhibitions. The biological factor is decisive for forgetting and remembering. Determination and latent determination. The extent of memory.]


The psychology of déjà vu

MacCurdy JT

British Association for the Advancement of Science: Report of the 92nd Meeting, 1924, p. 442

"The work of Grasset, Freud, and others has shown that déjà vu is caused by activation of an unconscious memory of a real event, a fantasy, or a dream, which in some way resembles the co-incident, conscious perception.  This memory, although stimulated, does not enter consciousness as such, but affects it only as an obsessive feeling of familiarity. A newly described group in manic-depressive insanity -- the perplexity cases -- are characterized by a peculiar affect closely analogous to the feeling of déjà vu.  In studying this condition the mental processes, which result in subjective perplexity, are easily discovered.  We are thus enabled to see the mechanism of production of déjà vu and, in turn, to understand more fully the nature of normal recognition."


Falsa intuizione di ricordo [False intuition of recognition] [Article in Italian]

Montesano G

Quaderni di Psichiatria 7:245-264, 1920

(This paper has a thorough review of the pertinent literature about paramnesias of identification. pp. 251-5)


Lehrbuch der Allgemeinen Psychololgie [Textbook of General Psychology] [Book in German]

Geyser J

Band III, (3. Auffassung), H. Schöningh Verlag, Münster in Westfallen, 1920

(Déjà vu mentioned on p. 255.)


L'illusion du "déjà vu" [Article in Italian]

Morselli E

Quaderni di Psichiatria 4:127-8, 1919

(A review, in Italian, of Stephen Chauvet's article of that name in the 1917 Mercure de France.)


An experimental analysis of the process of recognizing

Woods EL

American Journal of Psychology 26(3): 313-387, 1915

(On page 380, the author briefly discusses the theories of Lalande and Bourdon about déjà vu.)


Memory in dreams

Ellis H

In: The World of Dreams, Constable & Co., London, 1915

(This paper includes a review of the extant literature concerning déjà vu, pp.239-260.)


V. B. Die Psychologie der Erkenntnis [The psychology of perception] [Book in German]

Höffding H

In: Psychologie in Umrissen auf Grundlage der Erfahrung, O. R. Reisland, Leipzig, 1914

(He discusses briefly the memory illusion otherwise known as paramnesia and "le sentiment du déjà vu". cf. pp. 181-182)


Paramnesia in daily life

Smith TL

American Journal of Psychology 24(1): 52-65, 1913

("In Abramowski's experimental investigation of the illusions of memory, special attention was given to the study of identifying paramnesia which was artificially produced under laboratory conditions.  In these experiments words in a series seen with distracted attention and immediately repeated under conditions of normal attention were invariably referred to a preceding series in which they had not occurred.

"This particular form of paramnesia or double memory in which a new experience is accompanied by a feeling of having experienced before is, in its slighter forms, very common among normal individuals." p. 55)


Die Erinnerungstäuschungen und die falschen Interpretationen der Erinnerungsbilder [The memory illusions and the false interpretations of remembered images] [Book in German]

Müller GE

Section 121 in: Zur Analyse der Gedächtnistätigkeit und des Vorstellungsverlaufes, Teil III, J. A. Barth Verlag, Leipzig, 1913, pp. 319-361

(There is quite a lot concerning the influence of dreams on memory illusions.  pp. 349-350)


Wiedererkennungs- und Gedächtnistäuschungen [Recognition and memory illusions] [Book in German]

Titchener EB

Section 120 in: Lehrbuch der Psychologie, Leipzig: J. A. Barth Verlag, 1912, pp. 425-7

("Die meisten menschen haben vielleicht gelegentlich einmal das erlebt, was als Paramnesie oder falsches Wiedererkennen bezeichnet wird, ein 'Gefühl, dass alles dieses schon einmal dagewesen ist', das trotz des Wissens um die Neuheit des Eindruckes einige Sekunden lang dauert.")

["Most people have maybe possibly experienced at some time that which is termed paramnesia or false recognition, 'a feeling that all this has already been like this once before, and this despite the knowledge about the newness of the impression which lasts a few seconds."]


Récognition et Moiïté [Recognition and selfhood] [Article in French]

Claparede E

Archive de Psychologie, Geneva 11:79-90, 1911

(He briefly discusses forms of déjà experience and paramnesia on pp. 79-80.)


La paramnesies [The paramnesias] [Book in French]

Peillaube E

In: Les Images, M. Riviére & Cie., Paris, 1910

(He lists déjà vu and déjà vécu as examples of an excess of recognition. p. 290)


Zum Problem des falschen Wiedererkennens (déjà vu) [Concerning the problem of mistaken recognition (déjà vu)] [Article in German]

Linwurzky J

Archiv für die Gesamte Psychologie 15(1-2):256-260, 1909

(The author theorizes about his own experience of déjà vu.)


Sulla paramnesia e sugli errori di riconoscimento [On paramnesia and mistakes of recognition] [Article in Italian]

Patini E

Annali di Nevrologia 26:129-200, 1908

(There is a section on paramnesias and dreams.  p. 171ff)


Recent studies of normal illusions of memory

Kuhlmann F

American Journal of Psychology 16(3):389-398, 1905

(The author says that paramnesia is a normal process. p. 389)


The nature of familiarity

Sidis B, Goodhart SP

Chapter 8 in: Multiple Personality, D. Appleton & Co., 1904

("The patient suffering from paramnesia, on being confronted with an object, may momentarily pass into a subconscious condition in which the object is perceived; on immediately recovering from his state and perceiving the object once more, a vague sense of recognition arises." p. 46)


La sensation du "déjà vu"; sensation du "déjà entendu"; du "déjà eprové"; illusion de "fausse reconnaissance" por J. Grasset


Journal de psychologie normale et pathologique 1:373-4, 1904

A review of J. Grasset's 1903 book of that title.


Review of La Sensation du 'Déja vu'

Mersereau IF

Psychological Bulletin 1(10):354-356, 1904

(A review of the preceding paper J. Grasset)


La sensation du "déjà vu" [The sensation of déjà vu ] [Article in French]

Grasset J

Journal de psychologie normale et pathologique 1:17-27, 1904

(From a review by Mersereau IF, Psychological Bulletin 1904 1(10): 354-356

The author begins with a very complete description of the sensation of the already seen, under which head he includes the already heard and the already experienced. Two elements are equally essential to the phenomenon: The recognition of an image, emotion or psychic state which one is conscious he has never experienced before. Ignorance of the origin of the first impression, which has been formerly acquired by the brain of the subject, and with which the present impression appears identical. Instead of dividing the brain into three levels, the author divides it into two. The superior centers (which he calls O) are conscious, and the inferior centers are unconscious or subconscious. The weak point in this clever explanation of an interesting phenomenon appears to be in attributing imagination and memory to the inferior or subconscious brain centers, if these include the lowest centers of vital activity.)


Le sentiment du déjà vu et l'illusion de fausse reconnaissance [The sensation of déjà vu and the illusion of false recognition] [Article in French]

Leon-Kindberg M

Revue de Psychiatrie et de Psychologie Experimentale 9:139-166, 1903

(An excellent review of the theories of déjà vu at that time.)


L'Illusion de fausse reconnaissance ou illusion de "déjà vu" [The illusion of false recognition and the illusion of "déjà vu"] [Article in French]

Laurent E

Revue de Philosophique 4:517-525, 1903

(An excellent review of what was being said about déjà vu experiences at that time.)


Observations de Paramnésie [Observations about paramnesia] [Article in French]

de Pury J

Archives de Psychologie 2:58-60, 1903

(The author visited the castle of St. Germain and it was familiar to him although he had never been there. He wrote that the previous "memory" could not have come from a previous lifetime because the train station was also familiar and it would not have existed during the king's reign. He related another example which made this even clearer. He said that the possibility that he had seen the scene in a dream is also unbelievable.  He proposes the theory of a dual consciousness, like the front side and back side of a translucent projection screen. If consciousness perceives both at the same time, the perception is doubled.)


Sur l'interpretation des faits de paramnesie [Concerning  the matter of paramnesia] [Article in French]

Piéron H

Revue Philosophique 54:160-3, 1902

(The author's theory is that déjà vu arises when a present scene corresponds closely enough with an image that is in the unconscious, say from a dream or fantasy.)


Note sur un phénoméne de prévision immediate [A note on the phenomenon of immediate foresight] [Article in French]

Fairbanks K

Archives de Psychologie 1:95-8, 1902

(This paper discusses paramnesia and false recognition, p. 95.)


Sur l'illusion dite "depersonalisation" [On the illusion called "depersonalization"] [Article in French]

Leroy EB

Revue Philosophique 46:157-162, 1898

(He concludes that déjà vu is not the same as depersonalization.)



Allin A

American Journal of Psychology 7:249-273, 1896

(An excellent review of what was known about such phenomena at that time.)


The subliminal self

Myers FWH

Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research 11:334-407, 1895

(In his chapter 8 entitled "The relation of supernormal phenomena to time - retrocognition", Prof. Myers wrote that many déjà vu experiences arise from premonitory dreams.  Rather than using the term "paramnesia", which he said smacked of pathology, he preferred "promnesia, -- memory beforehand" [footnote on p. 341])


Psychological Literature: Hysteria, Paramnesia

(No authorship indicated)

Psychological Review 1(1):93-95, 1894

Discusses the topics of hysteria and paramnesia, highlighting two articles: one by Bernheim entitled On the Psychical Nature of Hysterical Unilateral Amblyopia and Sensitivo-sensorial Hemianaesthesia (see record 1894-10029-001), and one by A. Lalande entitled Des Paramnésies (1893). For the first article, in taking the case of a youth of 19, the upper left half of whose body was completely anaesthetic, Bernheim defends the view that the insensibility in such hysterical cases is not real, but only mental, just like that produced by suggestion in hypnotic subjects. The second article focuses on Lalande's theory on paramnesia, the illusion of feeling as if one had already undergone the experience which may be passing. Lalande suggests that unconscious telepathic perception, if made conscious by the succeeding mental state, might give rise to the sense of a previous experience repeated.


Sulla paramnesia, o falsa memoria [On paramnesia or false memory] [Article in Italian]

Vignoli T

Rendiconti Reale Istituto Lombardo di Scienze e Lettere (2nd series) 27:176-185, 244-253, 1894

(Prof. Vignoli provided an excellent overview -- in Italian -- of what was known about these phenomena at that time.)

Comment by Soury J, Revue Philosophique 38:50-1, 1894


A propos de la paramnesie [Regarding paramnesia] [Article in French]

Le Lorrain J

Revue Philosophique 37:208-210, 1894

(Such experiences are frequently encountered in the general population.  A large number arise from memories buried deep in the unconscious.)


Sulla paramnesia, o falsa memoria [On paramnesia or false memory] [Article in Italian]

Soury J

Revue Philosophique 38:50-1, 1894

(Comments on a paper by Tito Vignoli, Revue Philosophique March, 1894)


(Without title)


Psychological Review 1(1): 93-95, 1894    doi: 10.1037/h0065834

Discusses the topics of hysteria and paramnesia, highlighting two articles: one by Bernheim entitled "On the Psychical Nature of Hysterical Unilateral Amblyopia and Sensitivo-sensorial Hemianaesthesia" and one by A. Lalande entitled "Des Paramnésies" (1893). For the first article, in taking the case of a youth of 19, the upper left half of whose body was completely anaesthetic, Bernheim defends the view that the insensibility in such hysterical cases is not real, but only mental, just like that produced by suggestion in hypnotic subjects. The second article focuses on Lalande's theory on paramnesia, the illusion of feeling as if one had already undergone the experience which may be passing. Lalande suggests that unconscious telepathic perception, if made conscious by the succeeding mental state, might give rise to the sense of a previous experience repeated.


Des Paramnesies [The paramnesias] [Article in French]

Lalande A

Revue Philosophique 36(11):485-497, 1893

(This is an early in-depth discussion of various "déjà" phenomena.  In particular, déjà lu, déjà passe, déjà vu, déjà rêve, déjà connu, déjà vécu, déjà entendu.  He devotes the most attention to déjà rêve [already dreamt].)


Gedächtniss, phantasie, reproduction [Memory, fantasy, reproduction] [Book in German]

Kulpa O

In: Grundriss der Psychologie: Auf experimenteller Grundlage dargestellt, Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig, 1893

(He describes what déjà visité is like.  p. 180)

The English translation of this book is Külpe, O. (1895). Outlines of Psychology. Based upon the Results of Experimental Investigation. London: Swan Sonnenschein.


Statistics of dreams

Calkins MW

American Journal of Psychology 5(3)311-343, 1893

(Paramnesia discussed on pp. 324 and 336.)


Causitischer Beitrag zur Lehre von den Erinnerungsfälschungen [Causistic contribution to the knowledge of memory illusions] [Article in German]

Schedtler H

Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie und psychisch-gerichtliche Medizin 48:645-650, 1892

(The author distinguishes between simple, associative and identifying memory falsifications.  From its description identifying memory falsifications are what today is known as déjà vu. p. 649)


Principles of Psychology

James W

Macmillan & Co., London, 1891

(There is a curious experience which everyone seems to have had -- the feeling that the present moment in its completeness has been experienced before -- we were saying just this thing, in just this place, to just these people, etc.  p. 675)


Hereditary memory

Lach-Szyrma WS

Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 4: 230-31, 1890

Gives example of deja-vu, which the author argues may be explained as inherited memory.


Extracts from the autobiography of a paranoic

Peterson F

American Journal of Psychology 2:193-224, 1889

("As far as I can go back, I remember havmg at times. but not frequently, impressions which must be identical with what I have lately heard others speak of as 'double memory.' The feeling would all at once creep over me that the very thing I was present with, my ideas and perceptions at that time, had happened to me once before in just the same sequence and arrangement. I have heard this explained as due to a lack of simultaneity in the action of the two lobes of the brain, the tardy one remembering what had already passed through the other. My own theory was different, leaving the organ acting out of consideration. I only went so far as to look at it as a mistaken quality in the perception - an erroneous attaching of the nature of the act of remembering to what was really the act of thinking in the present." p. 198)


The double brain

Maudsley H

Mind: A Quarterly Review 14:161-187, 1889

("The last fact to which I shall refer is the singular feeling, which almost everybody has had more than once in his life, of having been before in exactly the same circumstances and having had exactly the same experience, notwithstanding that the experience was plainly and entirely novel. The feeling is not, I think, merely a flash of recognition, but is instinct with a sort of sure foresight or prophetic certainty of what is going to happen; not a memory certainly, since we cannot remember what has never happened; and it is at best a momentary consciousness which vanishes almost as soon as it is felt. Its nature and mode of occurrence seem to prove that it is an almost instantaneous, but not exactly consentaneous, double experience of the same event; and it is not an unreasonable conjecture, therefore, that the seeming recognition may be due to the instantaneously successive consciousness of the separately acting hemispheres. In this instance the hemispheres have exactly the same experience, whence the seeming familiarity; but in the perhaps not essentially different mental disturbance which precedes the epileptic fit they act differently, whence tbe strange feeling of alien tbought and of a double self. And it is interesting to take notice in reference to this explanation that there is some reason to suppose that the persons who are likely to become epileptic in the end are exactly those who most often have the strange feeling of a previous identical experience." p. 187)


Memory, historically and experimentally considered III. Paramnesia

Burnham WH

American Journal of Psychology 3(5):431- 464, 1889

(He defined three types of paramnesias: simple, associating, and identifying.  The last one is what today we would refer to as déjà vu. See pages 439-449. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of what was known about paramnesias at that time, both in the US and in Europe.)


Memory, historically and experimentally considered I. An historical sketch of the older conceptions of memory

Burnham WH

American Journal of Psychology 2:39-90, 1888

(On p. 61, he writes about St. Augustine's remarks concerning illusions of memory.)



Burnham WH

American Journal of Psychology 1(4):735ff, 1888

(He writes of several dreams "illustrative of paramnesia.")


Il fenomeno della ricordanza illusoria [The phenomenon of illusory memory] [Article in Italian]

Bonatelli F

Rendiconti della Reale Accademia dei Lencei 4(4):161-5, 1888

(from a review in the American Journal of Psychology 2(1):180-1, 1888:

As an example of an illusion of memory, the author relates a dream which he seems to have had more than once. He dreamed of occupying a certain set of apartments, and each time remembered having lived in them years before; they were, however, on waking reflection, entirely diIrerent from any he had lived in. That this was not a case of recollection from dream to dream he believes, because with this exception his dreams have no similarity one with another, and because, in the waking state also, one is sometimes convinced that circumstances in which he has certainly never been before, are a repetition of others experienced in the past [i.e., déjà vu], In explanation of both phenomena he suggests that this conviction arises from an obscure emotional accompaniment of the perception. In peculiarly excitable states of the nervous system (as in vivid dreams, or when one is in strange places), parts of actual perceptions, as is normally the case, pass out of the focus of consciousness, and returning an instant later, meet changed conditions into which they do not fit, and therefore appear to be recollections. This rapid passing out of and into the focus of consciousness (or the physical concomitant of it) is not perceived, if we conceive the author rightly, but gives rise to the emotional accompaniment just mentioned.)


Ueber Erinnerungsfälschungen [On memory illusions] [Article in German]

Kraepelin E

Archiv für Psychiatrie 18:199-249, 395-436, 1887

(He reviews and discusses the theories of déjà phenomena prevalent at his time.  See p. 409ff and p. 423ff)

(It is available on-line at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02034013?LI=true#page-2 )


Ueber Erinnerungsfälschungen [On memory illusions] [Article in German]

Kraepelin E

Archiv für Psychiatrie 17(4):830-843, 1886

(He reviews and discusses the theories of déjà phenomena prevalent at his time.  It is continued in his 1887 papers)

(There is a review in English of the 1886 paper in the Am J Psychology 1888 1(3):537-9.)


Illusions of memory

Osborn HF

The North American Review 138:476-486, 1884

([There is] "a very odd sentiment that sometimes comes over us in the ordinary run of thought and action,-- that the entire present situation is not new, but merely the repetition of a former one. It is not always easy to put this feeling into language; it varies from the vaguest suspicion to the intensest conviction. We exclaim inwardly: 'Why, I have seen or thought this all before,' and yet, the most diligent search of memory failing to confirm the impression, we infer we have been deceived. In all this there is an absence of the slight shock occasioned by surprise, but at times there ensues a feeling of uneasiness and actual discomfort, especially when this sense of earlier experience is so strong that a forecast of what is to follow seems impending. We may be listening to a new and elaborate musical composition, or absorbed in reading a recent novel, or perhaps in the midst of a large company of people, when it comes over us that it is all an old story. Sometimes travelers tell of considerable disappointment upon looking out over some famous landscape for the first time -- disappointment, because there was none of the delightful and coveted sense of novelty; while others have gone from street to street in a strange city, regretful at every turn because no step seemed untrodden, .Even in dreams this state of mind occurs, with a vague and unaccountable sense of having dreamt the same before. It worries the existence of some authors, depriving their brightest inspirations of originality. 'I told you, the other day,' says the Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, 'that I never wrote a line of verse that seemed to me comparatively good, but it appeared old at once, and often as if it had been borrowed.'

Rossetti expresses the idea beautifully in one of the sonnets of the 'House of Life':
" I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell ;
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet, keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.

" You have been mine before,--
How long ago I may not know:
But just when at that swallow's soar
Your neck turned .so,
Some veil did fall,-- I knew it all of yore."

Walter Scott, too, spoke of it as the" sentiment of preexistence" and owing to the natural tendency to seek remote eauses, many poetical natures have, perhaps, felt that 'these flashes are the sudden recollections of a previous existence,'-- a thought well known in Wordsworth's lines:    
" Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting.
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar." p. 477)


Die Steigerungen des Gedächtnisses oder Hypermnesia [Escalations of memory or hypermnesia] [Book in German]

Ribot Th

Chapter four in: Das Gedächtnis und seine Störungen, Verlag von Leopold Voss, Hamburg, 1882, pp. 113-124

(The author says that many cases of memory illusions can be explained by similarities of forgotten scenes and/or persons from the past. pp. 121-2)


Illusion -- a Psychological Study

Sully J

London: C. K. Paul, 1881

(In chapter 10 on the illusions of memory, the author presented a theory that déjà vu experiences could be based on dream memories.  He conjectured that dreams were a transformation process in which impressions from daily life were joined in new combinations and thus it was easily possible that there would occasionally be correspondances with outer events.)


Schlaf und Traum [Sleep and Dream] [Book in German]

Radestock P

Breitkopf u. Härtel, Druck und Verlag, Leipzig 1879

("Es ist mir beim Spaziergang im freien Laufe der Gedanken und auch sonst vielfach eingefallen, dies oder jenes schon einmal gesehen, gehört, gedacht zu haben, ohne dass ich mich erinnern konnte, wann, wo und bei welcher Gelegenheit. Als ich nun während der Beschäftigung mit vorliegender Arbeit ein möglichst genaues Traumverzeichniss führte, sah ich bei derartigen Vorkommissen in diesem nach und fand wirklich meine Vermuthung meist bestätigt, dass ich nämlich Aenliches früher geträumt hatte." p. 6)

[When out walking and my thoughts running free and in other situations it has frequently occurred to me that I have already once seen, heard, thought this without being able to remember when, where and in which situation.  As I was keeping a dream journal as accurately as possible in preparing this book, I saw such incidents [associations between real events and dreams] were there and found my hunch sustantiated that I have earlier dreamt something similar.]


Mind as a function of the organism

Lewes GH

In: Problems of Life and Mind (3rd series), Trübner & Co., London, 1879

("We are in a foreign land for the first time; a sudden turn of the road or winding of the stream brings us in presence of a scene which cannot have been seen by us before, and yet it arouses the vivid sensation of one already familiar.  The illusion for the moment is complete." p. 129-130)


Gedächtnessstörungen, Erinnerungstäuschungen [Disorders of memory, memory illusions] [Book in German]

von Krafft-Ebing R

In: Lehrbuch der Psychiatrie. Verlag von Ferdinand Enke, Stuttgart, 1879

(He writes that memory disturbances and illusions are due to fatigue and light exhaustion.  p. 58)

(It is available on-line at http://openlibrary.org/books/OL24362807M/Lehrbuch_der_Psychiatrie )


Erinnerungstäuschungen [Memory illusions][Book in German]

Emminghaus H

In: Allgemeinde Psychopathologie 1878, pp. 129-133

("... dieses Phänomen kommt nicht selten, häufiger jedenfalls, als man glaubt." p. 130)

[... this phenomenon occurs not seldom, more frequently, in any case, than one believes.]

("... die ganze Situation mit einer früher appercipirten -- mag dieselbe angeschaut, geträumt oder nur phantisiert gewesen sein -- für identisch gehalten werden, weil vielleicht eben nur vereinzelte prägnante Bestandteile beider Complexvorstellungen wenigstens Aenlichkeit mit einander haben." p, 131)

[The whole situation with an earlier perceived one -- possibly the same had been seen, dreamt or only fantasized -- is held to be identical because, maybe, just only individual concise components of both complex imaginations have at least some similarities with one another.]


Zur Casuistik der Erinnerungstäuschungen [Concerning the casuistic of memory illusions] [Article in German]

Pick A

Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten 6:568-574, 1876

("Herr Sander machte in dem erwähnten Vortrage auf den Antheil aufmerksam, den die Phantasie und die Träume an der Entstehung der Erinnerungstäuschungen haben, und dies ist unzweifelhaft auch bei unserem Kranken der Fall ..." p. 573)

[In the mentioned lecture Mr. Sander called our attention to the part that fantasy and dreams have in engendering memory illusions, and this is without a doubt the case in our patient ...]



Boirac E

Revue Philosophique 1:430-1, 1876

(A case report that involved "la sentiment du déjà vu".)


Ueber Erinnerungstäuschungen [On memory illusions] [Article in German]

Sander W

Archiv vür Psychologie und Nervenkrankheiten  4:244-253, 1874

(The author provides a history of memory illusions [déjà vu] up to his time.)

(A discussion of an earler paper by Sander is to be found in the Archiv für Psychologie und Nervenkrankheiten 1871-2 3:504-5.)


Ueber doppeltes Bewusstsein bei Geisteskranken [About doubled consciousness in the mentally ill] [Article in German]

Wiedemeister F

Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie und psychisch-gerechtliche Medizin 27:711-7, 1871

(His term for déjà vu was doubled consciousness.  About it he wrote [my translation]: "The phenomenon is well known to you with both ill and healthy people. How often it occurs appears to me to be less well verified. When one asks healthy individuals, one obtains a positive response in roughly a third to half of those questioned.  Among the mentally ill it seems to occur far less often." p. 711)


Versuch einer Mechanik der psychischen Zustände [An attempt at a mechanism of psychological states] [Article in German]

Langweiser C

Karl Czermak Verlag, Vienna, 1871

(He describes a typical déjà vu situation and proposes that it might be due to an error in the subjectivity organ. pp. 60-1)


Ueber das Vorkommen von Doppelvorstellungen, eine formale Elementarstörung [Concerning the occurrence of double imaginations, a formal elementary disorder] [Article in German]

Huppert M

Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten 3:66-110, 1871

(This extensive paper contains an excellent survey of what was known about déjà vu experiences at that time. He refers to it as "double imagination.")


Zur Lehre von den Sinnestäuschungen [On a theory of perceptual illusions] [Article in German]

Lazarus M

Zeitschrift für Volkespsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft 5:113-152, 1868

(In his experience, the sensation of illusory memories consisted of earlier elements that became fused together. p. 146.)


Ueber Doppelwahrnehmungen in der gesunden, wie in der kranken Psyche [About doubled perceptions in the healthy as in the diseased psyche] [Article in German]

Jensen J

Allgemeinen Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie Supplement Heft 1, 25:48-63, 1868

(Like Wigan [1844] he proposes a theory double perception [déjà vu] based on the two cerebral hemispheres and relates it schizophrenia and epilepsy.  He also speaks about dreams as a possible source for such experiences.)


Lehrbuch der Psychiatrie [Textbook of Psychiatry] [Book in German]

Neumann H

F. Enke Verlag, Erlangen, 1859

(In diesem zweifelhaften Zustande dämmert dann in ihm die Vermuthung, das eben Geschene und Gehörte sei eben so sehr Sinneseindruck wie Gedanke mit andern Worten, er habe das Alles schon einmal genau ebenso gehört und gesehen.  Diesen Zustand der Verdoppelung bezeichne ich mit dem Namen der Empfindungs-Spiegelung nach einem Ausdrucke (mirage), dessen sich die Optik bedient, um gewisse Erscheinungen der sogenannten Fata morgana zu erklären. -- Die Empfindungsspiegelung ist ein Vorgang, die einzeln wohl auch jedem Gesunden zuweilen begegnet und jedermann weiss, wie quälend die Erscheinung ist, indem man sein Gedächtniss nach allen Richtungen hin und natürlicherweise vergeblich durchforscht, um zu der eben gesehenen Copie das vermeintliche Original ausfindig zu machen." §200, p. 111)

(In this dubious condition, there dawns in him the suspicion that that which he has just seen and heard is just as much a perception as thoughts are.  With other words, he has already exactly heard and seen all of it once before.  This condtion of doubling I give the name "sensation mirroring", a term met with in optics (mirage) in order to explain certain appearings of the so-called "fata morgana".  Sensation mirroring is a process that every healthy person has once also encountered and everyone knows how distressing the occurrence is in that one searches through his memory in all directions, but naturally unsuccessfully, in order to find the supposed original of the copy that one has just seen.")


Fallacies of memory

Carpenter WB

In: Principles of Mental Physiology, Henry S. King & Co., London, 1852

(At the end of p. 455, he writes "... for most everyone has had occasion, at least some time or other, to say 'Did this really happen to me, or did I dream it?' -- the past mental experience having been as complete in the one case as in the other.")


Lehrbuch der ärztlichen Seelenkunde [Textbook of medical psychology] [Book in German]

Freiherr von Feuchtersleben EMJK

Vienna: Carl Gerold Verlag, 1846

("Hierher sind auch gewisse Fantasmen (§. 95, 108) des Gedächtnisses zu zählen; wenn man z. B. das Gefühl hat, als wäre eine Situation, in welcher man sich eben befindet, schon einmal, wie eben jetzt vorhanden gewesen, was von einigen aus poetisirendem Irrthum für ein Zeichen früheren Dagewesenseynes (platonischer Wiedererinnerung) genommen worden ist.  Wenn überhaupt, so sind wir schwerlich in einem vorigen Leben in Frack, Spitzenkleidern, Glacéhandschuhen, in Salons, bei Thee und Butterbrödchen beisammen gesessen.  Wir haben Gedächtnissfantasmen, dem Produkte eines, wenn gleich nur vorübergehend, alienirten Erinnerns zu thun." Section 115, part 3, pp. 255-6)

("Here one should include certain fantasies of the memory, e.g., when one has the feeling that a situation in which one finds oneself has already once existed just as it is now.  This has been taken by some in poetic error to be a sign of reincarnation (Platonic reminiscence).  If at all, then scarcely were we in a previous life in coattails, lace clothes, kid gloves, sitting with each other in salons at tea and buttered rolls.  We have here, therefore, to do with memory fantasies, a product, even when temporary, of aberrations of remembering." )

(Available on-ine at http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044017950767;view=1up;seq=282.)


Sentiment of pre-existence

Wigan A

Chapter IX in: The Duality of the Mind. London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1844, pp. 64-75

("In an instant I felt not merely an impression, but a conviction, that I had seen the whole scene before on some former occasion, and had heard even the very words addressed to myself by Sir George Naylor." p. 67)

(Available in a reprint by Joseph Simon ISBN: 0-934710-11-2 and on-line at http://archive.org/stream/39002086347094.med.yale.edu#page/n3/mode/2up.)


Division des Faits - psychologiques et physiologiques [Division of the matter - psychological and physiological] [Book in French]

Maine de Biran, P

In: Oevres Philosophique de Maine de Biran, Tome III, V. Cousin, Paris, 1841

(This predates the term "déjà vu".  See pp. 259-261.)


Section four: Déjà experiences associated with neurological pathology (primarily epilepsy)

Emergence of semiology in epileptic seizures

Chauvel P1, McGonigal A2

1 Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes, INSERM UMR 1106, Marseille, France; Aix Marseille Université, Faculté de Médecine, Marseille, France; Service de Neurophysiologie Clinique, Hôpital de la Timone, Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Marseille, Marseille, France. Electronic address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
2 Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes, INSERM UMR 1106, Marseille, France; Aix Marseille Université, Faculté de Médecine, Marseille, France; Service de Neurophysiologie Clinique, Hôpital de la Timone, Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Marseille, Marseille, France.

Epilepsy & Behavior Jan 11,
2014 pii: S1525-5050(13)00633-1.
doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2013.12.003. [Epub ahead of print]

Semiology, the manifestation of epilepsy, is dependent upon electrical activity produced by epileptic seizures that are organized within existing neural pathways. Clinical signs evolve as the epileptic discharge spreads in both time and space. Studying the relation between these, of which the temporal component is at least as important as the spatial one, is possible using anatomo-electro-clinical correlations of stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) data. The period of semiology production occurs with variable time lag after seizure onset and signs then emerge more or less rapidly depending on seizure type (temporal seizures generally propagating more slowly and frontal seizures more quickly). The subset of structures involved in semiological production, the "early spread network", is tightly linked to those constituting the epileptogenic zone. The level of complexity of semiological features varies according to the degree of involvement of the primary or associative cortex, with the former having a direct relation to peripheral sensory and motor systems with production of hallucinations (visual and auditory) or elementary sensorimotor signs. Depending on propagation pattern, these signs can occur in a "march" fashion as described by Jackson. On the other hand, seizures involving the associative cortex, having a less direct relation with the peripheral nervous system, and necessarily involving more widely distributed networks manifest with altered cognitive and/or behavioral signs whose neural substrate involves a network of cortical structures, as has been observed for normal cognitive processes. Other than the anatomical localization of these structures, the frequency of the discharge is a crucial determinant of semiological effect since a fast (gamma) discharge will tend to deactivate normal function, whereas a slower theta discharge can mimic physiological function. In terms of interaction between structures, the degree of synchronization plays a key role in clinical expression, as evidenced, for example, by studies of ictal fear-related behavior (decorrelation of activity between structures inducing "release" phenomena) and of déjà vu (increased synchronization). Studies of functional coupling within networks underlying complex ictal behavior indicate that the clinical semiology of a given seizure depends upon neither the anatomical origin of ictal discharge nor the target areas of its propagation alone but on the dynamic interaction between these. Careful mapping of the ictal network in its full spread offers essential information as to the localization of seizure onset, by deducing that a given network configuration could only be generated by a given area or group of areas. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "NEWroscience 2013".


The strange sensation of deja vu: not so strange in temporal lobe epilepsy

Moulin CJ

Journal of  Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 85(2):132,
2014 doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2012-303876. Epub 2013 Mar 1.

Comment on  "Is there anything distinctive about epileptic deja vu?" [
Journal of  Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 2014]


[Electroencephalographic characteristics of the deja vu phenomenon]. [Article in Russian]

Vlasov PN, Cherviakov AV, Gnezdinsii VV.

Zhurnal Nevrologii I Psikhiatrii Imeni SS Korsakova 113(4 Pt 2):3-9, 2013

Déjà vu (DV, from French "already seen") is an aberration of psychic activity associated with transitory erroneous perception of novel circumstances, objects, or people as already known. An aim of the study was to investigate EEG characteristics of DV in patients with epilepsy. We studied 166 people (63.2% women, mean age 25.17±9.19 years). The DV phenomenon was studied in patients (27 people) and in a control group (139 healthy people). Patients were interviewed for DV characteristics and underwent a long (12-16 h) ambulatory EEG-monitoring study. In EEG, DV episodes in patients began with polyspike activity in the right temporal lobe and, in some cases, ended with the slow-wave theta-delta activity in the right hemisphere.


Comment on Brázdil (2012) "unveiling the mystery of dèjà-vù: the structural anatomy of dèjà-vù"

Labate A, Gambardella A.

Cortex 49(4):1162,
2013 doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2012.08.021. Epub 2012 Sep 3.

Comment on  Unveiling the mystery of déjà vu: the structural anatomy of déjà vu. [Cortex. 2012]


[Epilepsy in the temporal lobe: déjà vu in Primary Care]. [Article in Spanish]

Miguéns Blanco I1, Rodríguez Acevedo B.
1Medicina de Familia y Comunitaria, Centro de Salud de Matamá, Hospital Xeral-Cies, Vigo, España. Electronic address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Semergen 39(7):e57-9,
2013 doi: 10.1016/j.semerg.2012.05.015. Epub 2012 Aug 10.


Epilepsy is a common disease in the general population. 10% of the population will present a seizure throughout his life, although only 1% will have an epileptic condition. We can divide the generalized epilepsy and focal. Es in the latter that more diagnostic and management difficulties may arise in clinical practice, for its wide variety of symptoms and their identification difficult. These symptoms may be referred to differently by each patient, often dismissively. In focal epilepsy, the most prevalent epilepsy that originates in the temporal lobe. The identification and study of this pathology is very important because the patient may have episodes of disconnecting means and in one third of cases secondarily generalized crises. Although most patients the culprit lesion is mesial temporal sclerosis, one must rule out other causes such as tumors or infections.


The strange sensation of deja vu: not so strange in temporal lobe epilepsy

Moulin CJ

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry Mar 1, 2013  [Epub ahead of print]

Déjà vu is an infrequent and nebulous mental experience—a mismatch between subjective perceptions of memory and retrieval itself. [1] Relative to other memory errors and illusions, it has not received much attention in scientific works. However, one area where déjá vu has been studied consistently is temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) [2] and in the spirit of Hughlings Jackson, Warren-Gash and Zeman[3] make an important contribution to this field.


Short report: is there anything distinctive about epileptic deja vu?

Warren-Gash C, Zeman A
Research Department of Infection & Population Health, University College London, London, UK

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry Jan 11, 2013 [Epub ahead of print]


Déjà vu can occur as an aura of temporal lobe epilepsy and in some psychiatric conditions but is also common in the general population. It is unclear whether any clinical features distinguish pathological and physiological forms of déjà vu.

50 epileptic patients with ictal déjà vu, 50 non-epileptic patients attending general neurology clinics and 50 medical students at Edinburgh University were recruited. Data were collected on demographic factors, the experience of déjà vu using a questionnaire based on Sno's Inventory for Déjà Vu Experiences Assessment, symptoms of anxiety and depression using the Hospital Anxiety and
Depression Scale as well as seizure characteristics, anti-epileptic medications, handedness, EEG and neuroimaging findings for epileptic patients.

73.5% of neurology patients, 88% of students and (by definition) all epilepsy patients had experienced déjà vu. The experience of déjà vu itself was similar in the three groups. Epileptic déjà vu occurred more frequently and lasted somewhat longer than physiological déjà vu. Epilepsy patients were more likely to report prior fatigue and concentrated activity, associated derealisation, olfactory and gustatory hallucinations, physical symptoms such as headaches, abdominal sensations and fear. After controlling for study group, anxiety and depression scores were not associated with déjà vu frequency.

Déjà vu is common and qualitatively similar whether it occurs as an epileptic aura or normal phenomenon. However ictal déjà vu occurs more frequently and is accompanied by several distinctive features. It is distinguished primarily by 'the company it keeps'.


Persistent déjà vu associated with temporal lobe epilepsy in an adolescent

Akgül S, Oksüz Kanbur N, Turanlı G.
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey. sinemhusnu at yahoo.com

Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 55(5):552-4, 2013

The term déjà vu is used to refer to the feeling of having already witnessed or experienced a current situation, despite the exact circumstances of the prior encounter being unclear. Although the déjà vu experience may be a benign occurrence, it may also be one of the first warning signs of a neurological event such as temporal lobe epilepsy. Symptoms of epilepsy may be difficult to recognize in children and adolescents, as not all seizures involve obvious convulsions. Sometimes symptoms are far more subtle, and these "hidden signs" may appear to fall within the range of normal childhood behavior, or in an adolescent, may be misinterpreted as psychological problems. We describe here an adolescent diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy who experienced persistent déjà vu at a young age. This case presents an interesting finding, as it shows that young adolescents are able to describe in detail an aura such as déjà vu that will allow physicians to identify the disorder much earlier.


The boundaries of epilepsy: where is the limit? A reply to Labate and Gambardella

Brázdil M, Zeman A

Cortex 49(4):1163-4, 2013    doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2012.09.015. Epub 2012 Oct 8

Comment on
Unveiling the mystery of déjà vu: the structural anatomy of déjà vu. Brázdil et al Cortex. 2012 48(9):1240-3. Epub 2012 Mar 14.


First seizure while driving (FSWD)--an underestimated phenomenon?

Pohlmann-Eden B, Hynick N, Legg K.

Division of Neurology, Halifax Infirmary, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. B.Pohlmann-Eden at dal.ca

Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences 40(4):540-5, 2013

Seizures while driving are a well known occurrence in established epilepsy and have significant impact on driving privileges. There is no data available on patients who experience their first (diagnosed) seizure while driving (FSWD).

Out of 311 patients presenting to the Halifax First Seizure Clinic between 2008 and 2011, 158 patients met the criteria of a first seizure (FS) or drug-naïve, newly diagnosed epilepsy (NDE). A retrospective chart review was conducted. FSWD was evaluated for 1) prevalence, 2) clinical presentation, 3) coping strategies, and 4) length of time driving before seizure occurrence.

The prevalence of FSWD was 8.2%. All 13 patients experienced impaired consciousness. Eleven patients had generalized tonic-clonic seizures, one starting with a déjà-vu evolving to visual aura and a complex partial seizure; three directly from visual auras. Two patients had complex partial seizures, one starting with an autonomic seizure. In response to their seizure, patients reported they were i) able to actively stop the car (n=4, three had visual auras), ii) not able to stop the car resulting in accident (n=7), or iii) passenger was able to pull the car over (n=2). One accident was fatal to the other party. Twelve out of 13 patients had been driving for less than one hour.

FSWD is frequent and possibly underrecognized. FSWD often lead to accidents, which occur less if preceded by simple partial seizures. Pathophysiological mechanisms remain uncertain; it is still speculative if complex visuo-motor tasks required while driving play a role in this scenario.


Low penetrance of autosomal dominant lateral temporal epilepsy in Italian families without LGI1 mutations

Michelucci R, Pasini E, Malacrida S, Striano P, Bonaventura CD, Pulitano P, Bisulli F, Egeo G, Santulli L, Sofia V, Gambardella A, Elia M, de Falco A, Neve Al, Banfi P, Coppola G, Avoni P, Binelli S, Boniver C, Pisano T, Marchini M, Dazzo E, Fanciulli M, Bartolini Y, Riguzzi P, Volpi L, de Falco FA, Giallonardo AT, Mecarelli O, Striano S, Tinuper P, Nobile C.

Unit of Neurology, IRCCS Institute of Neurological Sciences of Bologna, Bellaria Hospital, Bologna, Italy. roberto.michelucci at ausl.bo.it

Epilepsia 54(7):1288-97, 2013    doi: 10.1111/epi.12194. Epub 2013 Apr 26

In relatively small series, autosomal dominant lateral temporal epilepsy (ADLTE) has been associated with leucine-rich, glioma-inactivated 1 (LGI1) mutations in about 50% of the families, this genetic heterogeneity being probably caused by differences in the clinical characteristics of the families. In this article we report the overall clinical and genetic spectrum of ADLTE in Italy with the aim to provide new insight into its nosology and genetic basis.

In a collaborative study of the Commission of Genetics of the Italian League Against Epilepsy (LICE) encompassing a 10-year period (2000-2010), we collected 33 ADLTE families, selected on the basis of the following criteria: presence of at least two members concordant for unprovoked partial seizures with prominent auditory and or aphasic symptoms, absence of any known structural brain pathology or etiology, and normal neurologic examination. The clinical, neurophysiologic, and neuroradiologic findings of all patients were analyzed and a genealogic tree was built for each pedigree. The probands' DNA was tested for LGI1 mutations by direct sequencing and, if negative, were genotyped with single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array to search for disease-linked copy-number variation CNV. The disease penetrance in mutated and nonmutated families was assessed as a proportion of obligate carriers who were affected.

The 33 families included a total of 127 affected individuals (61 male, 66 female, 22 deceased). The age at onset ranged between 2 and 60 years (mean 18.7 years). Ninety-one patients (72%) had clear-cut focal (elementary, complex, or secondarily generalized) seizures, characterized by prominent auditory auras in 68% of the cases. Other symptoms included complex visual hallucinations, vertigo, and déjà vu. Aphasic seizures, associated or not with auditory features, were observed in 20% of the cases, whereas tonic-clonic seizures occurred in 86% of the overall series. Sudden noises could precipitate the seizures in about 20% of cases. Seizures, which usually occurred at a low frequency, were promptly controlled or markedly improved by antiepileptic treatment in the majority of patients. The interictal electroencephalography (EEG) studies showed the epileptiform temporal abnormalities in 62% of cases, with a slight predominance over the left region. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) scans were negative. LGI1 mutations (missense in nine and a microdeletion in one) were found in only 10 families (30%). The patients belonging to the mutated and not mutated groups did not differ except for penetrance estimate, which was 61.3% and 35% in the two groups, respectively (chi-square, p = 0.017). In addition, the disease risk of members of families with mutations in LGI1 was three times higher than that of members of LGI1-negative families (odds ratio [OR] 2.94, confidence interval [CI] 1.2-7.21).

A large number of ADLTE families has been collected over a 10-year period in Italy, showing a typical and homogeneous phenotype. LGI1 mutations have been found in only one third of families, clinically indistinguishable from nonmutated pedigrees. The estimate of penetrance and OR, however, demonstrates a significantly lower penetrance rate and relative disease risk in non-LGI1-mutated families compared with LGI1-mutated pedigrees, suggesting that a complex inheritance pattern may underlie a proportion of these families.


Differentiating ictal panic with low-grade temporal lobe tumors from psychogenic panic attacks

Ghods AJ, Ruban DS, Wallace D, Byrne RW
Department of Neurosurgery, Rush University Medical Center, 1653 West Congress Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60612-3244 alijghods at hotmail.com.

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 74(11):1071-5, 2013    doi: 10.4088/JCP.13m08378


Indolent low-grade temporal lobe tumors may present with ictal panic that may be difficult to differentiate from psychogenic panic attacks. The current study aims to demonstrate the differences between the two disorders and help physicians generate a diagnostic paradigm.

This was a retrospective study of 43 patients who underwent a temporal lobectomy between 1981 and 2008 for the treatment of intractable temporal lobe epilepsy secondary to low-grade neoplasms at Rush University Medical Center. A total of 10 patients in this group presented with ictal panic who were previously being treated for psychogenic panic attacks. Medical records were reviewed for age at seizure onset, duration of symptoms, lateralization of the epileptogenic zone, pathological diagnosis, and postsurgical seizure outcome according to the modified Engel classification.

Neuropathologic findings of the 10 tumors were pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, ganglioglioma, oligodendroglioma, and dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial. The mean age of the patients undergoing surgery was 28 years (range, 15-49). The mean duration of panic symptoms prior to surgery was 9.8 years (range, 3-23). All patients had unprovoked ictal panic. None had symptoms suggestive of a brain tumor, such as signs of increased intracranial pressure or any focal neurologic deficit. In 5 of the patients, other symptoms associated with the ictal panic, including unusual sounds, nausea, automatism, uprising gastric sensation, and déjà vu were identified. Gross total resection of the lesion resulted in improved seizure outcome in all patients undergoing surgery. Patient follow-up was, on average, 7.4 years (range, 2-14) from time of surgery.

Although similar, ictal panic from epilepsy and classic panic attacks are clinically distinguishable entities with different modalities of treatment. A careful history may help differentiate patients with ictal panic from those with psychogenic panic attacks and determine for which patients to obtain neuroimaging studies.


Déjà vu phenomenon-related EEG pattern. Case report

Vlasova PN [a], Chervyakovb AV [b], Gnezditskiib VV [b]
a Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry, Moscow, Russia
b Research Center of Neurology, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Epilepsy & Behavior Case Reports 1: 136–141, 2013        DOI: 0.1016/j.ebcr.2013.08.001

Déjà vu (DV, from French déjà vu — “already seen”) is an aberration of psychic activity associated with transitory erroneous perception of novel circumstances, objects, or people as already known.

This study aimed to record the EEG pattern of déjà vu.

The subjects participated in a survey concerning déjà vu characteristics and underwent ambulatory EEG monitoring (12–16 h).

In patients with epilepsy, DV episodes began with polyspike activity in the right temporal lobe region and, in some cases, ended with slow-wave theta–delta activity over the right hemisphere. There were no epileptic discharges in healthy respondents during DV.

Two types of déjà vu are suggested to exist: “pathological-epileptic” déjà vu, characteristic of patients with epilepsy and equivalent to an epileptic seizure, and “nonpathological-nonepileptic” déjà vu, which is characteristic of healthy people and psychological phenomenon.


Déjà vu in unilateral temporal-lobe epilepsy is associated with selective familiarity impairments on experimental tasks of recognition memory

Martin CB, Seyed MM, Pruessner JC, Pietrantonio S, Burneo JG, Hayman-Abello B, Köhler S
The Brain and Mind Institute and Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada

Neuropsychologia 50(13):2981-91, 2012    doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.07.030. Epub 2012 Jul 27.

In Déjà vu, a phenomenological impression of familiarity for the current visual environment is experienced with a sense that it should in fact not feel familiar. The fleeting nature of this phenomenon in daily life, and the difficulty in developing experimental paradigms to elicit it, has hindered progress in understanding déjà vu. Some neurological patients with temporal-lobe epilepsy (TLE) consistently experience déjà vu at the onset of their seizures. An investigation of such patients offers a unique opportunity to shed light on its possible underlying mechanisms. In the present study, we sought to determine whether unilateral TLE patients with déjà vu (TLE+) show a unique pattern of interictal memory deficits that selectively affects familiarity assessment. In Experiment 1, we employed a Remember Know paradigm for categorized visual scenes and found evidence for impairments that were limited to familiarity-based responses. In Experiment 2, we administered an exclusion task for categorized visual scenes that placed both recognition processes in opposition. TLE+ patients again displayed recognition impairments, and these impairments spared their ability to engage recollective processes so as to counteract familiarity. The selective deficits we observed in TLE+ patients contrasted with the broader pattern of recognition-memory impairments that was present in a control group of unilateral patients without déjà vu (TLE-). MRI volumetry revealed that ipsilateral medial temporal structures were less affected in TLE+ than in TLE- patients, with a trend for more focal volume reductions in the rhinal cortices of the former group. The current findings establish a first empirical link between déjà vu in TLE and processes of familiarity assessment, as defined and measured in current cognitive models. They also reveal a pattern of selectivity in recognition impairments that is rarely observed and, thus, of significant theoretical interest to the memory literature at large.


Déjà experiences in temporal lobe epilepsy

Illman NA1, Butler CR2, Souchay C1, Moulin CJ1

1 Leeds Memory Group, Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
2 Department of Clinical Neurology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK

Epilepsy Research and Treatment 2012  Epub 2012 Mar 20

http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/539567 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ert/2012/539567/

Historically, déjà vu has been linked to seizure activity in temporal lobe epilepsy, and clinical reports suggest that many patients experience the phenomenon as a manifestation of simple partial seizures. We review studies on déjà vu in epilepsy with reference to recent advances in the understanding of déjà vu from a cognitive and neuropsychological standpoint. We propose a decoupled familiarity hypothesis, whereby déjà vu is produced by an erroneous feeling of familiarity which is not in keeping with current cognitive processing. Our hypothesis converges on a parahippocampal dysfunction as the locus of déjà vu experiences. However, several other temporal lobe structures feature in reports of déjà vu in epilepsy. We suggest that some of the inconsistency in the literature derives from a poor classification of the various types of déjà experiences. We propose déjà vu/déjà vécu as one way of understanding déjà experiences more fully. This distinction is based on current models of memory function, where déjà vu is caused by erroneous familiarity and déjà vécu by erroneous recollection. Priorities for future research and clinical issues are discussed.


Rhinal–hippocampal interactions during déjà vu

Bartolomei F, Barbeau EJ, Nguyen T, McGonigal A, Régis J, Chauvel P, Wendling F
INSERM, U751, Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie et Neuropsychologie, Marseille F-13005, France  E-mail: fabrice.bartolomei a ap-hm.fr

Clinical Neurophysiology 123(3): 489-495, 2012


The phenomenon of ‘déjà vu’ is caused by acute disturbance of mnemonic systems of the medial temporal lobe (MTL). In epileptic patients investigated with intracerebral electrodes, déjà vu can be more readily induced by stimulation of the rhinal cortices (RCs) than the hippocampus (H). Whether déjà vu results from acute dysfunction of the familiarity system alone (sustained by RC) or from more extensive involvement of the MTL region (including H) is debatable.

We analysed the synchronisation of intracerebral electroencephalography (EEG) signals recorded from RC, H and amygdala (A) in epileptic patients in whom déjà vu was induced by electrical stimulation. EEG signal correlations (between signals from RC, A and H) were evaluated using a nonlinear regression.

In comparison with RC stimulations that did not lead to déjà vu (DV-), stimulations triggering déjà vu (DV+) were associated with increased broadband EEG correlation (p=0.01). Changes in correlations were significantly different in the theta band for RC–A (p=0.007) and RC–H (p=0.01) and in the beta band for RC–H (p=0.001) interactions.

Déjà vu is associated with increased EEG signal correlation between MTL structures.

Results are in favour of a mechanism involving transient co-operation between various MTL structures, not limited to RC alone.

Abbreviations: H, hippocampus, RC, rhinal cortex, EC, entorhinal cortex, A, amygdala, h2, coefficient of nonlinear correlation, MTL, medial temporal lobe, DV, déjà vu

Keywords: Déjà vu, Entorhinal, Hippocampus, Synchrony, Theta, Autobiographic memory


Childhood febrile convulsions and déjà vu in adulthood

Dubrey SW, Abdel-Gadir A, Rakowicz WP
Department of Cardiology, Hillingdon Hospital, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK.

British Journal of Hospital Medicine (London) 72(4):232-3, 2011

Temporal lobe epilepsy may comprise simple partial seizures without loss of awareness or complex partial seizures with a loss of awareness. Complex partial seizures may evolve into a generalized tonic-clonic seizure. Aura is a feature of the majority of temporal lobe seizures. Most auras and automatisms last a very short period, from a few seconds to 1-2 minutes. This article reports a young woman who experienced a generalized grand mal seizure after 20 years of approximately fortnightly déjà vu phenomena, and describes the association of temporal lobe epilepsy with childhood febrile convulsions.


The “dreamy state” in the work of John Hughlings Jackson

York GK 3rd

Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 20(4):381-2, 2011    doi: 10.1080/0964704X.2011.618488

Comment on
An approach to nineteenth-century medical lexicon: the term "dreamy state". [J Hist Neurosci. 2011]


Familial temporal lobe epilepsy with psychic auras associated with a novel LGI1 mutation

Striano P, Busolin G, Santulli L, Leonardi E, Coppola A, Vitiello L, Rigon L, Michelucci R, Tosatto SC, Striano S, Nobile C.
CNR-Istituto di Neuroscienze, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche Sperimentali, Università di Padova, viale G. Colombo 3, 35121 Padova, Italy.

Neurology 76(13):1173-6, 2011    doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318212ab2e.


Autosomal dominant lateral temporal epilepsy (ADLTE) is characterized by focal seizures with auditory features or aphasia. Mutations in the LGI1 gene have been reported in up to 50% of ADLTE pedigrees. We report a family with temporal lobe epilepsy characterized by psychic symptoms associated with a novel LGI1 mutation.

All participants were personally interviewed and underwent neurologic examination and video-EEG recordings. LGI1 exons were sequenced by standard methods. Mutant cDNA was transfected into human embryonic kidney 293 cells; both cell lysates and media were analyzed by Western blot. In silico modeling of the Lgi1 protein EPTP domain was carried out using the structure of WD repeat protein and manually refined.

Three affected family members were ascertained, 2 of whom had temporal epilepsy with psychic symptoms (déjà vu, fear) but no auditory or aphasic phenomena, while the third had complex partial seizures without any aura. In all patients, we found a novel LGI1 mutation, Arg407Cys, which did not hamper protein secretion in vitro. Mapping of the mutation on a 3-dimensional protein model showed that this mutation does not induce large structural rearrangements but could destabilize interactions of Lgi1 with target proteins.

The Arg407Cys is the first mutation with no effect on Lgi1 protein secretion. The uncommon, isolated psychic symptoms associated with it suggests that ADLTE encompasses a wider range of auras of temporal origin than hitherto reported.


Transient epileptic amnesia: déjà vu heralding recovery of lost memories

Milton F, Butler CR, Zeman AZ

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 82(10):1178-9, 2011

doi: 10.1136/jnnp.2009.200147. Epub 2010 Jun 28

(Letter to the editor; available on-line at http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/82/10/1178)

Transient epileptic amnesia (TEA) is a form of temporal lobe epilepsy in which the main and sometimes only manifestation of the seizure is a period of amnesia, usually lasting less than 1 h, during which other cognitive functions remain intact. Attacks are frequent, often occur on waking and typically respond promptly to anticonvulsants. Patients with TEA often complain of persistent interictal remote memory impairment and accelerated forgetting of new information.[1]

Déjà vu is the disconcerting feeling that our current experience echoes some ill-defined past experience.[2] Déjà vu can be subdivided into a form related to the processing of familiarity, true déjà vu and a form related to the processing of recollection, “déjà vécu” (“already lived”).[3] Many healthy people experience déjà vu occasionally, and it is sometimes a symptom of temporal lobe epilepsy.[2] However, in a recent study, no patients with TEA reported clear-cut déjà vu in relation to their amnestic seizures.[1] This could relate to the fact that déjà vu is more prevalent in younger people while TEA is a late onset disorder or to the pathophysiology of amnestic seizures.

We report a patient with TEA who experienced episodes of déjà vu approximately 5 years after cessation of his amnestic attacks. After these episodes, he recovered …


Familial mesial temporal lobe epilepsy: a benign epilepsy syndrome showing complex inheritance

Crompton DE, Scheffer IE, Taylor I, Cook MJ, McKelvie PA, Vears DF, Lawrence KM, McMahon JM, Grinton BE, McIntosh AM, Berkovic SF
Department of Medicine and Epilepsy Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Austin Health, West Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia.  E-mail: douglas.crompton a ncl.ac.uk

Brain 133(11):3221-31, 2010

Temporal lobe epilepsy is the commonest partial epilepsy of adulthood. Although generally perceived as an acquired disorder, several forms of familial temporal lobe epilepsy, with mesial or lateral seizure semiology, have been described. Descriptions of familial mesial temporal lobe epilepsy have varied widely from a benign epilepsy syndrome with prominent déjà vu and without antecedent febrile seizures or magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities, to heterogeneous, but generally more refractory epilepsies, often with a history of febrile seizures and with frequent hippocampal atrophy and high T2 signal on magnetic resonance imaging. Compelling evidence of a genetic aetiology (rather than chance aggregation) in familial mesial temporal lobe epilepsy has come from twin studies. Dominant inheritance has been reported in two large families, though the usual mode of inheritance is not known. Here, we describe clinical and neurophysiological features of 20 new mesial temporal lobe epilepsy families including 51 affected individuals. The epilepsies in these families were generally benign, and febrile seizure history was infrequent (9.8%). No evidence of hippocampal sclerosis or dysplasia was present on brain imaging. A single individual underwent anterior temporal lobectomy, with subsequent seizure freedom and histopathological evidence of hippocampal sclerosis was not found. Inheritance patterns in probands' relatives were analysed in these families, together with 19 other temporal lobe epilepsy families previously reported by us. Observed frequencies of epilepsies in relatives were lower than predicted by dominant Mendelian models, while only a minority (8/39) of families could be compatible with recessive inheritance. These findings strongly suggest that complex inheritance, similar to that widely accepted in the idiopathic generalized epilepsies, is the usual mode of inheritance in familial mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. This disorder, which appears to be relatively common, and not typically associated with hippocampal sclerosis, is an appropriate target for contemporary approaches to complex disorders such as genome-wide association studies for common genetic variants or deep sequencing for rare variants.


Déjà-vu in temporal lobe epilepsy: metabolic pattern of cortical involvement in patients with normal brain MRI

Guedj E, Aubert S, McGonigal A, Mundler O, Bartolomei F.
Service Central de Biophysique et Médecine Nucléaire, CHU Timone & Centre Européen de Recherche en Imagerie Médicale, CERIMED & Centre d'Investigation Clinique, CIC, INSERM, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille F-13000, France.  E-mail: eric.guedj a ap-hm.fr

Neuropsychologia 48(7):2174-81, 2010    Epub 2010 Apr 14

To contribute to the identification of brain regions involved in déjà-vu, we studied the metabolic pattern of cortical involvement in patients with seizures of temporal lobe origin presenting with or without déjà-vu. Using voxel-based analysis of 18FDG-PET brain scans, we compared glucose metabolic rate of 8 patients with déjà-vu, 8 patients without déjà-vu, and 20 age-matched healthy subjects. Patients were selected after comprehensive non-invasive presurgical evaluation, including normal brain MRI and surface electroclinical features compatible with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Patients with and without déjà-vu did not differ in terms of age, gender, epilepsy lateralization, epilepsy onset, epilepsy duration, and other subjective ictal manifestations. TLE patients with déjà-vu exhibited ipsilateral hypometabolism of superior temporal gyrus and of parahippocampal region, in the vicinity of perirhinal/entorhinal cortex, in comparison either to healthy subjects or to TLE patients without déjà-vu (p<0.05 FDR-corrected). By contrast, no difference was found between patient subgroups for hypometabolism of hippocampus and amygdala. At an individual-level, in comparison to healthy subjects, hypometabolism of both parahippocampal region and superior temporal gyrus was present in 7/8 patients with déjà-vu. Hippocampal metabolism was spared in 3 of these 7 patients. These findings argue for metabolic dysfunction of a medial-lateral temporal network in patients with déjà-vu and normal brain MRI. Within the medial temporal lobe, specific involvement of the parahippocampal region, often in the absence of hippocampal impairment, suggests that the feeling of familiarity during seizures greatly depends on alteration of the recognition memory system.


Scientific Theories on the Déjà Vu Phenomenon

Redgård R

Masters thesis: University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics, June, 2010


The term ”déjà vu” was first introduced around the 1890s in order to separate the phenomenon from other paramnesias, but a clear consensus on its definition was not reached until mid 20th century. Since the middle of the 19th century, several dozens of parapsychological, pseudoscientific and scientific theories have been proposed to explain the déjà vu phenomenon, ranging from “messages from God” to “delayed neural transmission speed”. Most scientific theories can be divided into four categories: dual-processing,neurological, memory and attentional. This paper discusses and compares some of these theories. Memory and attentional theories are concluded to have most explanatory power and potential to demystify the phenomenon through future research.


Ictal mnemestic aura and verbal memory function

Vederman AC, Holtzer R, Zimmerman ME, Devinsky O, Barr WB
New York University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, New York, NY, USA. E-mail: aaronved a med.umich.edu

Epilepsy & Behavior 17(4):474-7, 2010     Epub 2010 Mar 6

Déjà vu aura is a well-known phenomenon experienced by some patients with epilepsy. This study sought to explore the relationship between verbal memory and the experience of déjà vu or other types of mnemestic auras in 42 individuals with intractable seizures and 42 age- and education-matched patient controls. Verbal memory was assessed with indices of learning, long delay recall, and recognition from the California Verbal Learning Test. Results indicated that auras of any type were not associated with memory performance on the California Verbal Learning Test. As expected, age and education were related to verbal memory performance. Mnemestic auras were associated with clinical indices of illness, suggesting that the presence of these auras may be regarded as a risk factor for greater chronicity and severity in epilepsy.


Epilepsy: creative sparks

Thomas RH, Mullins JM, Waddington T, Nugent K, Smith PE.
Wales Epilepsy Research Network, Institute of Life Sciences, Swansea University, Swansea, UK. rhys-thomas at doctors.org.uk

Practical Neurology 10(4):219-26, 2010    doi: 10.1136/jnnp.2010.217984

An epilepsy diagnosis is very verbal, relying on witness history, personal narrative and analysis of how people describe the experience. Occasionally however, non-verbal descriptions of seizures allow us to gain a fuller understanding of this complex disorder. Artists are often inspired by personal experience, so it should be no surprise to find people depicting images of ill health, both their own and people they have observed. Furthermore, an ailment or affliction may influence an artist's portfolio over their lifetime, such as de Kooning's Alzheimer's disease and Monet's glaucoma. Epilepsy (in contrast with cerebrovascular or neurodegenerative disease) may present not just with a loss of function but with unusual super-added experiences such as déjà vu, ecstatic auras or hallucinations. Here we describe some artists who were thought to have had epilepsy, and the way in which their seizures influenced their art. It appears that for some, they have succeeded despite, rather than because of, their epilepsy and that rather than be inspired by their symptoms they were ashamed of them. If there is a common theme, it is in the unwanted psychological harm of some seizures provoking dark, frustrated imagery.


Two forms of déjà vu experiences in patients with epilepsy

Adachi N, Akanuma N, Ito M, Adachi T, Takekawa Y, Adachi Y, Matsuura M, Kanemoto K, Kato M
Adachi Mental Clinic, Sapporo, Japan. E-mail: adacchan a tky2.3web.ne.jp

Epilepsy & Behavior 18(3):218-22, 2010    Epub 2010 May 21

Persons with epilepsy experience déjà vu phenomena with or without seizure recognition. Déjà vu experiences are also common mental phenomena in nonclinical individuals. The purpose of this study was to clarify two forms of déjà vu experiences in persons with epilepsy. Déjà vu experiences of 312 patients with epilepsy and 402 nonclinical individuals were evaluated using the Inventory of Déjà vu Experiences Assessment. In the patients with epilepsy, characteristics of déjà vu experiences with seizure recognition (SR form) were compared with those experiences with no seizure recognition (NSR form). The incidence (63.1%) of déjà vu experiences in patients with epilepsy was significantly lower than that (76.1%) of nonclinical individuals (chi(2)=14.2, P=0.000). Among the patients with epilepsy, 55.6% had the NSR form and 24.0% had the SR form. Those with the NSR form manifested fewer psychopathological characteristics than did those with the SR form. Patients tended to view the SR form more negatively (i.e., frightened, uncomfortable, or disturbed) than the NSR form. The NSR form was significantly associated with idiopathic generalized epilepsies, less frequent antiepileptic drug administration, and no mesial temporal sclerosis. Although there was a significant association between the frequency of the SR form and patients' habitual seizures, the frequency of the NSR form was not associated with the frequency of the patients' habitual seizures. Persons with epilepsy experience two forms of déjà vu which are differently associated with their seizure recognition.


Mémoire et épilepsie [Memory and epilepsy] [Article in French]

Dupont S

Biologie Aujourd'hui 204(2):181- 8, 2010

Medial temporal lobe epilepsy is a chronic neurological disease that begins in the early age and that is associated with frequent and disturbing memory deficits. Repeated seizures will lead to the formation of an epileptogenic network that may interfere with physiological neuronal networks and thus with normal brain function: by direct activation or indirectly by deactivation during a seizure, see for example the dreamy state or the ''déja vécu'' phenomenon during temporal seizures; by ictal or post-ictal inhibition, see for example ictal or post-ictal amnesia; by a repetitive and chronic modulation leading to a reorganization of the physiological neuronal networks. The study of these interactions between epileptic and physiological neural networks must lead to better explore the patient's memory and predict memory worsening before temporal lobe surgery and to better understand the reorganization of memory networks in chronic epilepsy. The goal is double: (1) improve the prediction of post-operative memory worsening and guide rehabilitation in epileptic clinical practice; (2) improve the pathophysiological knowledge about memory processes.


Phenomenology of hallucinations, illusions, and delusions as part of seizure semiology

Kasper BS, Kasper EM, Pauli E, Stefan H.
Epilepsy Center, Department of Neurology, Friedrich Alexander University, Schwabachanlage 6, Erlangen, Germany. E-mail: burkhard.kasper a uk-erlangen.de

Epilepsy & Behavior 18(1-2):13-23, 2010    Epub 2010 May 18.

In partial epilepsy, a localized hypersynchronous neuronal discharge evolving into a partial seizure affecting a particular cortical region or cerebral subsystem can give rise to subjective symptoms, which are perceived by the affected person only, that is, ictal hallucinations, illusions, or delusions. When forming the beginning of a symptom sequence leading to impairment of consciousness and/or a classic generalized seizure, these phenomena are referred to as an epileptic aura, but they also occur in isolation. They often manifest in the fully awake state, as part of simple partial seizures, but they also can be associated to different degrees of disturbed consciousness. Initial ictal symptoms often are closely related to the physiological functions of the cortical circuit involved and, therefore, can provide localizing information. When brain regions related to sensory integration are involved, the seizure discharge can cause specific kinds of hallucinations, for example, visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, and cutaneous sensory sensations. In addition to these elementary sensory perceptions, quite complex hallucinations related to a partial seizure can arise, for example, perception of visual scenes or hearing music. By involving psychic and emotional spheres of human perception, many seizures also give rise to hallucinatory emotional states (e.g., fear or happiness) or even more complex hallucinations (e.g., visuospatial phenomena), illusions (e.g., déjà vu, out-of-body experience), or delusional beliefs (e.g., identity change) that often are not easily recognized as epileptic. Here we suggest a classification into elementary sensory, complex sensory, and complex integratory seizure symptoms. Epileptic hallucinations, illusions, and delusions shine interesting light on the physiology and functional anatomy of brain regions involved and their functions in the human being. This article, in which 10 cases are described, introduces the fascinating phenomenology of subjective seizure symptoms.


Hyperfamiliarity for faces (HFF) in epilepsy - left temporal localization?

Devinsky O, Davachi L, Santchi C, Quinn BT, Staresina BP, Thesen T

Neurology 74: 970-974, 2010

Authors cite that the hippocampus is important for recollection and the perirhinal cortex for feeling of familiarity.  Déjà vu and déjà vécu occur more often with right hemisphere lesions establishing "right sided dominance for familiarity."  The normal electrical response for familiarity is suppression vs. activation for novelty stimulus.  Authors speculate the left (impaired) side is unable to recognize faces (novelty signallig) whereas the right (unimpaired) side is in overdrive and falsely signal familiarity. Patients quickly accept their familiarity is false, due to intact right hemisphere structures otherwise.   Contrtast to reduplication syndromes (Capgras) with right hemispheric and bifrontal abnormality.


Posttraumatic stress disorder caused by the misattribution of seizure-related experiential responses

Cohen ML, Rozensky RH, Zlatar ZZ, Averbuch RN, Cibula JE.
Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610-0165, USA. mlcohen at phhp.ufl.edu

Epilepsy & Behavior 9(4):652-5, 2010    doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2010.09.029. Epub 2010 Oct 28

Patients with temporal lobe seizures sometimes experience what John Hughlings Jackson described as "dreamy states" during seizure onset. These phenomena may be characterized by a re-experiencing of past events, feelings of familiarity (déjà vu), and hallucinations. In previous reports, patients have been aware of the illusory nature of their experiences. Here, however, the case of a patient with a documented 37-year history of temporal lobe epilepsy who is not aware is described. Fifteen years ago, the patient saw visions of traumatic autobiographical events that he had never previously recalled. He believed them to be veridical memories from his childhood, although evidence from his family suggests that they were not. The patient's psychological reaction to the "recovery" of these traumatic "memories" was severe enough to qualify as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To our knowledge, this is the first report of PTSD caused by the misattribution of mental states that accompany a seizure.


Isolated amygdala neurocysticercosis in a patient presenting with déjà vu and olfactory auras. Case report

Lee DJ, Owen CM, Khanifar E, Kim RC, Binder DK
Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA

Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics 3(6):538-41, 2009

Neurocysticercosis is the most common parasitic infection in the CNS and a leading cause of epilepsy. Since it is a circumscribed lesional cause of epilepsy, specific locations of neurocysticercal lesions may lead to specific clinical presentations. The authors describe a 17-year-old Hispanic boy who had a single enhancing bilobar mass in the right amygdala. Initially, the patient presented with secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizures, which resolved with antiepilepsy drug therapy. On further investigation, he was found to have persistent olfactory and déjà vu auras. A right amygdalectomy without hippocampectomy was performed, and both the seizures and auras immediately resolved. Pathological analysis revealed neurocysticercosis. To the authors' knowledge, this case is the first reported instance of 2 distinct mesial temporal aura semiologies associated with localized neurocysticercosis in the amygdala and successfully treated with resection. Uniquely, the case demonstrates that both olfactory and déjà vu auras can emanate from the amygdala.


[Clinical features in a Japanese patient with autosomal dominant lateral temporal epilepsy having LGI1 mutation] [Article in Japanese]

Fujita Y, Ikeda A, Kadono K, Kawamata J, Tomimoto H, Fukuyama H, Takahashi R
Department of Neurology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine

Rinsho Shinkeigaku 49(4):186-90, 2009

We described a clinical feature of autosomal dominant lateral temporal epilepsy (ADLTE) in a Japanese patient having LGI1 mutation. The patient was a 27-year-old woman who had her first seizure at the age of 10 years, a nocturnal generalized seizure. She then had partial seizures manifesting auditory symptoms with or without anxiety, panic attack, déjà vu, sensory aphasia and visual symptoms. Repeated EEGs were normal. Brain MRI showed small left superior temporal gyrus. 18F-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (PDG-PET) demonstrated glucose hypometabolism in the left lateral temporal lobe. Sequencing of the LGI1 revealed a single base substitution in exon 8 (1642C-->T) causing missense mutation at residue 473 of the LGI1 protein (S473 L). When one demonstrates ictal symptoms arising from the lateral temporal to occipital area with psychotic symptoms, ADLTE should be suspected and a detailed family history is warranted.


Computer modelling of epilepsy

Lytton WW
Department of Physiology, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA.   E-mail: billl a neurosim.downstate.edu

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9(8):626-37, 2008     Epub 2008 Jul 2

Epilepsy is a complex set of disorders that can involve many areas of the cortex, as well as underlying deep-brain systems. The myriad manifestations of seizures, which can be as varied as déjà vu and olfactory hallucination, can therefore give researchers insights into regional functions and relations. Epilepsy is also complex genetically and pathophysiologically: it involves microscopic (on the scale of ion channels and synaptic proteins), macroscopic (on the scale of brain trauma and rewiring) and intermediate changes in a complex interplay of causality. It has long been recognized that computer modelling will be required to disentangle causality, to better understand seizure spread and to understand and eventually predict treatment efficacy. Over the past few years, substantial progress has been made in modelling epilepsy at levels ranging from the molecular to the socioeconomic. We review these efforts and connect them to the medical goals of understanding and treating the disorder.


The persistence of erroneous familiarity in an epileptic male: challenging perceptual theories of déjà vu activation

O'Connor AR, Moulin CJ
Department of Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA. E-mail: aoconnor a artsci.wustl.edu

Brain and Cognition 68(2):144-7, 2008

We report the case of a 39-year-old, temporal lobe epileptic male, MH. Prior to complex partial seizure, experienced up to three times a day, MH often experiences an aura experienced as a persistent sensation of déjà vu. Data-driven theories of déjà vu formation suggest that partial familiarity for the perceived stimulus is responsible for the sensation. Consequently, diverting attention away from this stimulus should cause the sensation to dissipate. MH, whose sensations of déjà vu persist long enough for him to shift his perceptual focus a number of times during the experience, spontaneously reports that these shifts make no difference to the sensation experienced. This novel observation challenges data-driven theories of déjà vu formation which have been used to explain the occurrence of déjà vu in those with temporal lobe epilepsy and the general population. Clearly, in epilepsy, erratic neuronal firing is the likely contributor, and in this paper we postulate that such brain firing causes higher-order erroneous 'cognitive feelings'. We tentatively extend this account to the general population. Rather than being a reaction to familiar elements in perceptual stimuli, déjà vu is likely to be the result of a cognitive feeling borne of the erroneous activation of neural familiarity circuits such as the parahippocampal gyrus, persisting as long as this activation persists.


Cat scratch disease presenting as acute encephalopathy

Cherinet Y, Tomlinson R
Department of Paediatrics, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Paul O'Gorman Building, Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol BS28BJ, UK. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Emergency Medicine Journal 25(10): 703-704, 2008


An unusual case of primary meningo-encephalitis followed by partial complex seizure in a 9-year-old boy was found to be a symptom of cerebral Bartonella henselae infection or cat scratch disease. Despite one clinical relapse at 4 weeks post-presentation, he remained seizure free on carbamazepine for one year. Six months after stopping carbamazepine, however, he developed deja vu phenomena and absence seizures with EEG abnormality. Restarting carbamazepine improved his symptoms.


Familial mesial temporal lobe epilepsy maps to chromosome 4q13.2-q21.3

Hedera P, Blair MA, Andermann E, Andermann F, D'Agostino D, Taylor KA, Chahine L, Pandolfo M, Bradford Y, Haines JL, Abou-Khalil B
Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232- 8552, USA.  E-mail: peter.hedera a vanderbilt.edu

Neurology 68(24):2107-12, 2007    Epub 2007 Mar 21


PURPOSE: To report results of linkage analysis in a large family with autosomal dominant (AD) familial mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (FMTLE).

BACKGROUND: Although FMTLE is a heterogeneous syndrome, one important subgroup is characterized by a relatively benign course, absence of antecedent febrile seizures, and absence of hippocampal sclerosis. These patients have predominantly simple partial seizures (SPS) and infrequent complex partial seizures (CPS), and intense and frequent déjà vu phenomenon may be the only manifestation of this epilepsy syndrome. No linkage has been described in this form of FMTLE.

METHODS: We identified a four-generation kindred with several affected members meeting criteria for FMTLE and enrolled 21 individuals who gave informed consent. Every individual was personally interviewed and examined; EEG and MRI studies were performed on three affected subjects. DNA was extracted from every enrolled individual. We performed a genome-wide search using an 8 cM panel and fine mapping was performed in the regions with a multipoint lod score >1. We sequenced the highest priority candidate genes.

RESULTS: Inheritance was consistent with AD mode with reduced penetrance. Eleven individuals were classified as affected with FMTLE and we also identified two living asymptomatic individuals who had affected offspring. Seizure semiologies included predominantly SPS with déjà vu feeling, infrequent CPS, and rare secondarily generalized tonic-clonic seizures. No structural abnormalities, including hippocampal sclerosis, were detected on MRI performed on three individuals. Genetic analysis detected a group of markers with lod score >3 on chromosome 4q13.2-q21.3 spanning a 7 cM region. No ion channel genes are predicted to be localized within this locus. We sequenced all coding exons of sodium bicarbonate cotransporter (SLC4A) gene, which plays an important role in tissue excitability, and cyclin I (CCNI), because of its role in the cell migration and possibility of subtle cortical abnormalities. No disease-causing mutations were identified in these genes.

CONCLUSION: We report identification of a genetic locus for familial mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. The identification of a disease-causing gene will contribute to our understanding of the pathogenesis of temporal lobe epilepsies.


Impaired familiarity with preserved recollection after anterior temporal-lobe resection that spares the hippocampus

Bowles B, Crupi C, Mirsattari SM, Pigott SE, Parrent AG, Pruessner JC, Yonelinas AP, Köhler S
Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada N6A 5C2

Proceedings of the National Academy of Science U S A 104(41):16382-7, 2007    Epub 2007 Sep 28

It is well established that the medial-temporal lobe (MTL) is critical for recognition memory. The MTL is known to be composed of distinct structures that are organized in a hierarchical manner. At present, it remains controversial whether lower structures in this hierarchy, such as perirhinal cortex, support memory functions that are distinct from those of higher structures, in particular the hippocampus. Perirhinal cortex has been proposed to play a specific role in the assessment of familiarity during recognition, which can be distinguished from the selective contributions of the hippocampus to the recollection of episodic detail. Some researchers have argued, however, that the distinction between familiarity and recollection cannot capture functional specialization within the MTL and have proposed single-process accounts. Evidence supporting the dual-process view comes from demonstrations that selective hippocampal damage can produce isolated recollection impairments. It is unclear, however, whether temporal-lobe lesions that spare the hippocampus can produce selective familiarity impairments. Without this demonstration, single-process accounts cannot be ruled out. We examined recognition memory in NB, an individual who underwent surgical resection of left anterior temporal-lobe structures for treatment of intractable epilepsy. Her resection included a large portion of perirhinal cortex but spared the hippocampus. The results of four experiments based on three different experimental procedures (remember-know paradigm, receiver operating characteristics, and response-deadline procedure) indicate that NB exhibits impaired familiarity with preserved recollection. The present findings thus provide a crucial missing piece of support for functional specialization in the MTL.

(Déjà vu mentioned on page 16383.)


The dreamy state: hallucinations of autobiographic memory evoked by temporal lobe stimulations and seizures

Vignal J-P [1], Maillard L [2], McGonigal A [3], Chauvel P [3]
1 Service de Neurologie, Hôpital Central, CHU de Nancy Nancy
2 Faculté de Medecine, Université Nancy Nancy
3 Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie et Neuropsychologie-U751, INSERM Marseille, Université de la Méditerranée Marseille Cedex, France

Correspondence to: Dr Jean-Pierre Vignal, Service de Neurologie, Hopital Central, C.O. n 34, 54035 Nancy Cedex, France.  E-mail: jp.vignal a chu-nancy.fr

Brain 130(Pt 1):88-99, 2007    Epub 2006 Nov 30

Using results from cortical stimulations, as well as the symptoms of spontaneous epileptic seizures recorded by stereoelectroencephalography we re-studied the phenomenon of the dreamy state, as described by Jackson (Jackson JH. Selected writings of John Hughlins Jackson. Vol 1. On epilepsy and epileptiform convulsions. Taylor J, editor. London: Hodder and Stoughton; 1931). A total of 15 sensations of déjà vécu, 35 visual hallucinations consisting of the image of a scene and 5 ‘feelings of strangeness’ occurred. These were recorded during 40 stimulations in 16 subjects, and 15 seizures in 5 subjects. Forty-five per cent of dreamy states were evoked by stimulation of the amygdala, 37.5% by the hippocampus and 17.5% by the para-hippocampal gyrus. During both spontaneous and provoked dreamy state, the electrical discharge was localized within mesial temporal lobe structures, without involvement of the temporal neocortex. Early spread of the discharge to the temporal neocortex appeared to prevent the occurrence of the dreamy state. Semiological analysis showed a clinical continuity between déjà vécu and visual hallucinations, the latter often consisting of a personal memory that was ‘relived’ by the subject; such memories could be recent, distant or from childhood. With one exception, the particular memory evoked differed from one seizure to another, but were always drawn from the same period of the subject's life. Given the role of the amygdala and hippocampus in autobiographic memory, their pathological activation during seizures may trigger memory recall. This study of the dreamy state is in keeping with other evidence demonstrating the constant and central role of the amygdala and hippocampus (right as much as left) in the recall of recent and distant memories. It demonstrates the existence of large neural networks that produce recall of memories via activation of the hippocampus, amygdala and rhinal cortex.

Key Words: dreamy state; autobiographic memory; amygdala; hippocampus; cortical stimulation

Abbreviations: MTL: mesial temporal lobe; SEEG: stereoelectroencephalography


[Epilepsy and psychic seizures] [Article in Japanese]

Fukao K

Seishin Shinkeigaku Zasshi 108(3):240-5, 2006

Various psychic symptoms as ictal manifestation have been found in epileptic patients. They are classified as psychic seizures within simple partial seizures, and subclassified into affective, cognitive, dysmnesic seizures and so on, although the subclassification is not yet satisfactory and almost nothing is known about their relationships with normal brain functions. In this presentation, the speaker picked ictal fear, déjà vu and out-of-body experience (OBE) from them and suggested that studies on these symptoms could uniquely contribute to the progress of cognitive neuroscience, presenting some results from the research and case study that he had been engaged in. Psychic seizures are prone to be missed or misdiagnosed unless psychiatrists with sufficient knowledge and experience on epilepsy care would not treat them, because they are subjective symptoms that are diverse and subtle, while they have some characteristics as ictal symptoms.


[Kumagusu Minakata with temporal lobe epilepsy: a pathographic study] [Article in Japanese]

Sengoku A
Clinic Sengoku

Seishin Shinkeigaku Zasshi 108(2):132-9, 2006

Kumagusu Minakata (1867-1941), a Japanese genius devoted to natural history and folklore, is famous for his immense range of works (including 50 monographs in 'Nature') and his discovery of several varieties of mycetozoa. His diary and the observations of other persons reveal that he was affected by several grand mal epileptic seizures, and he complained himself of frequent déjà vu experiences which he called promnesia according to Myers. Promnesia means, for example, "I have lived through all this before, and I know what will happen this next minute." Minakata also had this rare type of aural sign. MRI analysis of his postmortem brain found evidence of right hippocampal atrophy. This result showed that he had temporal lobe epilepsy with focus of the right side, and this coincides with his déjà vu experiences which were the aura of the loss of consciousness. However, he did not notice that these were aural signs, and he also complained of memory disturbances due to frequent déjà vu. His behavioral characteristics were peculiar, and those of Dostoyevsky who also had temporal lobe epilepsy were similar. Temporal lobe epilepsies may influence behavioral patterns which control the emotions. As a positive point, some patients with temporal lobe epilepsy can exhibit their primordial mental actions and perform persistent works.


A Complex Presentation of Complex Partial Seizures

Roffman JL, Stern TA
Corresponding author and reprints: Joshua L. Roffman, M.D., Psychiatric Neuroscience Program, MGH-East, Bldg 149, 13th St., 2nd Floor, Charlestown, MA 02129 (E-mail: jroffman a partners.org).

The Primary Care Companion - Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 8(2):98–100, 2006

Have you encountered patients with affective, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms that were difficult to place in one diagnostic category? Have you suspected a diagnosis of complex partial seizures but found it difficult to establish this diagnosis with laboratory tests? Moreover, have you ever experienced difficulty distinguishing seizures from nonepileptic seizures (“pseudoseizures”)? If you have, then the following case vignette of a man admitted to the general hospital with a complex array of neuropsychiatric symptoms should provide the forum for answers to these and other questions related to psychiatric manifestations of seizures.


Human EEG gamma oscillations in neuropsychiatric disorders

Herrmann CS, Demiralp T
Department of Psychology, Magdeburg University, Germany.  E-mail: christoph.herrmann a nat.uni-magdeburg.de

Clinical Neurophysiology 116(12):2719-33, 2005    Epub 2005 Oct 25.

Due to their small amplitude, the importance of high-frequency EEG oscillations with respect to cognitive functions and disorders is often underestimated as compared to slower oscillations. This article reviews the literature on the alterations of gamma oscillations (about 30-80 Hz) during the course of neuropsychiatric disorders and relates them to a model for the functional role of these oscillations for memory matching. The synchronous firing of neurons in the gamma-band has been proposed to bind multiple features of an object, which are coded in a distributed manner in the brain, and is modulated by cognitive processes such as attention and memory. In certain neuropsychiatric disorders the gamma activity shows significant changes. In schizophrenic patients, negative symptoms correlate with a decrease of gamma responses, whereas a significant increase in gamma amplitudes is observed during positive symptoms such as hallucinations. A reduction is also observed in Alzheimer's Disease (AD), whereas an increase is found in epileptic patients, probably reflecting both cortical excitation and perceptual distortions such as déjà vu phenomena frequently observed in epilepsy. ADHD patients also exhibit increased gamma amplitudes. A hypothesis of a gamma axis of these disorders mainly based on the significance of gamma oscillations for memory matching is formulated.


Familial temporal lobe epilepsy as a presenting feature of choreoacanthocytosis.

Al-Asmi A, Jansen AC, Badhwar A, Dubeau F, Tampieri D, Shustik C, Mercho S, Savard G, Dobson-Stone C, Monaco AP, Andermann F, Andermann E
Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Epilepsia 46(8):1256-63, 2005


Choreoacanthocytosis (ChAc) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in VPS13A on chromosome 9q21 and characterized by neurodegeneration and red cell acanthocytosis. Seizures are not uncommon in ChAc but have not been well characterized in the literature. We report two ChAc families in which patients presented with temporal lobe epilepsy.

Detailed medical and family histories were obtained. EEG, video-telemetry, brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with volumetric studies of amygdala and hippocampus, as well as neuropsychological testing were performed. Blood smears were examined for acanthocytosis. Mutation analysis of VPS13A was carried out in five patients.

Six patients in three sibships were initially seen with seizures. Age at seizure onset ranged from 22 to 38 years. Seizures preceded other clinical manifestations of ChAc by < or = 15 years. The epileptic aura consisted of a sensation of déjà-vu, fear, hallucinations, palpitations, or vertigo. EEG with video-telemetry showed epileptiform discharges originating either from one or both temporal lobes. Epilepsy was generally well controlled, but some patients had periods of increased seizure frequency requiring treatment with multiple antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Both families shared a deletion of exons 70-73 of VPS13A, extending to exons 6-7 of GNA14.

Temporal lobe epilepsy may be the presenting feature of ChAc and may delay its diagnosis. Epilepsy in ChAc patients represents a challenge, because seizures may at times be difficult to control, and some AEDs may worsen the involuntary movements. Mutations in VPS13A or GNA14 or both may be associated with clinical features of temporal lobe epilepsy.


Deja vu in neurology

Wild E
Dept. of Neurology, Wellington Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand. E-mail: ejwild a doctors.org.uk

Journal of Neurology 252(1):1-7, 2005

The significance of deja vu is widely recognised in the context of temporal lobe epilepsy, and enquiry about deja vu is frequently made in the clinical assessment of patients with possible epilepsy. Deja vu has also been associated with several psychiatric disorders. The historical context of current understanding of deja vu is discussed. The literature reveals deja vu to be a common phenomenon consistent with normality. Several authors have suggested the existence of a "pathological" form of deja vu that differs, qualitatively or quantitatively, from "non-pathological" deja vu. The features of deja vu suggesting neurological or psychiatric pathology are discussed. Several neuroanatomical and psychological models of the deja vu experience are highlighted, implicating the perceptual, mnemonic and affective regions of the lateral temporal cortex, hippocampus and amygdala in the genesis of deja vu. A possible genetic basis for a neurochemical model of deja vu is discussed. Clinical approaches to the patient presenting with possible deja vu are proposed.


Prescience as an aura of temporal lobe epilepsy

Sadler RM, Rahey S
QEII Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  E-mail: rsadler a dal.ca

Epilepsia 45(8):982-4, 2004


PURPOSE: A patient with a distinct aura of prescience as a manifestation of temporal lobe epilepsy was encountered. The experience prompted a review of this ictal phenomenon among patients attending a tertiary care epilepsy outpatient clinic.

METHODS: A computer epilepsy database was searched for patients with simple partial sensory seizures and complex partial seizures with auras. Identified patients had charts reviewed for details of the auras; patients were contacted and asked to provide written descriptions of their experiences. Literature searches (PubMed) were done by using the terms "precognition" or "prescience" and "seizures" or "epilepsy." Standard comprehensive epilepsy textbooks were reviewed.

RESULTS: The charts of 218 patients were reviewed from 927 in the database; three had prescience as an ictal feature. The patients' descriptions were very similar in all cases (a profound sense of "knowing" what was going to happen in their environment in the immediate future). The experience was distinct from déjà vu and other psychic experiences. All patients probably have temporal lobe epilepsy. Only one other description of prescience as an ictal feature was found in the literature.

CONCLUSIONS: Prescience can occur as an ictal feature of temporal lobe epilepsy and represents a previously underreported psychic phenomenon. The potential lateralizing value of this symptom is yet to be determined.


Cortical stimulation study of the role of rhinal cortex in déjà vu and reminiscence of memories

Bartolomei F, Barbeau E, Gavaret M, Guye M, McGonigal A, Régis J and Chauvel P
Service de Neurophysiologie Clinique et Epileptologie, INSERM EMI-U 9926, CHU TIMONE et Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille Cedex 5, France.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Fabrice Bartolomei, Service de Neurophysiologie Clinique, CHU Timone-264 Rue st Pierre, 13005-Marseille, France.  E-mail: fbartolo a medecine.univ-mrs.fr

Neurology 63:858-864, 2004

Objective: To study the role of perirhinal (PC) and entorhinal cortices (EC) in dreamy state symptoms (déjà vu and reminiscence of scenes). These phenomena have been attributed to functional alteration of memory networks supported by the medial temporal lobes, principally involving the amygdala and hippocampus. The role of sub-hippocampal structures (EC and PC) in inducing these phenomena has not previously been addressed.

Methods: The authors studied the symptoms evoked by direct electrical stimulations of PC and EC in comparison with those obtained after stimulation of the amygdala and hippocampus. Stimulations were performed in a group of 24 patients with epilepsy, during stereoelectroencephalographic (SEEG) recordings in the setting of presurgical evaluation. All patients had electrodes that sampled the rhinal cortices, amygdala, and hippocampus.

Results: A total of 280 stimulations were analyzed. Entorhinal and perirhinal stimulations induced classic mesial temporal lobe responses (emotional, dysautonomic) but also more specific responses, particularly the déjà vu phenomenon and reminiscence of scenes. Such déjà vu or déjà vécu type responses were produced proportionately more often by stimulation of the EC than by stimulation of the amygdala and hippocampus. In particular, déjà vu was associated with stimulation of the EC and reminiscence of memories with PC stimulation.

Conclusion: This study strongly suggests that experiential symptoms are largely dependent upon functional modification of the physiology of the rhinal cortices.


Magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities in familial temporal lobe epilepsy with auditory auras

Kobayashi E, Santos NF, Torres FR, Secolin R, Sardinha LA, Lopez-Cendes I, Cendes F
Department of Neurology, Campinas State University, Campinas, Brazil

Archives of Neurology 60(11):1546-51, 2003 (Erratum in Arch Neurol. 2004 61(2):199)


Two forms of familial temporal lobe epilepsy (FTLE) have been described: mesial FTLE and FTLE with auditory auras. The gene responsible for mesial FTLE has not been mapped yet, whereas mutations in the LGI1 (leucine-rich, glioma-inactivated 1) gene, localized on chromosome 10q, have been found in FTLE with auditory auras.

To describe magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in patients with FTLE with auditory auras.

We performed detailed clinical and molecular studies as well as MRI evaluation (including volumetry) in all available individuals from one family, segregating FTLE from auditory auras.

We evaluated 18 of 23 possibly affected individuals, and 13 patients reported auditory auras. In one patient, auditory auras were associated with déjà vu; in one patient, with ictal aphasia; and in 2 patients, with visual misperception. Most patients were not taking medication at the time, although all of them reported sporadic auras. Two-point lod scores were positive for 7 genotyped markers on chromosome 10q, and a Zmax of 6.35 was achieved with marker D10S185 at a recombination fraction of 0.0. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the LGI1 gene showed a point mutation, VIIIS7(-2)A-G, in all affected individuals. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 22 individuals (7 asymptomatic, 4 of them carriers of the affected haplotype on chromosome 10q and the VIIIS7[-2]A-G mutation). Lateral temporal lobe malformations were identified by visual analysis in 10 individuals, 2 of them with global enlargement demonstrated by volumetry. Mildly reduced hippocampi were observed in 4 individuals.

In this family with FTLE with auditory auras, we found developmental abnormalities in the lateral cortex of the temporal lobes in 53% of the affected individuals. In contrast with mesial FTLE, none of the affected individuals had MRI evidence of hippocampal sclerosis.


Exacerbation of mania secondary to right temporal lobe astrocytoma in a bipolar patient previously stabilized on valproate

Sokolski KN, Denson TF
VA Long Beach Healthcare System, Mental Health Care Group, Long Beach, California 90822, USA.  E-mail: kenneth.sokolski a med.va.gov

Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology 16(4):234-8, 2003


To investigate breakthrough mania secondary to a right temporal lobe neoplasm in a bipolar patient previously stabilized on sodium divalproex.

Right hemispheric brain tumors involving the orbitofrontal or basotemporal cortex are a rare cause of secondary mania. In such cases, early neurologic signs may be difficult to distinguish from bipolar symptoms. Breakthrough mania secondary to brain neoplasm in a bipolar patient stabilized on medication is an extremely rare phenomena which has not been previously reported.

The clinical course of a bipolar subject stabilized on valproate who developed mania secondary to a right temporal lobe astrocytoma is described. Serial brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), baseline electroencephalogram (EEG), and neuropsychiatric evaluations were used to examine the relationship between the patient's brain mass and behavioral disturbances.

Symptoms were those that accompanied prior episodes of mania. In addition, signs of temporal lobe dysfunction were evident including periods of detachment, déjà vu experiences, and olfactory hallucinations. In the context of mania, depersonalization was initially attributed to bipolar symptoms. Only several months later, when olfactory hallucinations and alterations in consciousness became evident, was a temporal lobe lesion suspected. Neuropsychiatric abnormalities responded to a combination of surgical intervention, radiation therapy, and topiramate, however the tumor was advanced and invasive at diagnosis resulting in a poor prognosis.

This case suggests that clinicians examining unexplained cases of breakthrough mania should be vigilant for early signs of temporal lobe dysfunction, which could aid in detecting treatable lesions.


Tales from the temporal lobes

Zeman A

New England Journal of Medicine 352(2):119-121, 2003

(The author provided descriptions of the effects of temporal lobe epilepsy, including déjà vu. At the end of his paper he wrote: "Déjà vu, short-lived amnesia, the epigastric aura, hallucinations of smell, incongruous emotions, disorders of language, and out-of-body experiences can all be pointers to a disturbance of function in the temporal lobes. The elegance of clinical neurology lies in the possibility of localizing pathologic lesions in the brain on the basis of clinical features such as these, which may consist of a single minor perturbation of experience. But location does not imply process. Don't rush to diagnose epilepsy the next time you experience déjà vu. The range of possible explanations bridges the divide between neurology and psychiatry: anxiety, depression, and psychosis are important causes, as is the likeliest candidate of all — that your perfectly normal but hard-pressed temporal lobes are temporarily overstretched." p. 121)


Paramnesic multiplication of autobiographical memory as a manifestation of interictal psychosis

Murai T, Fukao K
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan. E-mail: murai a kuhp.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Psychopathology 36(1):49-51, 2003

This report describes a male patient with temporal lobe epilepsy who developed a persistent paranoid-hallucinatory state at the age of 23. The essential feature of his delusion was that he had repeatedly lived part of his life, namely between the ages of 21 and 25 years. The patient repeatedly attempted suicide to escape the endless repetition. His paramnesia has some similarity with a déjà vu phenomenon, which is a common ictal manifestation of temporal lobe epilepsy. However, while only a sense of vague familiarity is evoked in a déjà vu phenomenon, conscious recollection is experienced during his paramnesia. We attempted to explain the pathophysiological mechanism of the patient's paramnesia in the framework of the current neurobiological theory of human memory.


Ictal SPECT in a case of pure musicogenic epilepsy

Gelisse P, Thomas P, Padovani R, Hassan-Sebbag N, Pasquier J, Genton P

Centre Saint-Paul, Marseille, France

Epileptic Disorders 5(3):133-7, 2003

A 39-year-old, right-handed woman had seizures for two years which were always triggered by exposure to various types of music: the first occurred while she listened to a tune she particularly liked, Con Te Partiro, by Andrea Boccelli. Other triggering factors were various types of music such as supermarket background music and polyphonic singing or instrumental music played by family members. The seizures had a stereotyped course: she felt anxious, tearful, then occurred slight obtundation, during which she smacked her lips and moved restlessly. There was no complete loss of consciousness, but some degree of amnesia. She never experienced a generalized tonic-clonic seizure, but reported rare spontaneous feelings of déjà-vu that had begun at the same time as the induced seizures. There were no other spontaneous attacks; only one seizure was apparently provoked, not by music but by a loud background noise in her office. She was a music lover and a singer. Interictal EEG showed independent slow waves over the temporal regions. Several seizures with EEG localisation over the right temporal region were elicited after several minutes of exposure to music. Monoauricular stimulation with the same music produced a seizure when applied to the left ear but was ineffective when applied to the right ear. Ictal SPECT demonstrated right temporal hyperperfusion. MRI was normal. On high dose of carbamazepine, seizure frequency decreased. The addition of topiramate resulted in full seizure control. Musicogenic epilepsy is a rare form of reflex epilepsy. Pure cases, when patients do not experience unprovoked seizures, are exceptional. Our report confirms the implication of the right temporal lobe in this epilepsy.


The persistence of erroneous familiarity in an epileptic male: Challenging perceptual theories of déjà vu activation

O’Connor AR [1], Moulin CJA [2]
1 Department of Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
2 Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK

Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 14:6-10, 2002

We report the case of a 39-year-old, temporal lobe epileptic male, MH. Prior to complex partial seizure, experienced up to three times a day, MH often experiences an aura experienced as a persistent sensation of déjà vu. Data-driven theories of déjà vu formation suggest that partial familiarity for the perceived stimulus is responsible for the sensation. Consequently, diverting attention away from this stimulus should cause the sensation to dissipate. MH, whose sensations of déjà vu persist long enough for him to shift his perceptual focus a number of times during the experience, spontaneously reports that these shifts make no difference to the sensation experienced. This novel observation challenges data-driven theories of déjà vu formation which have been used to explain the occurrence of déjà vu in those with temporal lobe epilepsy and the general population. Clearly, in epilepsy, erratic neuronal firing is the likely contributor, and in this paper we postulate that such brain firing causes higher-order erroneous ‘cognitive feelings’. We tentatively extend this account to the general population. Rather than being a reaction to familiar elements in perceptual stimuli, déjà vu is likely to be the result of a cognitive feeling borne of the erroneous activation of neural familiarity circuits such as the parahippocampal gyrus, persisting as long as this activation persists.


Déjà Vu: Possible Parahippocampal Mechanisms

Spatt J
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Epilepsy and Neuromuscular Disorders, Rosenhügel Neurological Hospital, Vienna, Austria.

Address correspondence to Dr. Spatt, II. Neurologische Abteilung, Neurologisches Krankenhaus Rosenhügel, Riedelgasse 5, 1130 Vienna, Austria.  E-mail: josef.spatt a chello.at.

Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 14:6-10, 2002

Déjà vu
experiences are common in normal subjects. In addition, they are established symptoms of temporal lobe seizures. The author argues that the phenomenon is the result of faulty and isolated activity of a recognition memory system that consists of the parahippocampal gyrus and its neocortical connections. This memory system is responsible for judgments of familiarity. The result is that a momentary perceived scene is given the characteristics of familiarity that normally accompany a conscious recollection. The normal functioning of other brain structures involved in memory retrieval - the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus proper - leads to the perplexing phenomenological quality of déjà vu. The hypothesis accounts for many characteristics of déjà vu in healthy subjects and is well fitting with experimental findings in patients with epilepsy.

Key Words: Memory - Déjà Vu - Parahippocampal Cortex


The amygdala and temporal lobe simple partial seizures: a prospective and quantitative MRI study

Van Paesschen W, King MD, Duncan JS, Connelly A
Epilepsy Research Group, National Society for Epilepsy, Institute of Neurology and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, England. E-mail: Win.Vanpaesschen a uz.kuleuven.ac.be

Epilepsia 42(7):857-62, 2001


To determine whether specific temporal lobe simple partial seizures (SPSs) are associated with an abnormal amygdala T2 (AT2) ipsilateral to the seizure focus in patients with intractable unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). AT2 relaxation time mapping is a sensitive method for the detection of abnormal tissue in the amygdala in patients with refractory TLE. The relation between an abnormal AT2 in the epileptic temporal lobe and amygdala seizure onset has not been established.

Fifty patients with intractable unilateral TLE and concordant data during presurgical evaluation were included. Patients with a foreign-tissue lesion on standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were excluded. All had AT2 mapping. Fifteen types of SPSs were ascertained prospectively, systematically, and blinded to the results of AT2 mapping. The SPSs of patients with a normal AT2 (n = 25) were compared with those of patients with an abnormal AT2 ipsilateral to the seizure focus (n = 25).

The group of patients with an abnormal AT2 reported a median of six types of SPSs (range 1-11), in comparison with a median of three types of SPSs (range, 0-7) for the group with a normal AT2 (p<0.01). Déjà vu, a warm sensation, an indescribable strange sensation, a cephalic sensation, and fear were associated with an abnormal AT2. The combination of déjà vu, a cephalic sensation, a warm sensation, a gustatory hallucination, and an indescribable strange sensation discriminated best between the 25 patients with a normal and the 25 patients with an abnormal AT2.

A high number and the types of different SPSs provide clinical evidence for early involvement of the amygdala during seizures in patients with refractory unilateral TLE and an abnormal AT2 in the epileptic temporal lobe.


A 4-Year-Old Boy with Partial Complex Seizures

Di Rocco C, Jallo G I, Silvera M, Jimenez E, Abbott, IR

Pediatric Neurosurgery 34(6): 319-324, 2001


This is a 4-year-old boy who presented to a neurologist with staring episodes at preschool, automatism and deja vu feelings for a period of 3 months. These events were increasing in frequency, thus he was started on Tegretol. He then had a grand mal seizure which prompted a diagnostic imaging study. A magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI) was obtained which revealed the lesion. He was then referred to the Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery for further management. He has no known drug allergies. His admission medications were only Tegretol (100mg twice a day).


A case of temporal lobe epilepsy with improvement of clinical symptoms and single photon emission computed tomography findings after treatment with clonazepam

Ide M, Mizukami K, Suzuki T, Shiraishi H
Division of Psychiatry, University of Tsukuba Hospital, Ibaraki, Japan

The Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences 54(5):595-7, 2000

A 26-year-old female presented psychomotor seizures, deja vu and amnestic syndrome after meningitis at the age of 14 years. Repeated electroencephalograms (EEG) demonstrated occasional spikes localized in the right temporal region in addition to a considerable amount of theta waves mainly in the right fronto-temporal region. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) showed a marked hypoperfusion corresponding to the region in which the EEG showed abnormal findings, although magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated no abnormal findings associated with the clinical features. Treatment with clonazepam in addition to sodium valproate resulted in a remarkable improvement of clinical symptoms (i.e. psychomotor seizures and deja vu), as well as of the EEG and SPECT findings. The present study suggests that SPECT is a useful method not only to determine the localization of regions associated with temporal lobe epilepsy but also to evaluate the effect of treatment in temporal lobe epilepsy.


Photogenic partial seizures

Hennessy MJ, Binnie CD
Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Kings College Hospital, London, England, UK

Epilepsia 41(1):59-64, 2000


To establish the incidence and symptoms of partial seizures in a cohort of patients investigated on account of known sensitivity to intermittent photic stimulation and/or precipitation of seizures by environmental visual stimuli such as television (TV) screens or computer monitors.

We report 43 consecutive patients with epilepsy, who had exhibited a significant EEG photoparoxysmal response or who had seizures precipitated by environmental visual stimuli and underwent detailed assessment of their photosensitivity in the EEG laboratory, during which all were questioned concerning their ictal symptoms.

All patients were considered on clinical grounds to have an idiopathic epilepsy syndrome. Twenty-eight (65%) patients reported visually precipitated attacks occurring initially with maintained consciousness, in some instances evolving to a period of confusion or to a secondarily generalized seizure. Visual symptoms were most commonly reported and included positive symptoms such as coloured circles or spots, but also blindness and subjective symptoms such as "eyes going funny." Other symptoms described included nonspecific cephalic sensations, deja-vu, auditory hallucinations, nausea, and vomiting. No patient reported any clear spontaneous partial seizures, and there were no grounds for supposing that any had partial epilepsy excepting the ictal phenomenology of some or all of the visually induced attacks.

These findings provide clinical support for the physiological studies that indicate that the trigger mechanism for human photosensitivity involves binocularly innervated cells located in the visual cortex. Thus the visual cortex is the seat of the primary epileptogenic process, and the photically triggered discharges and seizures may be regarded as partial with secondary generalization.


[Non-convulsive paroxysmal disorders in exogenous-organic diseases of the brain] [Article in Russian]

Piven' BN, Koveva OP

Zhurnal Nevrologii I Psikhiatrii Imeni SS Korsakova 99(5):11-4, 1999

Examination of 273 patients with exogenous-organic diseases of the brain revealed nonconvulsive paroxysmal disorders of traumatic, toxic, infectious, radioactive and combined origin in 112 cases (41.0%). Such disorders were characterised by pronounced polymorphism and presented with viscero-vegetative (36.6%), affective (27.7%), psychosensory (19.6%), sensory (15.2%), ideatoric (11.6%) paroxysms as well as with twilight states of consciousness (16.1%), absence seizures (10.7%), narcolepsy (2.7%), catalepcy (1.8%) and the states of "déjà vu" and "jamais vu" (5.4%). In most of the patients such paroxysms were found 5 or more years after exogenous influences, i.e. when the severity of the organic brain damage increased. A resemblance of nonconvulsive paroxysms was observed in the patients with different etiology of the disease. The disorders were seldom detected in routine medical practice which may cause in adequate therapy.


Interictal 18FDG PET findings in temporal lobe epilepsy with déjà vu

Adachi N, Koutroumanidis M, Elwes RD, Polkey CE, Binnie CD, Reynolds EH, Barrington SF, Maisey MN, Panayiotopoulos CP
Institute of Epileptology, Kings' College Hospital, London, UK

The Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences 11(3):380-6, 1999

(The authors studied the functional anatomy of the déjà vu (DV) experience in nonlesional temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), using interictal fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose PET in 14 patients with and 17 patients without DV. Several clinical conditions, such as age at PET study, side of ictal onset zone, and dominance for language, were no different between the two groups. The patients with DV showed significant relative reductions in glucose metabolism in the mesial temporal structures and the parietal cortex. The findings demonstrate that ictal DV is of no lateralizing value. They further suggest that temporal lobe dysfunction is necessary but not sufficient for the generation of DV. Extensive association cortical areas may be involved as part of the network that integrates this distinct experience.)


[Contribution of John Hughlings Jackson to the understanding of epilepsy] [Article in Spanish]

Balcells Riba M
Servicio de Neurología, Hospital del Sagrado Corazón, Barcelona

Neurologia 14(1):23-8, 1999

The figure of J. H. Jackson is one of the most relevant in the history of neurology. His longest period not only during his training but also during his professional plenitude took place in the National Hospital. Jackson was a great clinician, wrote many articles and gave a lot of lectures, but never wrote either a treatise or a monograph about his special field. He did not carry out animal experiments. He introduced in Britain the use of the ophthalmoscope in the neurological exploration and founded the journal Brain. He was specially interested in language disorders, paralysis, vertigo, mental disorders, cerebral tumours and above all epilepsy. He systematized what we today know as complex partial crisis, establishing the link between the function of the temporal lobe and the sensorial auras, automatism's, déjà-vu and jamais vu phenomena. He described the uncinate crisis, the topographic progression of the motor partial crisis and its posterior generalisation, establishing the motor pattern of cerebral cortex. The clinical observations of epileptic phenomena, with the influence of the evolutive ideas from Spencer, were the seeds for the elaboration of the evolutive development of the function of the nervous system. His theory about evolution and dissolution of the neurological functions was the starting point for Freud's clinical investigation. The Jacksonian set of ideas were experimentally proved by the neurophysiological work of Sherrington.


Temporal lobe epilepsy in a genius of natural history: MRI volumetric study of postmortem brain

Murai T, Hanakawa T, Sengoku A, Ban T, Yoneda Y, Fujita H, Fujita N.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan.

Neurology 50(5):1373-6, 1998

Kumagusu Minakata (1867-1941), a Japanese genius devoted to natural history and folklore, is famous for his immense range of works, including his discovery of many new varieties of mycetozoa, or slime molds. His diary reveals that he was affected by epilepsy. In this study of his brain, we adopted a method of measuring the volume of the hippocampi by MRI of postmortem brain and found evidence of right hippocampal atrophy. This finding, together with the striking parallels between his behavior and the known behavioral syndrome in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), suggests that he was affected by TLE. The postmortem imaging analysis of brain, as performed in this study, offers a bridge between neuroscience and classic psychopathologic approaches to the creativity of geniuses.


[Diagnosis of seizures originating in the amygdala and the hippocampus] [Article in Spanish]

Padró L, Rovira R
Servei de Neurología, Hospital General Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, España

Revue neurologique 26(150):261-5, 1998


Lesions in the hippocampus of some epileptic patients were first described one hundred and seventy years ago. Since then our knowledge of the relationship between epileptic seizures and temporal lobe lesions has greatly improved.

The aim of this paper is to systematize the symptomatology of the hippocampus and amygdala seizures. These seizures may have a great number of different clinical features: special 'loss' or 'impairment of consciousness', epileptic automatisms and autonomic changes. Moreover, at the beginning of seizures some patients have reported experiences having subjective qualities similar to those experienced in everyday life. P Gloor named them 'experiential phenomena' and subdivided them into affective (eg: fear), perceptual (eg: visual hallucinations) and mnemonic (eg: 'déjà vu' illusion).

It is very important to know the contribution of the hippocampus and the amygdala to the symptomatology of temporal lobe seizures due to the progress of MRI diagnostic possibilities that are improving the surgical outcome.


[Troubles psychiques et épilepsie partielle complexe] [Psychic disorders and complex partial epilepsy] [Article in French]

Marcel E, Schiopu B

L'Evolution Psychiatrique 63(3):395-408, 1998

Complex partial epilepsy is a classical neurological pathology with a varied clinical manifestation. The classical "temporal crisis" with its elements of depersonaiisation "deja vu' "jamais vu", olfactive hallucinations (uncinate fit) is not the only manifestation, by far. of this clinical form of epilepsy. The clinical polymorphism covers the range from mere "temporal absence" to the most complex psychomotor automatism in which the subject conveys the impression of being in touch with reality. of being able to answer his interlocutor's questions. In the same way the duration of these comitial fits is most variable, from a few seconds to several days. giving rise to these very rare partial complex states of a long lasting condition of which the epileptic fugues are the prototype. The clinic of this partial epilepsy is so infinitely variable that the differential diagnoses abound, above all with psychiatric pathologies, which range from the suggestion of hysteria to that of psychotic pathologies. We shall illustrate this partial complex epilepsy with a clinical case of a 40 year-old woman who on several occasions has presented partial complex states of which the most recent lasted 72 hours. The diagnosis had for a long time wandered and it was only with the third psychiatric hospitalization that it could be amended. Before that the diagnosis of recurrent "brief pseudo-psychotic periods of delusional depersonaiisation" had been pronounced. Between these 'noisy' moments the patient manifested moments of probable absence. The cognitive and mnesic after-effects were significant. Several months were needed after the instauration of an anti-epileptic treatment for the recuperation of the mnesic functions. This case illustrates with a vengeance the difficulty, clinical and para-clinical, to assert the diagnosis of epilepsy when faced with brief pseudo psychotic periods of delusional depersonalisation which look frankly psychiatric. Regarding this question we provide a reminder of the clinic, of the paraclinical examinations and their limits as well as the etiologies encountered in this condition. We also try to establish a link between the thalamic anomaly found in our patient, the physiopathology and the psychopathological expression of the disorders presented.


Aura phenomena during syncope

Benke T, Hochleitner M, Bauer G
Neurological Department, University Clinic, Innsbruck, Austria

European Neurology 37(1):28-32, 1997

We studied the frequency and clinical characteristics of aura phenomena in 60 patients with cardiac and 40 subjects with vasovagal syncopes. The majority (93%) of all syncope patients recalled having experienced an aura. Aura phenomena were similar in both groups and were mostly compound auras comprising epigastric, vertiginous, visual, or somatosensory experiences, but were more detailed in the noncardiac group. The localizing significance of auras preceding a syncope was generally poor. Although hard to distinguish from epileptic auras from their structure and shape, syncope-related auras lacked symptoms that are commonly reported after epileptic seizures such as tastes, smells, déjà vu phenomena, scenic visual perceptions, and speech impairments. A detailed anamnestic exploration of auras seems worthwhile in unexplained disorders of consciousness.


Ictal semiology in hippocampal versus extrahippocampal temporal lobe epilepsy

Gil-Nagel A, Risinger MW

Brain 120:183-192, 1997     (c.f. pp. 185, 187)

We have analysed retrospectively the clinical features and electroencephalograms in 35 patients with complex partial seizures of temporal lobe origin who were seizure-free after epilepsy surgery. Two groups were differentiated for statistical analysis: 16 patients had hippocampal temporal lobe seizures (HTS) and 19 patients had extrahippocampal temporal lobe seizures (ETS) associated with a small tumour of the lateral or inferior temporal cortex. All patients in the HTS group had ictal onset verified with intracranial recordings (depth or subdural electrodes). In the ETS group, extrahippocampal onset was verified with intracranial recordings in eight patients and assumed, because of failure of a previous amygdalohippocampectomy, in one patient. Historical information, ictal semiology and ictal EEG of typical seizures were analysed in each patient. The occurrence of early and late oral automatisms and dystonic posturing of an upper extremity was analysed separately. A prior history of febrile convulsions was obtained in 13 HTS patients (81.3%) but in none with ETS (P < 0.0001, Fisher's exact test). An epigastric aura preceded seizures in five patients with HTS (31.3%) and none with ETS (P = 0.0135, Fisher's exact test), while an aura with experiential content was recalled by nine patients with ETS (47.4%) and none with HTS (P = 0.0015), Fisher's exact test). Early oral automatisms occurred in 11 patients with HTS (68.8%) and in two with ETS (10.5%) (P = 0.0005, Fisher's exact test). Early motor involvement of the contralateral upper extremity without oral automatisms occurred in three patients with HTS (18.8%) and in 10 with ETS (52.6%) (P = 0.0298, Fisher's exact test). Arrest reaction, vocalization, speech, facial grimace, postictal cough, late oral automatisms and late motor involvement of the contralateral arm and hand occurred with similar frequency in both groups. These observations show that the early clinical features of HTS and ETS are different.

(3 out of the 9 patients from the extrahippocampal TLE group had déjà vu experiences as part of their seizure auras (p. 187).  Altogether there were 35 TLE patients, so the incidence of 3 out of 35 results in an incidence of 9% [i.e., much lower than in the general population].)


Dreamy states and psychoses in temporal lobe epilepsy: mediating role of affect

Sengoku A, Toichi M, Murai T
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan

The Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences 51(1):23-6, 1997

Among 104 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy treated in our clinic between 1992-1995, thirteen patients with repeated dreamy states were evaluated for affective manifestations of dreamy states and their relationship with psychotic states. The types of dreamy states were classified as déjà vu, jamais vu and reminiscence. The affective experiences during dreamy states were evaluated as positive, negative or neutral. As a result, seven patients had déjà vu and/or reminiscence: seizure manifestations in four of these patients were affectively evaluated as positive (familiar and/or pleasurable), and three as neutral. Six cases had experience of jamais vu: five of them were affectively evaluated as negative (mostly fear), and one as neutral. Psychiatrically, only four patients with jamias vu accompanied by feelings of fear had mental disorders: a chronic paranoid-hallucinatory state in two cases, a chronic paranoid state in one case, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in one case. Other patients who had positive or neutral affect did not demonstrate psychiatric disturbances. Thus, most patients with jamais vu were accompanied by negative affect of fear, and those patients with jamais vu tended to show more psychotic symptoms than those with reminiscence or déjà vu, which were associated with positive or neutral affects. Based on these results, we discuss the possibility that repeated negative feelings associated with jamais vu are one of the causes for developing epileptic psychoses.


Transient sensations of impending loss of consciousness: the "blip" syndrome

Lance JW
Institute of Neurological Sciences, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 60(4):437-8, 1996

Momentary sensations of impending loss of consciousness may occur, particularly when a person is relaxed, without any obvious cardiac, cerebral vascular, or epileptic basis. These episodes may be a quasiepileptic phenomenon such as déjà vu and night starts and seem to have a benign prognosis.


Long-term subdural strip electrocorticographic monitoring of ictal déjà vu

Weinand ME, Hermann B, Wyler AR, Carter LP, Oommen KJ, Labiner D, Ahern G, Herring A
Department of Surgery, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson

Epilepsia 35(5):1054-9, 1994

We report a series of 8 patients with ictal déjà vu. Subdural strip electrocorticographic (ECoG) monitoring localized the ictal epileptogenic focus as follows: right (n = 6) and left (n = 2) mesiotemporal lobe. In all 8 patients, the left hemisphere was dominant for language function based on intracarotid amytal testing. In 6 right-handed patients, ictal déjà vu was associated with a right temporal lobe focus. However, in the 2 left-handed patients, the ictal focus was left temporal lobe. Although ictal déjà vu localizes the epileptic focus to temporal lobe, this experimental phenomenon appears to lateralize to the hemisphere nondominant for handedness.

Comment in:
Long-term subdural strip electrocorticographic monitoring of ictal deja vu [Epilepsia. 1995]


Anatomical origin of déjà vu and vivid 'memories' in human temporal lobe epilepsy

Bancaud J, Brunet-Bourgin F, Chauvel P, Halgren E
INSERM U 97, Centre Paul Broca, Paris, France

Brain 117 (Part 1):71-90, 1994

Jackson (Brain 1898; 21: 580-90) observed that seizures arising in the medial temporal lobe may result in a 'dreamy state', consisting of vivid memory-like hallucinations, and/or the sense of having previously lived through exactly the same situation (déjà vu). Penfield demonstrated that the dreamy state can sometimes be evoked by electrical stimulation of the lateral temporal neocortex, especially the superior temporal gyrus. Halgren et al. (Brain 1978; 101: 83-117) showed that the dreamy state can be evoked by stimulation of the hippocampal formation and amygdala and Gloor (Brain 1990; 113: 1673-94) has suggested that it is evoked by lateral stimulation only when the resulting after-discharge spreads medially. In order to resolve the relative importance of these areas, we considered the mental phenomena observed in epileptic patients with electrodes stereotaxically implanted into different brain areas for seizure localization prior to surgical treatment. Sixteen patients, all with seizures involving the temporal lobe, experienced the dreamy state either as a result of spontaneous seizures (nine dreamy states in six patients), or due to electrical stimulation (43 in 14) or to chemical activation (five in three). Déjà vu and hallucinations of scenes were often evoked by different stimulations of the same electrode in the same patient. As Jackson had also observed, the dreamy state could occur alone but was often associated with epigastric phenomena and fear, and followed by loss of contact and oro-alimentary automatisms, and then by simple gestural automatisms, all characteristic of partial seizures beginning in the medial temporal lobe. Furthermore, as also emphasized by Jackson, the dreamy state was seldom associated with sensory illusions. Stimulation of either the neocortex (15 occurrences), anterior hippocampus (17) or amygdala (10) could evoke a dreamy state. However, since fewer hippocampal and amygdala leads were stimulated than temporal neocortical, the proportion of medial temporal electrodes where dreamy states could be evoked was much higher than in the neocortex. Most responsive lateral temporal sites were located in the superior temporal gyrus, rather than the middle temporal gyrus which was significantly less responsive. In 85% of dreamy states evoked by medial temporal lobe stimulation, the discharge spread to the temporal neocortex; and in 53% of dreamy states evoked by lateral temporal stimulation, the discharge spread medially. Considering all dreamy states, the amygdala was involved (as the stimulated structure, or as the site of ictal- or after-discharge) in 73% of cases, the anterior hippocampus in 83% and the temporal neocortex in 88%.


Episodic Psychic Symptoms in the General Population

Ardila A, Nino CR, Pulido E, Rivera DB, and Vanegas CJ
Fundacion Universitaria Konrad Lorenz; and tInstituto Colombiano de Neuropsicologia, Bogota, Colombia

Epilepsia 34(1):133-140, 1993

The frequency of some episodic psychic symptoms (dysmnesic, perceptual, and experiential) was determined in a 2,500-subject general population sample. Correlations with some risk factors eventually associated with nervous system dysfunctions (seizure history, head injury, car accident, hospitalization, febrile illness, and birth injury) were calculated. Subjects with one or several risk factors were more likely to report episodic psychic phenomena in daily life. Significant correlations of episodic psychic phenomena with sleep disorders, headache, allergies, and a history of learning disabilities were observed. We propose that some subclinical dysfunctions can be associated with the appearance of episodic psychic phenomena in otherwise normal subjects.

(Déjà vu discussed on page 134.)


Neurobiological substrates of ictal behavioral changes

Gloor P

Advances in Neurology 55:1-34, 1991

(Déjà vu treated on pp. 8-9.  It is said that déjà vu always results from seizures or stimulation of the right temporal lobe and this has lateralization value (p. 9).  A EEG tracing made while a patient was having a déjà vu experience is shown in Fig. 3.)


Experiential phenomena of temporal lobe epilepsy: Facts and hypotheses

Gloor P

Brain 113 (pt 6):1673-1694, 1990

Experiential phenomena that occur in temporal lobe seizures and can be reproduced by electrical stimulation of temporal lobe structures typically encompass perceptual, mnemonic and affective features, either in combination or in isolation, which commonly relate to the patient's individual past experience. These phenomena raise interesting questions concerning brain mechanisms involved in human psychophysiology. The anatomical substrates for the evocation of these phenomena are widely distributed within the temporal lobe and include temporal isocortex and limbic structures (amygdala, hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus). Arguments are presented which indicate that experiential phenomena are positive expressions of temporal lobe and limbic function and do not result from its ictal paralysis. Recent concepts of parallel distributed processing (Rumelhart and McClelland, 1986) and the importance of parallel distributed cortical networks for higher cognitive functions (Goldman-Rakic, 1988a, b) provide a theoretical framework on which a hypothesis explaining experiential phenomena can be based. In conformity with these concepts the hypothesis assumes that temporal lobe epileptic discharge or electrical stimulation of temporal lobe structures can induce the elaboration of patterns of excitation and inhibition in widely distributed neuronal networks, some of which are capable of forming a specific matrix representing the substrate of a given experience. Neuronal networks engaged in parallel distributed processing (1) have the capacity to recreate the totality of a given experience when only a fragment of the network is activated, and (2) they tolerate a great deal of degradation by random inactivation of its components or by interference through random noise without serious loss of information content. These features are compatible with the assumption that localized epileptic neuronal discharge or electrical stimulation involving some temporal lobe structures could create a matrix representing features of individual experience of the kind activated in the course of temporal lobe seizures. Such an experience could, up to a certain limit, resist the degrading influence of mounting noise which inevitably must attend seizure discharge.

(Déjà vu appears on pp. 1674 and 1678.)


The neuropathology of everyday life: The frequency of partial seizure symptoms among normals

Roberts RJ, Varney NR, Hulbert JR, Paulsen JS, Richardson ED, Springer JA, Shepherd JS, Swan CM, Legrand JA, Harvey JH, Struchen MA, Hines ME

Neuropsychology 4(2):65-85, 1990

Investigated the phenomenology of partial seizure-like symptoms in 3 studies. Although the findings from Study 1 with 661 undergraduates and Study 2 with 435 undergraduates demonstrated that normal individuals do report experiencing partial seizure-like phenomena, such symptoms are quite infrequent. Increased levels of symptom reporting were observed in healthy young adults who had experienced various risk factors for cerebral dysfunction (e.g., loss of consciousness due to head trauma, severe febrile illness in adulthood or adolescence). In Study 3, 15 selected brain-injured patients reported a breadth and frequency of partial seizure-like symptomatology that surpassed the limits of normal variability. Findings support the proposition that experiencing of partial seizure phenomena can be conceptualized on a continuum ranging from a healthy, essentially symptom-free state to overt central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction with multiple partial seizure symptoms.

(In a pilot study, 87% of 484 undergraduate students stated they had experienced déjà vu. In a subsequent study of 392 undergraduate psychology students in a control group, 68.3% said they either had never had such experiences or had them less than once a month.  23.2% said they had them at least once per month.  6.4% said they had them at least once a week.  And 2% said they had them at least several times a week [Table 1, p. 69]. In a third study, the corresponding frequency values for 228 students were: 68.9%, 35.5%, 6.6%, and 1.3%.  0.4% maintained they had such experiences once a day and 0.4% said they had them more than once a day [Table 3, p. 75].)


Electroencephalographic validation of a temporal lobe signs inventory in a normal population

Makarec K, Persinger MA

Journal of Research in Personality 24:323-337, 1990

In two separate experiments 61 18- to 35-year-old part-time university students were given the Personal Philosophy Inventory (PPI) that contained items that infer temporal lobe lability. Alpha activity seconds per minute during a 10-min recording (equal intervals of eyes opened or eyes closed) were obtained from the temporal and occipital lobes for each subject. Positive, intermediate strength correlations were obtained between the total numbers of different temporal lobe signs as measured by the questionnaire and both the average amount (eyes closed) of the variability in α activity from the temporal but not the occipital lobes. The results support the construct validity of the temporal lobe signs inventory and suggest that a continuum of temporal lobe lability (as inferred from both experimential and electroencephalographic criteria) exists within the normal population.

(Déjà vu is mentioned as one of the experiences that TLE patients have. p. 323)


Psychiatric consequences of temporal lobectomy for intractable seizures: a 20-30-year follow-up of 14 cases

Stevens, J R 11
National Institute of Mental Health, Saint Elizabeth's Hospital, Washington, DC 20032.

Psychological medicine 20(3): 529-545, 1990


Between 1958 and 1968, 14 patients from the epilepsy clinic at the University of Oregon Hospitals and Clinics with a diagnosis of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) had a temporal lobectomy for medically intractable seizures. Nine of the 14 patients operated on remained seizure-free over the 20-30-year period of follow-up. Between 6 months and one year following temporal lobectomy, two women, previously healthy from a psychiatric standpoint, developed psychoses, and the previous psychiatric problems of four other patients worsened. Two patients, one with incapacitating paranoid personality disorder and the other with explosive rage attacks preoperatively, had marked improvement in their psychiatric status following temporal lobectomy. The remaining six patients, all psychiatrically healthy prior to surgery, have had no change in psychiatric status following surgery. Development of psychosis or deterioration in psychiatric status after surgery was more common in patients with later age of onset, unreality or déjà vu rather than epigastric aura, pre-operative evidence of bilateral brain damage, and persistence of EEG or clinical seizure activity. Development of a chronic psychosis in psychiatrically healthy individuals many months after temporal lobectomy, even when seizures are arrested or ameliorated, suggests that anomalous synaptic regeneration may follow the surgery in these cases. Careful analysis of histories and outcomes may contribute to better understanding of the pathophysiology and anatomical substrates of psychoses.


[Clinical aspects of paroxysmal states in children with depression] [Paper in Russian].

Mamtseva, V N

Zhurnal nevropatologii i psikhiatrii imeni S.S. Korsakova (Moscow, Russia : 1952) 89(8): 85-90, 1989


In 81 depressed children aged 3 to 14 years the nonepileptic attacks could manifest the different psychopathological phenomena: 1, headaches before and after spells, non-systemic vertigo with imbalance and oculovestibular events with or without loss of consciousness; 2, orthostatic symptoms, syncope, cataleptoid seizures, Kloos seizures; 3, depersonalization and derealization episodes, deja vu and jamais vu states; 4, attacks with pain in the stomach and other organs, various other autonomic signs; 5, unsteady neurological signs: pareses, sensory, visual and speech disorders; 6, nightmares, oneiroid states, sleep-walking; 7, convulsive states, hyperkinesis; 8, psychomotor excitation and inhibition states; 9, behavioral spells with aggression. These states are differentiated from epileptic and hysterical attacks.


Apparent complex partial seizures in a bipolar patient after withdrawal of carbamazepine

Garbutt JC, Gillette GM
Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 49(10): 410-1, 1988

A 64-year-old woman with long-standing bipolar illness was treated with carbamazepine and clonazepam with minimal success. Discontinuation of carbamazepine and clonazepam was followed by episodic amnesia, purposeless behavior, déjà vu, and confusion. Although her EEG was normal, the episodes were compatible with complex partial seizures and ceased after carbamazepine and clonazepam were reinstituted. This case raises the question of whether discontinuing carbamazepine and clonazepam can induce complex partial seizures in bipolar patients.


Temporal lobe epileptic signs and correlative behaviors displayed by normal populations

Persinger MA, Makarec K
Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory, Laurentian University. Canada .

The Journal of General Psvchology 114(2): 179-195, 1987

With regard to epileptic signs and correlative behaviors. one hypothesis is that the experiences and nonconvulsive behaviors of patients with electrical foci within the temporal lobe are also displayed. but with less intensity. by normal people. II this is correct, then there should be quantitative relationships between the numbers of major complex partial epileptic signs (CPES) and the occurrence of other frequent clinical experiences and behaviors. An inventory to answer this question was developed. Over a 3-year period, 414 (6 groups) university students were administered an inventory that included themes of CPES as well as control and information items. Strong correlations were consistently found between CPES scores and reports of paranormal (mystical. with religious overtones) experiences and "a sense of presence." Results from three personality (CPI. MMPI, and {PAT anxiety) inventories clearly demonstrated similar profiles. In addition to being more anxious, people who displayed higher CPES scores were more suspicious, aloof, stereotyped in their behavior. ruminative (overthinking), intellectually inefficient, and overly judgmental. CPES scores were significantly (p < .001) correlated with the schizophrenia and mania subscales of the MMPI. The results suggest that functional hyperconnectionisrn of cortical-limbic systems within the brain may be more prevalent in the normal population than previously suspected.

("Some of these experiences are remarkably similar to those that have been labeled paranormal or mystical henornena [Neppe, 1983; Persinger, 1983]. They include reports of deja vu, sensations of "a presence" [usually with mystical or religious overtones, leaving the body --mental diplopia; out-of-body experience], and precognition [knowing what is about to happen]. Frequently. the experiences are affected by situational context and modified by amnesia [Horowitz & Adams, 1970]." p. 180)


Partial psychic seizures and brain organization

Ardila A, Monta'jes P, Bernal B, Serpa A and Ruiz E
Instituto Neurologico de Colombia

International Journal of Neuroscience 30:23-32, 1986

This research was an attempt to determine the cerebral areas involved in focal epileptic seizures accompanied by psychic manifestations. Six types of partial seizures involving psychic symptomatology and phonatory seizures were included in the study. Sixty-one clinical records of focal epilepsy, which had been revealed by means of a CT-scan examination, were analyzed and a subsample of 25 patients with psychic symptoms was selected. The scans taken of the lesions were transferred to a six-level standard template built for this purpose. Subsequently, templates of patients with the same type of seizures were superimposed. The critical zones for the seven types of seizures studied are presented. A clear correlation was found between these results and our present knowledge of functional brain organization.

(Déjà vu discussed on page 25.)


Phenomenology of temporal lobe dysfunction: A link to atypical psychosis -- a series of cases

Tucker GJ, Price TRP, Johnson VB, McAllister T

Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 174:348-356, 1986

This report is a phenomenological study of 20 cases of temporal lobe disorders manifested as complex partial seizures. The major behavioral symptoms observed were episodic affective disturbances, episodic cognitive disturbances, and "spells," with normal functioning between episodes. The remarkable similarity of this phenomenology to what has been described as atypical or episodic psychosis provides a possible theoretical link to the etiology of atypical psychosis. These cases also establish atypical psychosis as an entity clearly different from the other major psychoses.

(Déjà vu is listed under the symptoms in 6 of the 20 cases.)


Temporal lobe signs and reports of subjective paranormal experiences in a normal population: A replication

Persinger MA, Valliant PM
Laurentian University

Perceptual and Molor Skills 60: 903-909, 1985

Correlations (r = 0.50) were found between the numbers of different psi (paranormal} experiences and the numbers of temporal lobe signs within a population of university students (n = 99). The strongest correlation of 0.60 occurred with a cluster of signs that are similar to symptoms reported by patients who show chronic foci in the mesiobasal temporal lobe. However, there were no significant correlations between numbers of different psi experiences and clusters of control items or a lie scale. Specific analyses of the 140 items of the inventory indicated only 23 reached statistical criterion (p < .001). Of these 17 were direct temporal lobe signs that implied deepened affect, auditory-vestibular experiences (vibrations, hearing one's name called), olfactory auras, perseveration ("forced" thinking), depersonalizarion, and sense of the personal. Five items involved beliefs about exotic phenomena or philosophical ideas. Only one item was from a control cluster, These results support the hypothesis that mystical or paranormal experiences are associated with transient electrical foci within the temporal lobe of the human brain. The repeated occurrence of these experiences within normal individuals may be embedded within a more complex symptomatology of temporal lobe signs.

(The results reported by Harper and Roth [1962] are referred to: "In 40% of the cases, features reminiscent of temporal lobe dysfunction, other than depersonalization, were present.  These symptoms included deja vu experiences or perceptual disorders such as olfactory or visual hallucinations."

And also: "Although temporal lobe epileptic patients showed more complete loss of consciousness than the group that displayed depersonalization syndrome, there were no differences between the two groups with respect to depersonalization, deja vu, formed hallucinations, illusions about bodily changes, and the idea of a 'presence.'  Between 25% and 50% of the members of either group reported these symptoms; unfortunately, there were no reference ['normal'] group comparisons.  The depersonalization group showed more frequent loss of feeling of familiarity and derealization that the group with epilepsy." p. 908)


[Unusual dreams in epileptics] [original in Russian]

Boldyrev AI

Zhurnal Nevropatologii i Psikhiatrii Imeni S.S. Korsakova 84(6):841-844, 1984

The author discusses bizarre dreams characteristic of epileptics and never occurring in normal subjects which have an important practical implication especially for early detection of epilepsy and the prevention of severe forms of the disease. This group of dreams includes vivid nightmares with vital fear, dreams not infrequently transforming into pro-dream states; persistently repeated stereotyped dreams and dreams with invariably the same unpleasant sensations representing an isolated aura of subsequent epileptic attacks. Diagnostically important may also be dreams with the symptoms of derealization and depersonalization, vague dream images and the deja vu phenomenon.


Psychomotor epileptic symptoms in six patients with bipolar mood disorders

Lewis DO, Feldman M, Greene M, Martinez-Mustardo Y

American Journal of Psychiatry 141:1583-6, 1984

Of 12 consecutive patients with bipolar mood disorders satisfying DSM- III criteria, six were discovered to have five or more psychomotor epileptic symptoms. All of the six had olfactory hallucinations, metamorphopsias, and multiple deja vu or mystical experiences. Each of them responded to lithium carbonate and had a first-degree relative with a bipolar disorder. The authors suggest that psychomotor symptoms may be more prevalent in bipolar patients than has hitherto been recognized.


Depth recorded limbic seizures and psychopathology

Wieser HG
Dept. of Neurology, EEG, University Hospital, CH-8091 Zürich, Switzerland

Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews  7(3): 427–440, 1983

Chronically performed stereotaxic depth recordings in medically intractable epileptics offer a unique chance to study the correlation of epileptic discharges with changes of higher mental functions as well as behavioral and emotional alterations. From a quantitative study using 213 complex partial seizures from 29 selected patients with partial drug resistant epilepsy and from the observation of other patients with well defined epileptic perturbations of the limbic system and related sensory brain areas a good correlation between ictal signs and chronotopographical seizure patterns was obtained. The special role of mesiobasal limbic structures, i.e., amygdala and hippocampus, and its connections to hypothalamic and frontobasal-cingulate areas is highlighted by tracing the seizures. It is concluded that besides the short-lived ictal abberations of mental state and emotional sphere (“psychical seizures”) also some of the more prolonged behavior and personality changes seen frequently in patients with bitemporal basal spike foci might be attributed to narrowly confined limbic seizure discharges or to a “limbic dyscontrol syndrome” based on the altered activity of limbic structures due to the spike foci.

(From Table 2 on page 430 we learn that out of 27 patients, 6 had déjà experiences as part of their seizure auras.  13 of the 27 had tumors and 3 of them had déjà experiences.)


Aura in temporal lobe epilepsy: Clinical and electroencephalographic correlation

Gupta AK, Jeavons PM, Hughes RC, Covanis A

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 46:1079-1083, 1983

Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy were evaluated for their aura and the site of EEG abnormality. Autonomic and psychic auras were more frequently associated with right-sided temporal lobe lesions in 290 patients.

(Déjà vu more often associated with right temporal lobe abnormalities [p. 1081].)


The role of the limbic system in experiential phenomena of temporal lobe epilepsy

Gloor P, Olivier A, Quesney LF, Andermann F, Horowitz S

Annals of Neurology 12(2):129-144, 1982

Experiential phenomena occurring in spontaneous seizures or evoked by brain stimulation were reported by 18 of 29 patients with medically intractable temporal lobe epilepsy who were investigated with chronic, stereotaxically implanted intracerebral electrodes. The phenomena mainly consisted of perceptual (visual or auditory) hallucinations or illusions, memory flashbacks, illusions of familiarity, forced thinking, or emotions. Experiential phenomena did not occur unless a seizure discharge or electrical stimulation involved limbic structures. For such phenomena to occur, seizure discharge or electrical stimulation did not have to implicate temporal neocortex. This was true even for perceptual experiential phenomena. Many experiential responses elicited by electrical stimulation, particularly when applied to the amygdala, were not associated with electrical afterdischarge. Limbic activation by seizure discharge or electrical stimulation may add an affective dimension to perceptual and mnemonic data processed by the temporal neocortex, which may be required for endowing them with experiential immediacy.

(An EEG recording of a patient having a déjà vu experience.  p. 133.  See Fig. 3 on p. 134.)


The lateralising significance of hypergraphia in temporal lobe epilepsy

Roberts, J K; Robertson, M M; Trimble, M R

Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 45(2): 131-138, 1982


Six patients with hypergraphia and epilepsy are presented and their clinical features compared with other patients reported in the literature. It is suggested that hypergraphia occurs more frequently in patients with right-sided non-dominant temporal lobe lesions, in contrast for example to the schizophreniform presentation of left-sided lesions. Other features of psychopathology possibly associated with non-dominant lesions, including elation, hypereligiosity and déjà vu experiences, are also discussed.


Neuropsychiatric and electroencephalographic aspects in the diagnosis of complex partial seizures

Remick RA, Wada JA, Miles JE

Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 26(2):49-52, 1981

The authors review from a psychiatric perspective some of the elect roencephalographic techniques that may assist the clinician in diagnosing comple x partial seizures (temporal lobe epilepsy). Routine scalp electroencephalograms may not detect temporal lobe EEG abnormalities, leading to the false impression of pseudo or hysterical seizures. Knowledge of the advantages of a sleep recording, specialized EEG electrodes (nasopharyngeal, sphenoidal), and natural or pharmacological activation techniques will increase one's diagnostic acumen. The authors discuss the appropriate use of these methods and their relevance to psychiatry.

(The authors report on four cases.  The patient in case 3 had "a 10 year history of déjà vu episodes." p. 51)


The uncinate focus and dreaming

Epstein AW, Freeman NR

Epilepsia 22(5):603-5, 1981

The relationship of uncinate epilepsy to the dreaming process is illustrated by a case study in which an identical olfactory sensation appeared in both daytime and nocturnal dreams.

(Déjà vu is mentioned on p. 605)


Is déjà vu a symptom of temporal lobe epilepsy?

Neppe VM

South African Medical Journal 60(23):907-8, 1981

The definition and conceptualization of the déjà vu phenomenon are interpreted in various ways. The common occurrence of déjà vu is the general population stresses the need for the development of specific qualitative features which will be valuable in the diagnosis of temporal lobe epilepsy.


Psychische Störungen bei Epilepsien

Fröscher W

Zeitschrift für Allgemeinmedizin 55:488-496, 1979

Psychische Störungen bei Epilepsien sind nicht selten.  Man beobachtet dieselben organischen Psychosyndrome wie sonst bei körperliche begründbaren Psychosen.  Sie können als Prodomi von Anfällen, als Anfallssymptom, postkonvulsiv und im anfallsfreien intervall auftreten. Für das therapeutische Vorgehen besonders wichtig ist die Kenntnis der Alternativpsychosen, der pharmakogenem Durchgangssyndrome und des Petit-mal-Status.  Reaktive psychische Veränderungen wie depressive Verstimmungen mit Minderwertigkeitengefühlen sind die Folge realer Benachteiligungen in vielen Lebensbereichen.  Wichtigstes Therapieziel ist auch bei diesen Patienten die Erlangen von Anfallsfreiheit.

Psychological disorders are not seldom in epilepsies.  One observes the same organic psychological syndromes as otherwise [seen] in soma-based psychoses. They can occur as prodomal [stages] of seizures, as seizure symptoms, post-convulsions and in seizure-free intervals.  Especially important for therapeutic procedures is the knowledge of alternative psychoses, the pharmagenetic transition syndromes and the petit-mal status.  Reactive psychological alterations such as depressive moods with inferiority feelings are the consequence of real disadvantages in many areas of life.  Also with these patients, the most important aim of therapy is achieving freedom from seizures.]

(Déjà vu treated on p. 489.)


Relationship of hallucinations to the depth structures of the temporal lobe

Weingarten SM, Cherlow DG, Halgren E

Under: Neurosurgical Treatment. In Psychiatry, Pain and Epilepsy, W. H. Sweet, S. Obrador and J. G. Martin-Rodriguez (eds.), Baltimore: University Park Press, 1976

(This paper reports the results of recordings and stimulations via electrodes "placed bilaterally in the depth structures of the temporal lobe as well as over the calvarium to monitor the electrical activity of the brain during the ictal and interictal states."  The patients "suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy intractable to intensive pharmacologic regimens."  The table on pages 562-3 shows that 5 patients [19 stimulations] reported déjà vu feelings.)


Psychische Veränderungen bei Epilepsien [Psychological alterations in epilepsy] [Article in German]

Hebenstreit G

Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift 125:360-4, 1975

(Déjà vu, déjà entendu, and déjà vécu experiences are mentioned as examples of "dreamy states" in psychomotor seizures. p. 360.)


Ictal clinical manifestations of complex partial seizures

Daly DD

Advances in Neurology 11:57-83, 1975

(Déjà vu treated on pp. 69-70 and includes a quotation of the famous passage from David Copperfield.)


Temporal lobe epilepsy: Its possible contribution to the understanding of the functional significance of the  amygdala and of its interaction with neocortical-temporal mechanisms

Gloor P

In: The Neurobiology of the Amygdala, Basil E. Eleftheriou (ed.). Plenum Press, NY, 1972, pp. 423-457

(Examples of déjà vu during TLE seizures are given on pp. 441-3.)


Clinical course and prognosis of temporal lobe epilepsy

Currie A, Heathfield KWG, Henson RA, Scott DF

Brain 94:173-190, 1971

(The authors included a survey of 666 TLE patients and report a 14% incidence of déjà vu.)


Temporal lobe epilepsy

Reef HE

The Leech 40:63-5, 1970

("In these seizures the patient suddenly experiences a disturbance of normal thought processes when strange illusions or hallucinations dominate his mental state. He may feel as if he is in a dream and he is usually temporarily out of touch with his surroundings during the attack. The most typical example is the "deja vu" attack in which there is a feeling of familiarity when in strange surroundings or situations. Deja vu means 'already seen'. This same familiarity with the unfamiliar may also apply to other situations. While listening to a speech, the patient may suddenly get a feeling as if he has heard it all before. On meeting a strange person, there is a sudden feeling of knowing the face and having been introduced before. A variety of deja vu is a feeling of reliving events from the past. These sensations occur in normal people but infrequently with different patterns each time. When they occur frequently with the same recurring pattern each time then a temporal lobe disorder should be suspected." p. 63)


Memory disorders and the temporal lobe

Whitty CWM

Chapter 9 in: Current Problems in Neuropsychiatry, Schizophrenia, Epilepsy, and the Temporal Lobe.  R. N. Herrington (ed.), Special publication (no. 4) of the British Journal of Psychiatry, 1969, pp. 55-59

(Déjà vu is mentioned twice in connection with symptoms of temporal lobe epilepsy. pp. 57, 58)


The clinical neurology of temporal lobe disorders

Simpson JA

Chapter 7 in: Current Papers in Neuropsychiatry: Schizophrenia, Epilepsy, The Temporal Lobe. R. N. Harrington (ed.), Headley Brothers, Ltd., Kent, 1969, pp. 42-8

(Also published as British Journal of Psychiatry, Special Publication no. 4)

("If a pattern of stimuli evokes the 'coincidence' or 'déjà vu' response it will appear familiar even if it is completely novel. ... Note that although some record of previous stimuli must be available in the nervous system it does not need to be localized, but the phenomena of temporal lobe epilepsy suggest that this area has important coincidence detection circuits." p. 46)


Dreamy states

Janz D

In: Die Epilepsien: Spezielle Pathologie und Therapie, Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart, 1969, pp. 180-7

(He writes that déjà vu, jamais vu, déjà entendu, déjà vécu, déjà raconté and déjà  éprouvé do not normally occur at the same time.  He adds that the first ones are more prevalent than the latter ones. p. 181)


Interhemispheric integration of identity relationships

Groh LA

Psychiatria, Neurologia, Neurochirurgia 71(2): 185-191, 1968

A concept of identity formation as an integrating and creative dominant-recessive or conscious and unconscious ego formulation is evident in the behavioral relationships between the group and its leader, between the individual and society as expressed in the media of culture, and in the individual's bipersonal or self-god relationships. In epileptics with deja vu auras the frequency of origination of this identity aura within the temporal lobe or associated frontal lobe areas in the hemisphere that is recessive for handedness suggests that this phenomenon is a dual consciousness of recessive identity content. Certain dreams and anxiety state and fatigue identity auras as well as the various forms of schizophrenia and creative gifts are also shown to be expressions of this dominant-recessive integration or failure of integration. Other possible modes of expression of this ordinarily interdependent identity relationship are the creative spiritual values of faith, hope, and love and the destructive results of a perversion of this relationship with the relatively disorganized recessive identity in unchecked dominant control of behavior rather than being realized through an integral function of the usual dominant identity area. It is likely that there are inborn variations in the degree of dominance for identity and instances of ambivalence of function.


Memory changes induced by stimulation of hippocampus or amygdala in epilepsy patients with implanted electrodes

Chapman LF, Walter RD, Markham CH, Rand RW, Crandall PH

Transactions of the American Neurological Association 92:50-6, 1967

(Déjà vu mentioned on p. 50.)


Deja vu in temporal lobe epilepsy

Cole M, Zangwill OL

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 26:37-8, 1963

(This two-page paper is available on-line at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC495533/ )


Über Störungen des Zeiterlebens in der epileptischen Aura [About disorders of time experience in the epileptic aura] [Book in German]

Hallen O

In: Zeit in nervenärtzlicher Sicht, Georg Schaltenbrand (ed.), Ferdinand Enke Verlag, Stuttgart, 1963, pp. 104-111

(Déjà vu seldom among epilepsy patients: 6 out of 2940. p. 106)


Temporal lobe epilepsy and the phobic anxiety-depersonalization syndrome.  Part 1: A comparative study

Harper M, Roth M

Comprehensive Psychiatry 3(3):129-151, 1962

(Unless other features are taken into account, the mere presence of déjà vu [d.v.] sensations "cannot be regarded as establishing a diagnosis in a doubtful case" of either phobic anxiety-depersonalization syndrome [P.A.D.S.] or temporal lobe epilepsy [T.L.E.] [p. 138].  Table 5 on p. 139 shows that out of 30 cases of P.A.D.S., 12 had d.v. experiences and, out of 30 cases of T.L.E., 7 had such experiences.  This difference was not significant.)


Psychomotor (psychic, temporal) epilepsy

Lennox WG, Lennox MA

In: Epilepsy and Related Disorders, Little Brown & Co., Boston, 1960

(Various accounts of déjà vu experiences among temporal lobe epileptic patients are related. pp. 244-5, 274-9, 284-5. On p. 276, the authors wrote: "Déjà vu [already seen], déjà vécu [already lived], déjà raconté [already told], déjà éprouvé [already tested], and déjà entendu [already heard]; these various French words distinguish the different manifestations of a peculiar experience which many persons with temporal epilepsy report. However, "déjà vu" is commonly used for any and all of these subjective phenomena.")


"Psychomotor" or "temporal lobe" epilepsy

DeJong RN

Neurology 7(1):1-14, 1957

(This paper contains several references to déjà vu, reminiscence and dreamy states.)


Ictal depression and anxiety in temporal lobe disorders

Weil AA

American Journal of Psychiatry 113:149-157, 1956

(Déjà vu occurred in the auras of 2 patients.)


O sintoma do ja-visito e epilepsia temporal [The déjà visité symptom and temporal epilepsy] [Article in Portuguese]

Lopes JL, Barbosa RT, Fernandes I

Jornal Brasileiro de Neurologia 8(1-2):1-16, 1956

1) A patient with psychomotor epilepsy of the "deja-vu" variety has been studied by the authors.
2) A focal dysrythmic alteration of the temporal lobe has been confirmed by the electrocorticography [sic]
3) The remotion [removal?] from the alterated [altered] temporal lobe has produced a normalization of the EEG
4) After two months, the crises have lessened in frequency and intensity and the personal behavior is must [much] improved.


Clinical applications of EEG in psychiatry

Hill D

Journal of Mental Science 102:264-271, 1956

(He says that epileptic déjà vu tends to be brief and momentary. p. 271)


Psychical seizures

Penfield W, Jasper H

Chapter 11 in: Epilepsy and the Functional Anatomy of the Human Brain. Little, Brown & Co., Boston, 1954

("He has the feeling that he remembers his present environment, that he has been here before or has experienced all this at another time.  This is quite a common illusion, a sense of false familiarity.  It has been called the 'already seen,' or the 'déjà vu' phenomenon."  p. 439)


Das oral-petit mal. Beschreibung und Zergliederung der als uncinate-fit (Jackson) und psychomotor-fit (Lennox) bezeichneten epileptischen Äquivilante [The oral-petit seizure. Description and analysis of the epileptic equivalents that are designated as being uncinate seizures (Jacksion) and psychomotor seizures (Lennox)] [Article in German]

Hallen O

Deutsche Zeitschrift f. Nervenheilkunde 171:236-260, 1954

(Déjà vu experiences of epileptics are described. pp. 253-6)


Observations on epileptic automatism in a mental hospital population

Liddell DW

Journal of Mental Science 99:732-748, 1953

1. The history of temporal lobe epilepsy is reviewed
2. The epileptic population of the hospital was investigated clinically and retro-encephalographically as a probable source of temporal lobe dysfunction
3. A temporal lobe focus in the E.E.G. was found to occur in 50 per cent. of the epileptic population, and in 78 per cent. of the patients was associated with a clinical automatism.
4. Association of personality disturbances and automatism was noted.

(Kinnier Wilson [1928] classified the dreamy states in four main groups:
1. The familiarity or déjà vu type
2. Unfamiliarity, strangeness or unreality type
3. The "Panoramic memory" type
4. The incomplete or abortive type. p. 734)

SAK Wilson Modern Problems in Neutology, 1928


Epileptic anamnesis

Hill D, Mitchell W

Folia psychiatrica, neurologica et neurochirurgica Neerlandica 56:718-725, 1953

(Instances of déjà vu as part of seizure auras are included in the case studies they present.  pp. 722-3)


So-called "psychomotor" and "temporal" epilepsy

Gastaut H

Epilepsia 2(11):59-76, 1953

(On page 62 déjà vu mentioned as an ictal symptom; there is extensive discussion of this paper in the pages that follow it.)


Memory mechanisms

Penfield W

American Medical Association Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry 67:178-191, 1952

("It should be pointed out that the temporal cortex is obviously utilized in the interpretation of current experience.  Every clinician is aware that minor epileptic seizures which involve the temporal region may produce misinterpretation, an illution of interpretation.  For example, the patient may have the sudden feeling that this has all happened before, the déjà vu phenomenon.

"Illusions of this and other types may be produced by stimulation of the temporal cortex, as well as by local epileptic discharge.  The disturbance produced is one of judgment in regard to present experience -- a judgment that the experience is familiar, or strange, or absurd; that distances and sizes are altered, and even that the present situation is terrifying." p. 190)


Epilepsy in association with intracranial tumour

Lund M

Acta Psychiatrica et Neurologica Scandinavica Suppl. No. 81:1-149, 1952

(The paper includes a section on the dreamy state with clinical examples. The classification scheme of SA Kinnier Wilson is cited. pp. 57-64)

SAK Wilson, Problems of Modern Neurology, 1928, p. 51.


Phenomena and correlates of the psychomotor triade

Lennox WG

Neurology 1:357-371, 1951

(Of 414 patients [538 seizure patterns], 7% exhibited déjà vu/dreamy states. p. 365)


Psychomotor Epilepsy: Types of paroxysmal syndromes

Gibbs EL, Gibbs FA, Fuster B

Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry 60(4): 331-339, 1948

(Of 300 patients with psychomotor seizure discharge, 4 [1.3%] had déjà vu experiences. p. 337)


Dreamy states, epileptic aura, depersonalisation and psychastenic fits: A few comments and reflections

Antoni N

Acta psychiatrica et neurologica 21(1-3):1-20, 1946

(Déjà vu is mentioned on pp. 9, 12, 16, and 17. He wrote "Little is gained ... by calling a simple déjà-vu phenomenon epileptoid and, for that matter, it would not be entirely suitable, for this phenomenon is so common, even in healthy persons. [page 17])


Paroxysmal disturbances of consciousness in verified localized brain affections with special regard to the so-called "dreamy states"

Hermann K, Strömgren E

Acta Psychiatrica et Neurologica 19:175-194, 1944

(They reviewed the clinical material of 644 epilepsy patients [358 men and 286 women] that had been admitted to the Department of Neurosurgery of the Rigshospital, Copenhagen. There were a total of 63 cases of temporal lobe epilepsy. Of those, 3 males and 5 females exhibited increased recognition as part of their seizure auras.  Déjà vu is mentioned in this connection on p. 188.)


Aura in epilepsy: A statistical review of 1,359 cases

Lennox WG, Cobb S

Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry 30:374-387, 1933

(Of 750 patients reporting auras, 1 had a "sense of having seen" and 1 had a dreamy state [first part of Table 3 on p. 380])


Selected Writings of John Hughlings Jackson

Hughlings Jackson J

James Taylor (ed.), Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd., Vol. 1, 1931

("The dreamy state in the uncinate group of epileptics varies very much in different cases. In A. B. it was the peculiar intellectual state which many healthy people or people slightly out of health have occasionally -- Reminiscence. It is quite evident tha tin some slight epileptic paroxysms with the dreamy state -- in all of them, I believe -- there is a kind of double consciousness -- a 'mental diplopia'." p. 467-8)


Zur Symptomatologie der Erkrankungen des rechten Schläfenlappens [Concerning the symptomatology of diseases of the right temporal lobe] [Article in German]

Hauptmann A

Deutsche Zeitschrift für Nervenheilkunde 117-119(1):170-183, 1931

Es wird über einen Tumor des rechten Schläfenlappens berichtet, der 11 Jahre lang nur petit-malartige Zustände machte, ehe lokalisierte und Hirndruck-Symptome auftraten. Die Lokalsymptome ließen eher an einen basalen Tumor denken. Hemianopsie sollte den Verdacht auf eine Beteiligung des Temporallappens lenken. Temporallappen-Tumoren machen röntgenologisch nachweisbare Veränderungen am Felsenbein. Mikropsie-Makropsie und déjà-vu-Zustände sind Ausdruck einer Affektion des Schläfenlappens.

Here we report on a tumor on the right temporal lobe that for 11 years only produced petit-mal-type conditions, where more localized and cerebral pressure symptoms occurred.  The local symptoms gave one to suspect a basal tumor.  An hemiaopsy should lead one to suspect an involvement of the temporal lobe.  Temporal lobe tumors make alterations in the petrous bone visible in x-rays. Microscopy-makroscopy and déjà vu states are expressions of an affection of the temporal lobe.]


Nervous semeiology, with special reference to epilepsy

Wilson SAK

British Medical Journal July 12, 1930 pp. 50-54

("An intelligent lady of 32 suffers. from attacks wlhich belong to the uncinate variety of so-called idiopathic epilepsy, and are characterized by a 'dreamy state' aura with a strong feeling of familiarity or déjà vu; in her own words, 'Ifeel as if my mind and my body are coming apart'; or again, 'I can see myself walking in the garden as if my mind were looking at myself from afar.' This peculiar mental state is accompanied by a defilnite feelinig of pleasure, so much so that at first the patient used to welcome tile sensation as a 'dream of delight'; the precise pleasurable element, however, she has never been able to specify. At a later stage the fits became few and far between, andl confined largely to the briefest of déjà vu auras without any pleasurable component; for nine years now she has had none at all." p. 52)


The psychical components of temporal (uncinate) epilepsy

Wilson SAK

Chapter IV in: Modern Problems in Neurology. London: Edward Arnold & Co., 1928, pp. 51-75

(In this book chapter, the author provided excellent overviews of what he found to be four main types of the Jacksonian "dreamy state":

I. The "familiarity" or "déjà vu" type
II. The "unfamiliarity," "strangeness," or "unreality" type
III. The "panoramic memory" type
IV. The incomplete or abortive type.  p. 53)


(a case report)

Collin M

L'Encéphale 8:93-94, 1913

(He reports on a case of a young woman suffering from epilepsy who has déjà vu experiences.)

(There is a discussion by G. Ballet, the journal editor, where he distinguishes between déjà percu [already perceived] and déjà vécu [already experienced or lived through].)


The symptomatology of temporosphenoidal tumors

Kennedy F

The Archives of Internal Medicine 8:317-350, 1911

(He includes descriptions of Jacksonian dreamy states occurring in connection with what is now known as temporal lobe epilepsy. pp. 325-7)


"Psychosyndrom" bei temporaler Schädigung ["Psychosyndrome" in cases of temporal lobe damage] [Book in German]

Berner P

Section 3.2 in: Psychiatrische Systematik: Ein Lehrbuch. Verlag Hans Huber, Bern, 1911

(Déjà vu, déjà vécu and déjà entendu mentioned in connection with derealization and depersonalization occurring in TLE seizure auras on p. 227.  Déjà vu is mentioned in connection with Jacksonian "dreamy states" on p. 262.)


The Hughlings-Jackson lecture on special sense discharges from organic disease

Gowers WR

Brain 32:303-326, 1910

("Precurrence" or already experienced before mentioned on p. 307.)


The cerebral centers for taste and smell and the unciate group of fits

Mills CK

Journal of the American Medical Association 51:879-885, 1908

(This is basically a case report; Jacksonian dreamy states are mentioned. p. 882)


Das Grenzgebiet der Epilepsie

Gowers WR

F. Deuticke Verlag, Leipzig, 1908

(See p. 21.)


Two cases illustrating points in the diagnosis of tumour or other lesion of the unciate region of the temporo-sphenoidal lobe

Buzzard T

The Lancet June 30, 1906 pp. 1807-10

(He mentions a case in which a woman tells of false recognition during a "dreamy state".)


Two cases illustrating points in the diagnosis of tumour or other lesion of the uncinate region of the temporo-sphenoidal lobe

Buzzard T

The Lancet, June 30, 1906, pp. 1807-1810

(He mentions a case in which a woman tells of false recognition during a "dreamy state".)


Epileptic attacks with a warning of a crude sensation of smell and with the intellectual aura (dreamy state) in a patient who had symptoms pointing to gross organic disease of the right temporo-sphenoidal lobe

Hughlings-Jackson J, Stewart P

Brain  22:534-549, 1899

("This smell was succeeded by what is commonly called an intellectual aura (dreamy state), in which -- to use his own words -- he 'felt as if he were saying, doing, and looking at things which he had experienced before.'" p. 535)


Case of epilepsy with tasting movements and "dreamy state" -- very small patch of softening in the left uncinate gyrus

Hughlings-Jackson J, Colman WS

Brain 21:580-590, 1898

("He had that variety of dreamy state I call 'reminiscence'; he called it 'recollection.' In his slight attacks there was, he told me, a sentence in his mind which was as if remembered.  For example, if anyone was at the same time speaking to him it would be as if he (Z) were trying to remember it, as if were familiar, but yet he could not remember it." p. 581)


Dreamy mental states

Crichton-Browne J

The Lancet, July 6, 1895, pp. 1-5, 74-75

(He includes an excellent review of the literature [of that time] about dreamy states on pp. 1-2.)


On a particular variety of epilepsy ("intellectual aura"), one case with symptoms of organic brain disease

Hughlings-Jackson J

Brain 11:179-207, 1889

("I would never, in spite of Quaerens' case, diagnose epilepsy from the paroxysmal occurrence of "reminiscence" without other symptoms, although I would suspect epilepsy." p. 186)


On right or left-sided spasm

Hughlings Jackson J

Brain 3:192-206, 1880-1

("I speak first of certain highly elaborate mental states, sometimes called 'intellectual aurae.'  I submit that the term 'intellectual aura' is not a good one. The state is often like that occasionally experienced by healthy people as a feeling of 'reminiscence,' that on which Coleridge, Tennyson, Dickens, and many others have written.  It is sometimes called 'dreamy feelings,' or is described as 'dreams mixing up with present thoughts,' 'double consciousness,' 'feeling of being somewhere else,' 'as if I went back to all that occurred in my childhood.'" pp. 199-200)


Notes on Cases of Diseases of the Nervous System

Hughlings-Jackson J

Medical Times and Gazette Dec. 23, 1876, pp. 700-2

("The elaborate mental state, or so-called intellectual aura, is always the same, or essentially the same, for each case. "Old scenes revert."  "I feel in some strange place" (a boy expressed it -- in a strange country") - "A dreamy state." "A panorama of something familiar and yet strange." "If I were walking along and had a fit , I should think 'Oh, I saw that before!'"  Such a feeling of reminiscence is not very uncommon." p. 702)


A prognostic and therapeutic indication in epilepsy


The Practioner 4:284-5, 1870

(The author quoted examples of déjà vu from Coleridge, Tennyson and Dickens but then contends that it must represent a "disturbance of brain function."  He said he had had such experiences in his boyhood and now was "subject to occasional epilepsy".  He thus felt doctors should be sensitized to this as a possible early indication of an epileptic disorder.)


Doppelwahrnehmungen [Double perceptions] [Article in German]

Jensen J

Archiv für Psychiatrie 4:547-558, 1874

(He discusses a case of epilepsy with double perception [déjà vu] and bases his ideas on the fact that we have two cerebral hemispheres.)

Section five: Déjà experiences associated with psychiatric pathology

Pathologies of hyperfamiliarity in dreams, delusions and déjà vu.

Gerrans P.

Frontiers in Psychology 5:97,
2014 doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00097. eCollection 2014.

The ability to challenge and revise thoughts prompted by anomalous experiences depends on activity in right dorsolateral prefrontal circuitry. When activity in those circuits is absent or compromised subjects are less likely to make this kind of correction. This appears to be the cause of some delusions of misidentification consequent on experiences of hyperfamiliarity for faces. Comparing the way the mind responds to the experience of hyperfamiliarity in different conditions such as delusions, dreams, pathological and non-pathological déjà vu, provides a way to understand claims that delusions and dreams are both states characterized by deficient "reality testing."


Schizophrenia and the paranormal: more psi belief and superstition, and less déjà vu in medicated schizophrenic patients.

Shiah YJ1, Wu YZ2, Chen YH3, Chiang SK4.

1Graduate Institute of Counseling Psychology and Rehabilitation Counseling, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan. Electronic address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
2Graduate Institute of Psychology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan.
3Integrated Brain Research Unit, Division of Clinical Research, Department of Medical Research, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan; Laboratory of Integrated Brain Research Unit, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.
4Clinical and Counseling Psychology Department, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan.

Comprehensive Psychiatry 55(3):688-92,
2014 doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2013.11.003. Epub 2013 Nov 7.


The present study examined the relation between déjà vu experiences and paranormal beliefs in schizophrenic patients.

A total of 522 participants (54.5% female; mean age=33.3, SD=16.02) were recruited, including 422 healthy adults (60.9% female; mean age=29.48, SD=15.07) and 100 medicated adult schizophrenic patients (27.3% female; mean age=48.98, SD=8.57). The Chinese version of the Inventory of Déjà-vu Experiences Assessment was created via back translation. Chinese versions of the Revised Paranormal Belief Scale (CRPB), Beck Anxiety Inventory (CBAI), and Perceived Stress Scale (CPSS) were also used.

After controlling for age, gender, education, and anxiety, the results supported the following three hypotheses. Schizophrenic persons have fewer déjà vu experiences than normal persons. These experiences are positively related to paranormal beliefs in healthy adults but not in schizophrenic patients. Schizophrenic patients have higher scores than healthy adults on the psi and superstitious subscales of the CRPB.


AWARE - AWAreness during REsuscitation - A prospective study

Parnia S1, Spearpoint K2, de Vos G3, Fenwick P4, Goldberg D5, Yang J5, Zhu J5, Baker K4, Killingback H6, McLean P7, Wood M7, Zafari AM8, Dickert N8, Beisteiner R9, Sterz F9, Berger M9, Warlow C10, Bullock S10, Lovett S11, McPara RM12, Marti-Navarette S13, Cushing P14, Wills P15, Harris K4, Sutton J16, Walmsley A17, Deakin CD4, Little P4, Farber M18, Greyson B19, Schoenfeld ER5.

1 Stony Brook Medical Center, State University of New York at Stony Brook, NY, USA. Electronic address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
2 Hammersmith Hospital Imperial College, University of London, UK.
3 Montefiore Medical Center, New York, USA.
4 University Hospital Southampton, Southampton, UK.
5 Stony Brook Medical Center, State University of New York at Stony Brook, NY, USA.
6 Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Bournemouth, UK.
7 St Georges Hospital, University of London, UK.
8 Emory University School of Medicine & Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Atlanta, USA.
9 Medical University of Vienna, Austria.
10 Northampton General Hospital, Northampton, UK.
11 Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK.
12 Cedar Sinai, USA.
13 Croydon University Hospital, UK.
14 James Paget Hospital, UK.
15 Ashford & St Peters NHS Trust, UK.
16 Addenbrookes Hospital, University of Cambridge, UK.
17 East Sussex Hospital, East Sussex, UK.
18 Indiana University, Wishard Memorial Hospital, Indianapolis, USA.
19 University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Resuscitation Oct 6. 2014     pii: S0300-9572(14)00739-4.
doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.09.004. [Epub ahead of print]

Cardiac arrest (CA) survivors experience cognitive deficits including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is unclear whether these are related to cognitive/mental experiences and awareness during CPR. Despite anecdotal reports the broad range of cognitive/mental experiences and awareness associated with CPR has not been systematically studied.

The incidence and validity of awareness together with the range, characteristics and themes relating to memories/cognitive processes during CA was investigated through a 4 year multi-center observational study using a three stage quantitative and qualitative interview system. The feasibility of objectively testing the accuracy of claims of visual and auditory awareness was examined using specific tests. The outcome measures were (1) awareness/memories during CA and (2) objective verification of claims of awareness using specific tests.

Among 2060 CA events, 140 survivors completed stage 1 interviews, while 101 of 140 patients completed stage 2 interviews. 46% had memories with 7 major cognitive themes: fear; animals/plants; bright light; violence/persecution; deja-vu; family; recalling events post-CA and 9% had NDEs, while 2% described awareness with explicit recall of 'seeing' and 'hearing' actual events related to their resuscitation. One had a verifiable period of conscious awareness during which time cerebral function was not expected.

CA survivors commonly experience a broad range of cognitive themes, with 2% exhibiting full awareness. This supports other recent studies that have indicated consciousness may be present despite clinically undetectable consciousness. This together with fearful experiences may contribute to PTSD and other cognitive deficits post CA.


Disordered recognition memory: Recollective confabulation

Moulin CJ
Laboratoire d'Etude de l'Apprentissage et du Développement, CNRS UMR 5022, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France.  E-mail: christopher.moulin a u-bourgogne.fr

Cortex 30(2):1-12, 2013     pii: S0010-9452(13)00031-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2013.01.010. [Epub ahead of print]

Recollective confabulation (RC) is encountered as a conviction that a present moment is a repetition of one experienced previously, combined with the retrieval of confabulated specifics to support that assertion. It is often described as persistent déjà vu by family members and caregivers. On formal testing, patients with RC tend to produce a very high level of false positive errors. In this paper, a new case series of 11 people with dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and with déjà vu-like experiences is presented. In two experiments the nature of the recognition memory deficit is explored. The results from these two experiments suggest - contrary to our hypothesis in earlier published case reports - that recollection mechanisms are relatively spared in this group, and that patients experience familiarity for non-presented items. The RC patients tended to be overconfident in their assessment of recognition memory, and produce inaccurate assessments of their performance. These findings are discussed with reference to delusions more generally, and point to a combined memory and metacognitive deficit, possibly arising from damage to temporal and right frontal regions. It is proposed that RC arises from a metacognitive error; an attempt to justify inappropriate feelings of familiarity which leads to false recognition.


Dream experience and a revisionist account of delusions of misidentification

Gerrans P
Department of Philosophy, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia  E-mail: philip.gerrans a adelaide.edu.au

Consciousness and Cognition 21(1):217-227, 2012     doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2011.11.003

Standard accounts of delusion explain them as responses to experience. Cognitive models of feature binding in the face recognition systems explain how experiences of mismatch between feelings of "familiarity" and faces can arise. Similar mismatches arise in phenomena such as déjà and jamais vu in which places and scenes are mismatched to feelings of familiarity. These cognitive models also explain similarities between the phenomenology of these delusions and some dream states which involve mismatch between faces, feelings of familiarity and identities. Given these similarities it makes sense to retain that aspect of the standard account in the face of revisionist arguments that feature binding anomalies which lead to delusions of misidentification are not consciously experienced.


Persistent déjà vu associated with hyperperfusion in the entorhinal cortex

Takeda Y, Kurita T, Sakurai K, Shiga T, Tamaki N, Koyama T
Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Kitaku, Sapporo, Japan.  E-mail: ytakeda a med.hokudai.ac.jp

Epilepsy & Behavior 21(2):196-9, 2011

Déjà vu is a common experience among the normal population. However, in individuals with temporal lobe epilepsy, it often occurs as a seizure manifestation. The specific cause of such déjà vu is not yet known. Here, we report a case of epilepsy with persistent déjà vu. The patient described the state as if he were living the same life he had lived before. Blood perfusion single-photon-emission computed tomography (SPECT) performed during the persistent déjà vu showed hyperperfusion in the left medial temporal area; discontinuation of déjà vu was accompanied by disappearance of the hyperperfused area on SPECT. Analysis with three-dimensional co-registration of SPECT and MRI revealed that the hyperperfused area during the persistent déjà vu was in the entorhinal cortex of the left temporal lobe. According to recent theories of recognition memory, malfunction of the parahippocampal area may cause déjà vu. It is also suggested that epileptic activity in the parahippocampal area, especially the entorhinal cortex, may elicit déjà vu.


Paroxysmal dyskinesia with déjà vu aura

Rosenzweig I, Bhatia KP, Nashef L, Brunnhuber F

The Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences 22(1):123, 2010

To the Editor: In the past, paroxysmal movement disorders were often diagnosed as seizures. The current clinical recognition that they are distinct from epilepsies has been challenged by recent clinical, electrophysiological, and genetic observations.[1]

Here we report a patient with an unusual association of déjà vu aura and movement-induced paroxysmal hyperkinetic attacks which were consistent with idiopathic paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia.

1. Swoboda KJ, Soong B, McKenna C, et al: Paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia and infantile convulsions: clinical and linkage studies. Neurology 2000; 25:224—230


Déjà vu experiences in schizophrenia: relations with psychopathology and antipsychotic medication

Adachi N [1], Adachi T [1,2], Akanuma N [3], Matsubara R [4], Ito M [4], Takekawae Y [5], Ikeda H [6], Arai H [2]
1 Adachi Mental Clinic, Sapporo 004-0867, Japan
2 Department of Psychiatry, Juntendo University Hospital, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan
3 Department of Neuropsychiatry, Tokyo Medical and Dental University Hospital, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan
4 Department of Psychiatry, Tenshi Hospital, Sapporo 065-8611, Japan
5 Department of Psychological Medicine, Hiratsuka Kyosai Hospital, Hiratsuka 254-8502, Japan
6 Department of Neuropsychiatry, Sapporo Medical University Hospital, Sapporo 060-8543, Japan

Comprehensive Psychiatry 48(6):592-6, 2007

To clarify why patients with schizophrenia show déjà vu experiences less frequently, we studied déjà vu experiences in 113 schizophrenic patients in relation to psychopathologies and antipsychotic medication. Déjà vu experiences were observed in 53.1% of the schizophrenic patients. Patients with increased negative symptoms (blunted affect, motor retardation, emotional withdrawal, conceptual disorganization, and mannerisms) had déjà vu experiences less frequently. The other psychopathologies were not significantly associated with presence of déjà vu experiences. The dosage of antipsychotic drugs was significantly correlated with the frequency of déjà vu experiences. This correlation was not affected by their psychopathologies at the time of examination. The decreased frequency of déjà vu experiences in patients with schizophrenia may be mainly due to the negative symptoms. The positive relation between frequency of déjà vu experiences and the dosage of neuroleptics remains uncertain.


Recurring déjà vu associated with 5-hydroxytryptophan

Kalra S [1], Chancellor A [2], Zeman A [3]
1 Department of Neurology, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle, UK
2 Department of Neurology, Bay of Plenty District Health Board, Tauranga, New Zealand
3 Cognitive and Behavioural Neurology Research Group, Peninsula Medical School, Mardon Centre, Exeter, UK

*Professor Adam Zeman, Peninsula Medical School, Exeter EX2 4UD, UK. Tel: 01392-208581/208583; Fax: 01392-662929; E-mail: adam.zeman a pms.ac.uk

Acta Neuropsychiatrica 19(6):311-3, 2007

Background: Déjà vu occurs both in normal experience and as a neuropsychiatric symptom. Its pathogenesis is partially understood. We describe an iatrogenic case with implications for the neuropharmacological basis of déjà vu.

Case presentation: A 42-year-old woman received 5-hydroxytryptophan, in combination with carbidopa, as treatment for palatal tremor, on two occasions, separated by 1 week. On each occasion, she experienced intense, protracted déjà vu, lasting for several hours. We discuss her case in relation to the neuroanatomical and neuropharmacological basis of déjà vu.

Conclusion: The serotonergic system is involved in the genesis of déjà vu.


Adolescent salvia substance abuse

Singh S
University of Michigan Hospital, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. E-mail: sundeeps a umich.edu

Addiction 102(5):823-4, 2007

BACKGROUND: Salvia divinorum is a non-water-soluble hallucinogen that is becoming increasingly popular among adolescents. Salvia is a highly selective full agonist of primate and cloned human cerebral kappa-opioid receptors, although its psychotomimetic effects are similar to serotonergic agonists and NMDA glutamate antagonists. Salvia has been associated with depersonalization, laughter, feelings of levitation and self-consciousness. These effects resolve within 30 minutes following use. Salvia has been banned in many countries, although it remains legal and easily assessable over the internet in the United States.

CASE DESCRIPTION: A 15-year-old man with a history of salvia and marijuana use presented to psychiatric emergency services with acute onset of mental status changes characterized by paranoia, déjà vu, blunted affect, thought blocking and slow speech of 3 days' duration.

CONCLUSION: There is limited literature discussing the clinical effects of salvia use. Based on this case presentation, salvia use may be associated with many undocumented long-term effects such as déjà vu. The ease of use and increasing popularity of salvia requires further investigation into the clinical effects of salvia use.


Meningioma mimicking puerperal psychosis

Khong SY, Leach J, Greenwood C
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the Women's Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom. E-mail: khongsuyen a doctors.org.uk

Obstetrics & Gynecology 109(2 Pt2):515-6, 2007

BACKGROUND: Meningiomas are slow-growing benign brain tumors. They can be sensitive to sex hormones, increasing in size with pregnancy and leading to clinical presentation either before or immediately after delivery. Initial symptoms and signs can present in the antenatal as well as the postnatal period.

CASE: A patient presented with confusion associated with complaints of déjà vu and auditory hallucinations on day 1 postcesarean delivery. Meningioma was diagnosed by computed tomography and treated successfully with steroids, anticonvulsant, and craniotomy.

CONCLUSION: It is imperative to perform a thorough neurologic examination in a patient who presents with atypical psychiatric symptoms in the antenatal or postpartum period. Neuroimaging should be performed in the presence of any neurologic abnormality to exclude intracranial lesions such as meningioma.


Déjà vu experiences in patients with schizophrenia

Adachi T, Adachi N, Takekawa Y, Akanuma N, Ito M, Matsubara R, Ikeda H, Kimura M, Arai H
Adachi Mental Clinic, Sapporo 004-0867, Japan

Comprehensive Psychiatry 47(5):389-93, 2006    Epub 2006 Apr 19

To investigate whether déjà vu experiences are psychopathologic phenomena, we studied the frequency and characteristics of déjà vu experiences in patients with schizophrenia. One hundred thirteen patients with schizophrenia and 386 nonclinical control subjects were evaluated with the Inventory of Déjà vu Experiences Assessment. The frequency and features of déjà vu experiences were compared between the 2 groups. The patients with schizophrenia had déjà vu experiences less frequently (53.1%) than did the nonclinical subjects (76.2%). The frequency of déjà vu experiences did not correlate significantly with age at evaluation or education level among the patients with schizophrenia. Most characteristics of déjà vu experiences of the patients were comparable with those of the control subjects. However, the experiences of the patients tended to be longer and more monotonous. The patients often felt alert, oppressed, and disturbed by the experiences. They appeared to have the experiences under unpleasant mental or physical states. Their déjà vu experiences are not primarily different in nature from those of the nonclinical subjects. The decreased frequency of the experiences in the patients may suggest déjà vu experiences as nonpathologic phenomena.


Exploring the recognition memory deficit in Parkinson's disease: estimates of recollection versus familiarity

Davidson PS, Anaki D, Saint-Cyr JA, Chow TW, Moscovitch M.
The Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care Toronto, Ontario, Canada. pdavidson at rotman-baycrest.on.ca

Brain 129(pt. 7):1768-79, 2006 Epub 2006 May 19.

Current theories postulate that recognition memory can be supported by two independent processes: recollection (i.e. vivid memory for an item and the contextual details surrounding it) versus familiarity (i.e. the mere sense that an item is old). There is conflicting evidence on whether recognition memory is impaired in Parkinson's disease, perhaps because few studies have separated recollection from familiarity. We aimed to explore whether recollection or familiarity is more likely to be affected by Parkinson's disease, using three methods: (i) the word-frequency mirror effect to make inferences about recollection and familiarity based on recognition of high- versus low-frequency words, (ii) subjective estimates of recollection (remembering) versus familiarity (knowing), and (iii) a process-dissociation procedure where participants are required to endorse only some of the previously studied items on a recognition memory test, but not others. We tested Parkinson's disease patients (n = 19 and n = 16, age range = 58-77 years and age range = 50-75 in Experiments 1 and 2, respectively) and age- and education-matched controls (n = 23 and n = 16 in Experiments 1 and 2, respectively). Overall, the Parkinson's disease group showed a reduction in recognition memory, but this appeared to be primarily due to impairment of familiarity, with a lesser decline in recollection. We discuss how this pattern may be related to dysfunction of striatal, prefrontal and/or medial temporal regions in Parkinson's disease.


Depersonalisation/derealisation symptoms in vestibular disease.

Sang FY, Jáuregui-Renaud K, Green DA, Bronstein AM, Gresty MA
Department of Movement and Balance, Imperial College, London, UK

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 77(6):760-6, 2006    Epub 2006 Feb 7


Depersonalisation is a subjective experience of unreality and detachment from the self often accompanied by derealisation; the experience of the external world appearing to be strange or unreal. Feelings of unreality can be evoked by disorienting vestibular stimulation.

To identify the prevalence of depersonalisation/derealisation symptoms in patients with peripheral vestibular disease and experimentally to induce these symptoms by vestibular stimulation.

121 healthy subjects and 50 patients with peripheral vestibular disease participated in the study. For comparison with the patients a subgroup of 50 age matched healthy subjects was delineated. All completed (1) an in-house health screening questionnaire; (2) the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12); (3) the 28-item depersonalisation/derealisation inventory of Cox and Swinson (2002). Experimental verification of "vestibular induced" depersonalisation/derealisation was assessed in 20 patients and 20 controls during caloric irrigation of the labyrinths.

The frequency and severity of symptoms in vestibular patients was significantly higher than in controls. In controls the most common experiences were of "déjà vu" and "difficulty in concentrating/attending". In contrast, apart from dizziness, patients most frequently reported derealisation symptoms of "feel as if walking on shifting ground", "body feels strange/not being in control of self", and "feel 'spacey' or 'spaced out'". Items permitted discrimination between healthy subjects and vestibular patients in 92% of the cases. Apart from dizziness, caloric stimulation induced depersonalisation/derealisation symptoms which healthy subjects denied ever experiencing before, while patients reported that the symptoms were similar to those encountered during their disease.

Depersonalisation/derealisation symptoms are both different in quality and more frequent under conditions of non-physiological vestibular stimulation. In vestibular disease, frequent experiences of derealisation may occur because distorted vestibular signals mismatch with the other sensory input to create an incoherent frame of spatial reference which makes the patient feel he or she is detached or separated from the world.


Disordered memory awareness: recollective confabulation in two cases of persistent déjà vecu

Moulin CJ, Conway MA, Thompson RG, James N, Jones RW
The Research Institute for the Care of the Elderly, St. Martin's Hospital, UK.  E-mail: c.j.a.moulin a leeds.ac.uk

Neuropsychologia 43(9):1362-78, 2005

We describe two cases of false recognition in patients with dementia and diffuse temporal lobe pathology who report their memory difficulty as being one of persistent déjà vecu--the sensation that they have lived through the present moment before. On a number of recognition tasks, the patients were found to have high levels of false positives. They also made a large number of guess responses but otherwise appeared metacognitively intact. Informal reports suggested that the episodes of déjà vecu were characterised by sensations similar to those present when the past is recollectively experienced in normal remembering. Two further experiments found that both patients had high levels of recollective experience for items they falsely recognized. Most strikingly, they were likely to recollectively experience incorrectly recognised low frequency words, suggesting that their false recognition was not driven by familiarity processes or vague sensations of having encountered events and stimuli before. Importantly, both patients made reasonable justifications for their false recognitions both in the experiments and in their everyday lives and these we term 'recollective confabulation'. Thus, the patients are characterised by false recognition, overextended recollective experience, and recollective confabulation. These features are accounted for in terms of disrupted control of memory awareness and recollective states, possibly following brain damage to fronto-temporal circuits and we extend this account to normally and abnormally occurring states of déjà vu and vecu and related memory experiences.


Persistent Déjà vu: a disorder of memory

Thompson RG, Moulin CJ, Conway MA, Jones RW
The Research Institute for the Care of The Elderly, Bath, UK.  E-mail: rebecca.thompson a plymouth.ac.uk

International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 19(9):906-7, 2004

(This paper reports on three cases of elderly patients with persistent déjà vu.  It includes a brief summary of current theories about how déjà vu experiences arise.)


Neural Correlates of Déjà Vu and Dissociation: The Roles of the Amygdala and Hippocampus in the Prevalence of Déjà Vu Used as an Indicator for the Severity of Dissociation and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Pontau JR jr
Bachelor thesis: Bowling Green State University, 2002

The phenomenon of déjà vu is one that is poorly understood while posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex diagnosis and presentation of symptoms. Both of these presentations are influenced by amygdala and hippocampus regions of the brain. As such, this study demonstrated through correlational analyses that there are significant relationships between components of each that can be utilized to aid in determining the likely-hood of PTSD and dissociative symptoms. A unique negative relationship was also presented between déjà vu and PTSD and dissociative assessment scores. Discussion of these relationships and future investigations are also discussed.


Intense and recurrent deja vu experiences related to amantadine and phenylpropanolamine in a healthy male

Taiminen T, Jaaskelainen SK

Department of Psychiatry, Turku University Central Hospital, Turku, Finland.  E-mail: tero.taiminen a utu.fi

Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 8(5):460-2, 2001

We report a case of a 39-year-old caucasian healthy male physician who developed intense and recurrent deja vu experiences within 24h of initiating concomitant amantadine-phenylpropanolamine treatment against influenza. Deja vu experiences terminated on discontinuation of medication. Findings in temporal epilepsy suggest that mesial temporal structures, including hippocampus, are related to paramnesic symptoms. On the other hand, previous case reports have confirmed that both amantadine and phenylpropanolamine alone, and particularly in combination, can induce psychotic symptoms due to their dopaminergic activity. The authors suggest that deja vu experiences may be provoked by increased dopamine activity in mesial temporal structures of the brain.


'Alice in Wonderland' syndrome as a precursor of delusional misidentification syndromes

Takaoka N, Ikawa N, Niwa, K

International journal of psychiatry in clinical practice 5(2): 149-151, 2001


The present paper describes a case of abuse of toluene-based solvent in which features of both 'Alice in Wonderland' (AIW) syndrome with déjá vu , and delusional misidentification syndromes (DMS), were exhibited. Toluene-induced brain dysfunction was the basis of the weak ties between percepts and sensory information, which in turn led to the misperceptions. Once misperceptions fed back into the cycle comprised of misperceptions, false beliefs and erroneous expectations, DMS were induced. AIW syndrome with déjá vu is a precursor and forms the basis of DMS.


A case of persistent déjà vu in an elderly patient

Tabet N & Sivaloganathan S

Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry 5:18-19, 2001

Deja vu is a common phenomenon in the young, but persistent deja vu rarely occurs in elderly people with no history of dementia or brain injury. Here, the authors describe an 87 year-old female patient with an eight-week history of deja vu experiences, who on investigation was found to have a frontal lobe lesion.


The altered mind: A study of some forms of visionary intoxication

Melechi A

Doctoral Thesis, The University of York (UK), 1999


Drawing on first-person accounts of experimentation with mescaline and LSD, peyote, ayahuasca and psilocybin mushrooms, and opium and the anaesthetic gases, this study presents a typology of some forms of drugged perception and consciousness. Departing from traditional sociological inquiries which emphasise the importance of set (personality, motives, expectations) and setting (physical and social environment) in determining the content and nature of the drug experience, historically and culturally diverse material are examined to locate forms of experience which appear largely unaffected by such external factors. In chapter one, the perceptual effects of the visionary drugs are examined, with particular attention focused on the physiological factors which may account for stereotypical imagery and sensation. Chapter two examines how the music is intensified and transformed, revealing new levels of affect, meaning and physical impact. Chapter three looks at some anomalies of recollection, from eidetic memories and pseudo-memories, déjà-vu to diminished recall. Turning to more extreme psychological states, chapter four considers the experience of depersonalisation, and draws on Jaynes's theory of the bi-cameral mind to investigate the extent to which visionary drugs induce auditory hallucinations, automatisms and other pre-conscious phenomena. Chapter five looks at ecstatic and paranormal experiences of unity and boundlessness. To stress the ubiquity of these effects and experiences, chapter six considers the phenomenological parallels with mysticism, hypnosis, dreaming, schizophrenia and near-death experience, arguing that there are particular aspects of intoxicated experience which are, despite differing affect and interpretation, physiologically pre-determined. The implications of this thesis are considered in the concluding chapter, which argues that by neglecting questions of the body the social sciences have overlooked the extent to which a range of experiences might be physiologically structured.


[Depersonalisationssyndrom nach erworbener Hirnschädigung Überblick anhand von 3 Fallbeispielen und Literatur sowie Diskussion ätiologischer Modelle] [Depersonalization syndrome following aquired cerebral injury: Overview of 3 cases and literature as well as discussion of etological models] [Article in German]

Paulig M, Böttger S, Sommer M, Prosiegel M

Der Nervenarzt 69(12):1100-1106, 1998

Depersonalization after brain damage is still only rarely reported and poorly understood. We describe three patients between the ages of 21 and 25 who experienced depersonalization and derealization for periods of 6 weeks to 4 months, two after traumatic brain injury, the third after surgical and radiation treatment of a pineocytoma. Each one believed to be living in a nightmare and thought about committing suicide in order to wake up. One patient developed symptoms as described in Cotard delusion. Aspects of neuroanatomy, psychodynamics, and anthropology are discussed with reference to the literature. Frontal and temporal lesions seem only to play a facilitating role but not to be a necessary condition. There is evidence for additional influence of psychological and premorbid personality factors. Summarizing the current state of information we consider depersonalization with the experience of being in a dream or being dead as a heuristic reaction to brain damage. Similar models have already been discussed in neuropsychological disorders as for instance reduplicative paramnesias, neglect, and anosognosia.


Aura Phenomena during Syncope

Benke Th [a], Hochleitner M [b], Bauer G [a]
[a] Neurological and [b] Medical Department, University Clinic, Innsbruck, Austria

European Neurology 37:28-32, 1997

We studied the frequency and clinical characteristics of aura phenomena in 60 patients with cardiac and 40 subjects with vasovagal syncopes. The majority (93%) of all syncope patients recalled having experienced an aura. Aura phenomena were similar in both groups and were mostly compound auras comprising epigastric, vertiginous, visual, or somatosensory experiences, but were more detailed in the noncardiac group. The localizing significance of auras preceding a syncope was generally poor. Although hard to distinguish from epileptic auras from their structure and shape, syncope-related auras lacked symptoms that are commonly reported after epileptic seizures such as tastes, smells, deja vu phenomena, scenic visual perceptions, and speech impairments. Detailed anamnestic exploration of auras seems worthwhile in unexplained disorders of consciousness.


Dissociation and posttraumatic stress disorder in former second world war prisoners of war

Davis JD

Doctoral thesis: Adelphi University, The Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, New York, 1997


Despite the fact that dissociation is often seen as central to the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Frawley & Davies, 1991; Herman, 1992; Ulman & Brothers, 1987; van der Hart, et al., 1989; van der Kolk & van der Hart, 1989), PTSD is classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) as an anxiety disorder and not as a dissociative disorder (APA, 1994). PTSD involves the development of symptoms of re-experiencing, avoidance or emotional numbing, and increased arousal following exposure to a sufficiently traumatic event. Dissociation is a "structured separation of mental processes (e.g., thoughts, emotions, cognition, memory, and identity) that are ordinarily integrated" (Spiegel & Cardena, 1991). Dissociation may cause disturbances in identity, memory, awareness, and cognition, and experiences of derealization, depersonalization, deja vu, and absorption (Bernstein & Putnam, 1986). Previous research finds high levels of dissociation in various populations with PTSD (Bremner, et al., 1990; Carlson & Rosser-Hogan 1991; Mamar, et al., 1994; Spiegel & Cardena, 1991; Spiegel, Hunt, & Dondershire, 1988). Retrospective reports of dissociation at the time of a trauma also predict the subsequent development of PTSD (Bremner, et al.; 1990, Mamar, 1994). PTSD is often a chronic condition (Murray, 1992). This study expands the study of the relationship of dissociation and PTSD to a population, that of former prisoners of war from the Second World War (POW's), which has been experiencing post-traumatic distress for fifty years. Subjects were 86 former POW's obtained through the VA medical system and from social organizations of former prisoners of war. Posttraumatic stress disorder was assessed with the Penn Inventory (Hammarberg, 1992). Concurrent validation of PTSD was provided by the Impact of Event Scale (IES) (Horowitz, et al. 1979), which has subscales for symptoms of intrusion and avoidance. Dissociation was assessed with the Dissociative Experiences Scale (Bernstein & Putnam, 1986). The severity of traumatic experiences was also assessed with questions identified from previous research but was found not to be related to the two main variables. Subjects were also asked about their experiences with repatriation. This study finds that (1) Symptoms of PTSD and dissociative experiences are correlated in all subjects (p $<$ 0.001). (2) Subjects with PTSD (as defined by cutoff score on the Penn Inventory) have higher dissociation scores than non-PTSD subjects (p $<$ 0.001). (3) Penn Inventory scores correlate with scores on the Impact of Event Scale (providing concurrent validity) (p $<$ 0.001). This study failed to find that (4) PTSD correlates with severity of traumatic experiences, or that: (5) Dissociation correlates with severity of traumatic experiences. The results indicate that both PTSD and dissociation are effects of trauma which may endure throughout life.


Reduplicative misidentification syndromes

Weinstein EA

Chapter 2 in: Method in Madness: Case Studies in Cognitive Neuropsychiatry. Peter W. Halligan and John C. Marshall (eds.), Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxford: Psychology Press, 1996, pp. 13-36

("Temporal reduplication: This is the belief that an ongoing event or period of time has also occurred in the past; an enduring déjà fait, déjà vécu, or déjà vu experience." p. 16)


Psychopathology and psychiatric syndromes

Bynum WF

Current Opinions in Psychiatry 9:368-371, 1996

Emil Kraepelin's fundamental contributions to psychiatric nosology have received ample analysis during the past year, with a special issue of one journal devoted to his legacy, and that of another journal concentrating on the history of the psychoses.Several other syndromes and symptom complexes have also been examined, and three important monographs published in the area.

(Déjà vu is mentioned on p. 370.)


To the editor

Scheyer RD, Spencer DD, Spencer SS

Epilepsia 36(5):522, 1995

("We read with interest the report by Weinard et al of déjà vu corresponding to the hemisphere non-dominant for handedness [1].  However, we recommend caution regarding its use as a lateralizing finding." ... )

1. Weinard ME et al, Epilepsia 35:1054-9, 1994


Clinical manifestations of psychiatric disorders

Kaplan HI, Sadock BJ

In: Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry Vol 1, 6th edition, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 1995

(Under Disturbances of Recall: "Déjà vu is the sense that one has seen or experienced what is transpiring for the first time; it is a false impression that the current stream of consciousness has previously been recorded in memory.  Related phenomena are déjà entendu, a sense that one has previously heard what is actually being heard for the first time, and déjà pensé, a feeling that one has at an earlier time known or understood what is being thought for the first time.  Experiences of jamais vu, jamaise entendu, and jamais pensé involve feelings that one has never seen, heard, or thought (respectively) things that, in fact, one has.  Those phenomena are all common in everyday life but may increase in states of fatigue and intoxication and in association with complex partial seizures and other psychopathological states." p. 653)


A continuum of misidentification symptoms

Sno HN
University Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Psychopathology 27(3-5):144-7, 1994

A case study of a schizophrenic patient with differing forms of experiences of inappropriate familiarity is described. Reduplicative paramnesia is redefined as a delusion of familiarity related to a reduplication of time, place or person. The author proposes the concept of a continuum of positive and negative misidentification symptoms. The positive pole of the continuum ranges from the minor form of déjà vu experience to reduplicative paramnesia. The negative pole ranges from depersonalisation to nihilistic delusions. Differentiation is based on the severity of the disturbance of reality testing. The argumentation is based on the fact that both déjà vu experiences and depersonalisation occurring in pathological as well as non-pathological conditions are phenomenologically uniform.


Delusional misidentification syndromes

Ellis HD [a], Luauté J-P [b], Retterstøl N [c]
a School of Psychology, University of Wales College of Cardiff, UK
b Centre Hospitalier General de Romans, France
c Gaustad Hospital, University of Oslo, Norway

Professor H. D. Ellis, School of Psychology, University of Wales College of Cardiff, PO Box 901, Cardiff CF1 3YG (UK)

Psychopathology 27(3-5):117-20, 1994

The editors first describe the principal symptoms of the Capgras delusion, the Frégoli delusion, the delusion of intermetamorphosis and the delusion of subjective doubles before developing the argument that it would be appropriate for international psychiatric diagnostic systems to include these disorders. Furthermore the similarity between them, the reduplicative paramnesias and déjà and jamais vu are pointed out. By stressing a symptom-based approach it is possible to examine psychiatric, neurological and medical cases as arising from the same underlying disturbance in cognition function. The relationship between delusions of misidentification and other delusions is also touched upon.


Encephalic amnesia presenting deja vu experiences limited to people

Yamashita H, Yoshida T, Yoneda Y, Mori E, et-al

Seishin Igaku Clinical Psychiatry 36(1): 89-95, 1994

Reports the case of a 41-yr-old woman with herpes simplex encephalitis who had marked anterograde amnesia for both verbal and nonverbal materials and déjà vu experiences concerning other people in the acute phase of illness. During a 4-wk hospitalization her déjà vu experiences disappeared, and her memory impairments recovered to subnormal level. Magnetic resonance imaging at a 20-mo follow-up showed mild but distinct bilateral hippocampal atrophy.


Psychoses in three cases with myasthenia gravis and thymoma--proposal of a paraneoplastic autoimmune neuropsychiatric syndrome

Musha M, Tanaka F, Ohuti M

Department of Neuropsychiatry, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai

Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine 169(4):335-44, 1993

Three patients with neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPSs) associated with thymoma, high serum titers of antiacetylcholine receptor (AchR) antibody and generalized myasthenia gravis (MG) are reported. The NPSs were homogeneous; (1) Altered consciousness as manifested by dreamy state with paramnesia, (2) psychosensory symptoms (the sudden change of senses of smell and taste with behavior abnormalities, auditory and visual hallucinations, déjà experiences, microteleopsia and derealization), (3) cognitive disturbances (recent memory loss with compulsive behaviors), (4) emotional disturbances (agitation, fear and anger), and (5) psychotic symptoms (secondary delusions and hallucinations) were characteristic. The NPSs preceded by several months to years the onset of MG, and thereafter they were closely related to worsening and relapse of MG. A typical patient showed repeatedly abnormal electroencephalograms (EEG) indicative of cerebral dysfunction. Another showed improvement of the NPSs after thymectomy and immunosuppressive therapy. The organicity of the phenomenology of psychoses with the same NPSs was suggested and it appears to comprise a unique paraneoplastic syndrome by central autoimmune mechanism. We proposed an autoimmune psychiatric syndrome and the genesis of psychosis due to the central cholinergic dysfunction in MG.


Erlebnisse der Depersonalisation und des Déjà vu: Prävalenzen in nicht-klinischen Stichproben [Experiences of depersonalization and déjà vu: prevalences in non-clinical sample populations] [Article in German]

Probst P, Jansen J

Zeitschrift für Klinische Psychologie, Psychopathologie und Psychotherapie 39:357-368, 1991

According to the relevant psychological and psychiatric literature, depersonalization and deja vu experiences are usually viewed as symptoms of severe psychiatric or neurological disorders, especially in schizophrenia, depression and epilepsy. Studies of these phenomena in non-clinical populations are rare. In this article we present the results of several epidemiological investigations. On the basis of survey and interview research, quantitative and qualitative aspects of both phenomena were assessed, as well as the relations with personality variables like emotionality. The results indicate prevalence rates up to 80 percent in non-clinical populations. Based on epidemiological considerations, the question of differentiation between clinical and non-clinical forms of depersonalization and deja vu is discussed.


The delusional misidentification syndromes

Christodoulou GN

British Journal of Psychiatry 159 (suppl. 14): 63-9, 1991

(Déjà vu mentioned on p. 68.)


Psychopathology of time in brain disease and schizophrenia

Cutting J, Silzer H

Behavioural Neurology 3(4): 197-215, 1990


The literature on disturbance of time-sense in brain disease and schizophrenia is reviewed and the subjective experience of altered time-sense reported by 45 out of 350 personally interviewed schizophrenics is analyzed. A review of the literature on the effect of brain damage revealed that some phenomena (déjà vu, reduplication of time, altered tempo to events) were linked with right hemisphere dysfunction, one phenomenon (incorrect sequencing of events) was linked with left anterior brain damage, and others (disrupted "biological clock", disturbed serise of rate of flow of current or past events) could arise from subcortical as well as focal cortical damage. The sparse literature on disturbed time-sense in schizophrenia suggested that there was a shared psychopathology in this respect with right hemisphere dysfunction. The phenomena encountered in the 45 schizophrenics are described and classified.


The deja vu experience: remembrance of things past?

Susan DS

American Journal of Psychiatry 147:1587-1595, 1990

The deja vu experience is a common phenomenon, occurring in pathological as well as nonpathological conditions. It has been defined as any subjectively inappropriate impression of familiarity of a present experience with an undefined past. The authors discuss the epidemiologic data, clinical features, and etiology of the phenomenon of deja vu. They also review the different hypotheses on the psychopathogenesis of the deja vu experience and introduce an explanation based on the hologram as a mnestic model.


Dissociative disorders (hysterical neuroses, dissociative type)

Kaplan HI, Sadock BJ

In: Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry Vol 1, 5th edition, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 1989

("Frequently, clinical investigators have included déjà vu and related phenomena in the same category as depersonalization.  There is no question that those various kinds of experience are in some way related, because in all of them individuals observe a change in their sense of the reality of what they are perceiving.  There is, however, an important difference: in déjà vu what is, in fact, new, alien, and previously unexperienced is felt as being familiar and as having been perceived before.  In contrast, in depersonalization what is actually familiar is sensed as strange, novel, and unreal.  The one, in other words, is the obverse of the other, and the two phenomena are therefore better considered as distinct entities." p. 1039)


The dissociative disorders interview schedule: A structured interview

Ross CA, Heber S, Norton GR, Anderson D, Anderson G, Barchet P

Dissociation 11(3): 169-189, 1989

The Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule (DI)18), a structured interview, has been developed to make DSM-111 diagnoses of the dissociative disorders, somatization disorder, major depressive episode, and borderline personality disorder, Additional items provide information about substance abuse, childhood physical and sexual abuse, and secondary features of multiple personality disorder. These items provide information useful in the diffeirential diagnosis of dissociative disorders. The DDIS has an overall inter-rater reliability of 0.68. For the diagnosis of multiple personality disorder it has a specifity of 100% and a sensitivity of 90%.

(The inventory is included in the paper. Question 103 in section IX [Supernatural/Possession/ESP Experiences/Cults] reads: Have you ever had any extrasensory perception experiences such as e) deja vu [the feeling that what is happening to you has happened before?)

(The inventory is also available as Appendix A in: Ross CA, Multiple Personality Disorder: Diagnosis, Clinical Features, and Treatment. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1989.)


Chronophrenia--a new syndrome in functional psychoses.

Pethö B

Psychopathology 18(2-3):174-80, 1985

The author describes the 12-year history of a functional (endogenous) psychosis in a 25-year-old woman and the subsequent full social remission. The central symptom in the case history is the delusion that the patient has already lived through this life once. This delusion appears as the experience of reduplication, differing from that of déjà vu, based on mental automatism. It is accompanied by euphoria and the distortion of the future time perspective. The hypothesis of a disorder in the function of the limbic system arises as a possible pathophysiological explanation. Schizophrenic symptoms were absent and no defect was formed. This previously unknown syndrome presented by the use of the idiographic method may contribute to the widening of nomothetic nosological research.


Psychiatric disorders

Kaplan HI, Sadock BJ

In: Modern Synopsis of Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry / IV, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 1985

("Déjà vu is an illusion of recognition in which a new situation is incorrectly regarded as a representation of a previous memory.  It can occur in normal persons, particularly in settings generating anxiety.  It is more common in neurotic states and occurs occasionally in the aura of grand mal epilepsy.  In jamais vu there is a feeling of unfamiliarity with a situation that one has actually experienced. 

Related to déjà vu is déjà entendu, in which a comment never heard before is incorrectly regarded as a repetition of a previous conversation, and déjà pensé, in which a thought never entertained before is incorrectly regarded as a representation of a previous thought." p. 161)

("On the basis of the predominant symptoms, complex partial seizures can be subclassified as those with: [1] impairment of consciousness only, such as transient confusion; [2] cognitive symptoms, such as a sensation of déjà vu, jamais vu, distortion of time perception, or a sense of unreality; [3] affective symptoms, such as fear or anxiety; [4] psychosensory symptoms, such as illusions or hallucinations; [5] psychomotor phenomena, such as automatisms and masticatory movements, [6] speech disturbances, such as dysphasia or speech automatisms; and [7] compound forms of the above seizures." pp. 303-4)


Mental phenomena induced by stimulation in the limbic system

Halgren E

Human Neurobiology 1(4):251-60, 1982

Direct electrical stimulation of any limbic sector may evoke a visceral sensation or an emotion, usually fear or anxiety. Vivid formed dream- or memory-like hallucinations, or intense feelings of familiarity, may be evoked from the hippocampal formation and amygdala. Conversely, amnesia may result from stimulation-induced bilateral disruption of the same region. Cingulate gyrus stimulation near the supplementary motor cortex may evoke partially adaptive movement sequences, or may interfere with the performance of movements. In general, those phenomena are not due to epileptic pathology, nor to gross spread of activation. The particular response evoked is not related to the precise electrode location, but rather to the patient's psychological traits and concerns. Thus, there is no direct relationship between specific mental contents and the activation of particular limbic neurons. Limbic stimulation appears to produce deep mental alterations whose manifestation at the surface of awareness, or in specific movements, is defined by the ongoing context.


Dynamics of the hippocampal contribution to memory: Stimulation and recording studies in humans

Halgren E, Wilson CL, Squires NK, Engel J, Walter RD, Crandall PH

In: The Molecular, Cellular and Behavioral Neurobiology of the Hippocampus, W. Seifert (ed.), Academic Press, NYC, 1982

(From p. 21: "Some stimulations which do not cause amnesia will lead to powerful subjective menal phenomena, which apparently represent hyperactivation of the psychological processes which are missing in amnesia: familiarity (deja vu) and recall (memory-images).  It is likely that HCF [hippocampal formation] stimulation evokes memory-images, at least in part, by directly promoting hallucinations per se.  Deja vu, but not memory-images, could be secondary to activation of a distant epileptic focus.  When the sites likely to be activated anti- or orthodromically by MTL [medial temporal lobe] stimulation are themselve stimulated directly, memory-images or deja vu are seldom evoked.  Therefore, it appears that the MTL is a focal point for influencing neocortical areas in order to promote re-experiences of previous events, and to provide a sense of familiarity to aspects of ongoing experience.")


The amygdala contribution to emotion and memory: Current studies in humans

Halgren E

In: The Amygdaloid Complex, INSERM Symposium No. 20, Y. Ben-Ari (ed.), 1981, pp. 395-408

(Illusions of familiarity [déjà vu] are just one of the many mental phenomena elicited by electrical stimulation of the amygdala.)


The role of the amygdala in the expression of psychic phenomena in temporal lobe seizures

Gloor P, Olivier A, Quesney LF

The Amygdaloid Complex, INSERM Symposium no. 20, Y. Ben-Ari (ed.), 1981, pp. 489-498

Experiential phenomena occurring during spontaneous seizures or elicited by electrical brain stimulation were studied in 35 patients with intractable seizures in whom intracerebral depth electrodes had been implanted stereotaxically.  The experiential phenomena observed were of a perceptual (visual, auditory or olfactory), mnemonic (memory recall or illusion of familiarity) or emotional type, or they encompassed a combination of these.  Activation of limbic rather than of neocortical structures was required for the occurrence of virtually all the observed experiential phenomena, whether perceptual, mnemonic or emotional.  Among the limbic structures the amygdala seemed to be predominantly and often exclusively involved in the elaboration of these phenomena.  It is proposed that limbic, particularly amygdaloid activation, is required to let perceptual and mnemonic data processed by the temporal neocortex emerge into consciousness.



Barton JL

Southern Medical Journal 72(6)770, 1979

(In this two paragraph letter to the editor, Dr. Barton comments on a paper by McKellar which stated that "the terms depersonalization, déjà vu and derealization have been frequently used interchangeably." He disagrees with the attribution and then offers definitions of these three phenomena.  He says déjà vu "not uncommonly occurs in association with depersonalization or derealization but is unlikely to be confused or interchanged with these terms.")


Le "déjà vu" élaboration d'un modèle d'approche hypothetique

de Nayer A

Psychiatria Clinica 12:92-96, 1979

Although psychiatric literature abounds in allusions to the phenomenon of ‘déjà vu’, few communications were devoted to an analysis of this interesting psychological state. After a short review of the ‘déjà vu’ conditions, the author proposes a model consisting of two channels. Under normal conditions, the first deals with the reading of information already stored, and the second, the engrammic channel, will store future information. The ‘déjà vu’ condition is produced when the reading channel and the engrammic channel meet in the same area. This mechanism can explain the various etiological possibilities of ‘déjà vu’, ranging from more or less ordinary cases such as fatigue or anguish to the most important etiology which is a psychotic process.


Abnormal memory

Nichols AM

In: The Harvard Guide to Modern Psychiatry, A. M. Nichols (ed.), Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1978

("Déjà vu and jamais vu may occur in schizophrenics, in patients suffering from certain psychoneuroses, in those with lesions of the temporal lobe including epilepsy, with patients in states of fatique or intoxication, and sometimes in normal individuals." p. 37)


Mental phenomena evoked by electrical stimulation of the human hippocampal formation and amygdala

Halgren E, Walter RD, Cherlow DG, Crandall PH

Brain 101:83-117, 1978

Of 3495 stimulations of the medial temporal lobe of 36 psychomotor epileptics, 267 were accompanied by reports of mental phenomena, including hallucinations of complete scenes, deja vu, anxiety, visceral sensations, amnesia, and unformed sensory experiences. Olfactory and frankly aggressive responses were not observed.  The factors selecting whether a particular stimulus would evoke a mental phenomenon, and which category of mental phenomena would be evoked, could be explored because of the similarity across patients of the anatomical loci and protocols of stimulation. In general, a widespread electrographic response was necessary but not sufficient for an experiential response to occur. That is, 89 per cent of evoked mental phenomena were accompanied by an evoked potential (EP) and/or after-discharge (AD), but only 10 per cent of those stimuli that evoked an EP and/or AD also evoked a mental phenomenon. In contrast, only 2 per cent of stimuli that evoked neither an EP nor AD evoked a mental phenomenon. Contralateral EPs were rare. Anterior electrode sites, and sites contralateral to the focus, had a higher frequency of both electro graphic and mental responses. The category of mental phenomenon was not related to the anatomical site, however, but rather to patient-specific variables. Patients reporting fear scored higher on the 'psychesthenia' subscale of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), and patients experiencing hallucinations scored higher on the 'schizophrenic' subscale than did the other patients. Our findings suggest that, in contrast to the primary visual or somatosensory areas, where the evoked mental phenomena are highly predictable and are closely related to the anatomical site, the mental phenomena evoked by medial temporal lobe stimulation are idiosyncratic and variable, and are related to the personality of the patient stimulated.


Der psychoanalytische Beitrag zur Schizoprenieforschung [The psychoanalytic contribution to schizophrenia research] [Article in German]

Searles HF

Kindler Studienausgabe, 1974

(Für ein Schizophreniepatient: "Seine Erfahrung der Umwelt ist häufig durchdrungen mit Déjà-vu-Eindrücken und mit Erlebnissen, bei denen er Fremde fälschlicherweise für vertraute Gestalten aus seiner Vergangenheit hält." p. 179)

[For a schizophrenia patient: "His experience of the environment is frequently pervaded with déjà vu impressions and with experiences in which he holds that persons he doesn't know are trusted figures from his past."]


Temporal disorganization and delusional-like ideation: Processes induced by hashish and alcohol

Melges FT, Tinklenberg JR, Deardorff CM, Davies NH, Anderson RE, Owen CA

Archives of General Psychiatry 30:855-861, 1974

From studies of acutely paranoid psychiatric patients, we postulated that temporal disorganization might be involved in the emergence of delusional-like ideation (ie, feelings of influence, grandiosity and persecution). To test this postulate, high doses of tetrahydrocannabinol were used to induce temporal disorganization in carefully screened normal subjects who had no detectable predisposition to delusional ideation. Each subject was used as his own control for five experimental conditions (including comparably intoxicating alcohol doses as well as placebo) at weekly intervals. Tetrahydrocannabinol conditions induced significantly greater temporal disorganization and delusional-like ideation. For all subjects, there were substantial change correlations between temporal disorganization and delusional-like ideation. The findings indicate that changes in the rate, sequence, and goal-directedness of thinking processes were involved in the emergence of unusual thought content.

(Déjà vu-like experiences were evoked by hashish consumption. p. 859)


Clinical phenomenology

Jovanovic´ UJ

In: Psychomotor Epilepsy (A polydimensional study). Charles C. Thomas, Publishers, Springfield, Ill, 1974

("The experience is often familiar, or reminiscent of some previous event.  Gowers [1902] called this phenomenon déjà vu; Jackson [1899] referred to it as reminiscence." p. 19)


The mechanism of deja vu

Kirshner LA

Diseases of the Nervous System 34(5):246-9, 1973

(After providing a brief overview of déjà vu, the author presents two cases of persistent déjà vu.  He then writes: "Our impression ... is that the experience is traumatic, an interference with the normal process of reality testing, as demonstrated clearly by patient 2 who projected or externalized the trauma.  In fact, déjà vu is commonly experienced with anxiety as a disruption.  Thus Levitan follows Fenichel in describing it as the failure of a defensive process." p. 258)



Zeidenberg P

Psychiatric Annals 3(5):14-9, 1973

(In this paper the author is primarily concerned with the flashbacks that occur with some mind-altering drugs.  On page 16, he expresses the opinion that déjà vu is due to emotional flashbacks.)



Heimann H

Definition in: Lexikon der Psychiatrie, Christian Müller (ed.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin,1973, pp. 92-3

(in the 1986 edition, the definition of déjà vu is on pp. 143-4)


Derealization and déjà vu: Formal mechanisms

Siomopoulos V

American Journal of Psychotherapy 26:84-9, 1972

This paper suggests the possibility that perceptual wholes might be capable of forming larger object-affect wholes with the affective states associated with them. The phenomena of derealization and deja vu appear to be reflections of disturbances in the organization of perceptual wholes and their affective components into such larger object-affect wholes. In derealization, a familiar affect is missing from a familiar object-affect whole. This is due to repression of pure affect viewed not as cathexis of an idea, but as a separate psychic structure. In déjà vu, the feeling of object familiarity is actually an awareness of a familiar affect constituting part of an object-affect whole.  The phenomena of derealization and déjà vu appear to support the view that the affects are independent psychic structures following their own formal laws.


Symptoms encountered in mental illness

Curran D, Partridge M, Storey P

In: Psychological Medicine, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1972

(On p. 57 the author wrote that déjà vu is associated with fatigue and/or sleepiness.)


A study of depersonalization in students

Myers DH, Grant G

British Journal of Psychiatry 121:39-65, 1972

("The phenomena of familiarity and of perspective seem to be involved both in agoraphobia on the one hand and in depersonalization and déjà vu on the other.  This is consonant with the possibility that déjà vu and depersonalization are part of a system which can modulate, fairly selectively, sensory input in order to minimize agoraphobia." p. 62)


Depersonalization phenomena in psychiatric patients

Brauer R, Harrow M, Tucker GJ

British Journal of Psychiatry 117:509-15, 1970

The present research, designed to investigate the presence of depersonalization in psychiatric patients, found that depersonalization occurs more frequently in younger patients who are frequently anxious, who seem to be preoccupied with internal processes, and who have a tendency toward cyclothymia and depression. From this study depersonalization and derealization seem to be two aspects of the same phenomenon, and in this respect emerge as symptoms rather than as discrete diagnostic entities. One interesting question is whether these phenomena are lifelong events or occur only at the times of an emotional illness, as proposed by Mayer-Gross. The current data, particularly the correlations with the various personality inventories which are usually indicative of longstanding personality traits, would indicate that these phenomena are probably present throughout most of life but are intensified and noted more during periods of emotional distress.


Delusions and Hallucinations

Weinstein EA

In: Origin and Mechanisms of Hallucinations. Wolfram Keup (ed.) New York: Plenum Press, 1970

("One patient, awaiting a craniotomy for repair of a ruptured aneurysm, stated that the same operation had been previously performed.  Here we may recognize temporal reduplication as an enduring déjà vu phenomenon." p. 54)


Migraine auras and classical migraine

Sacks O

In: Migraine: The Evolution of a Common Disorder, University of California Press, 1970

(There is also Migraine: Revised and Expanded, University of California Press, 1992 and a German version: Migäne, Rowolt Taschenbuch Verlag, 1994, see pp. 131-3).

("Among the strangest and most intense symptoms of migraine aura, and the most difficult of description or analysis, are the occurrence of feelings of sudden familiarity and certitude (déjà vu) or its opposite, feelings of sudden strangeness and unfamiliarity (jamais vu).  Such states are experienced, momentarily and occasionally, by everyone: their occurrence in migraine auras (as in epileptic auras, psychoses, etc.) is marked by their overwhelming intensity and relatively long duration." p. 89)



Feldman M, Bender MB

In: Origin and Mechanisms of Hallucinations. Wolfram Keup (ed.), Plenum Press, NYC, 1970

(Déjà vu mentioned on p. 32.)


Depersonalization phenomena in psychiatric patients

Brauer R, Harrow M, Tucker GJ

British Journal of Psychiatry 117:309-15, 1970

The present research, designed to investigate the presence of depersonalization in psychiatric patients, found that depersonalization occurs more frequently in younger patients who are frequently anxious, who seem to be preoccupied with internal processes, and who have a tendency toward cyclothymia and depression. From this study depersonalization and derealization seem to be two aspects of the same phenomenon, and in this respect emerge as symptoms rather than as discrete diagnostic entities. One interesting question is whether these phenomena are lifelong events or occur only at the times of an emotional illness, as proposed by Mayer-Gross. The current data, particularly the correlations with the various personality inventories which are usually indicative of longstanding personality traits, would indicate that these phenomena are probably present throughout most of life but are intensified and noted more during periods of emotional distress.

("Déjà vu phenomena, although reported in 92 per cent of the patients (but experienced frequently in only 15 per cent), correlated with very few of the variables that depersonalization and derealization did, and thus most likely represent a different type of symptom or experiential state (Table IV)." p. 513)


Patterns of reduplication in organic brain disease

Weinstein EA

Chapter 14 in: Handbook of Clinical Neurology, Vol. 3. P. J. Vinken and G. W. Bruyn (eds.) New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1969, pp. 251-7

("With a déjà vu experience there may be intense feelings of familiarity, anticipation, nostalgia, amusement and occasionally of discomfort and terror." p. 255)


Disorders of the time sense

Gooddy W

Chapter 13 in: Handbook of Clinical Neurology. vol. 3, P. J. Vinken and G. W. Bruyn (eds.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc., NY. 1969, pp. 229-250

(Déjà vu is treated on pp. 238 and 246-7.)


Cerebral localisation of disorders of higher nervous activity

Glonung K, Hoff H

Chapter 3 in: Handbook of Clinical Neurology, vol. 3, John Wiley & Sons, NY, 1969

(Experiences of déjà vu, déjà entendu and déjà connu are discussed on pp. 32-3.)


Déjà vu -- as related to diagnostic categories in psychiatric and neurosurgical patients

Richardson TF, Winokur G

Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 146(2):161-4, 1968

A group of 301 hospitalized psychiatric patients and 161 neurosurgical patients were studied, and the reporting of déjà vu was found to be 44 and 40 per cent, respectively. These groups were broken down into diagnostic categories, and it was found that in the psychiatric group, patients with the diagnosis of personality disorder or miscellaneous psychiatric diagnosis (situational reactions), reported déjà vu significantly more than the group mean. There was no reporting of déjà vu in the psychiatric patients with organic brain syndromes.
No neurosurgical diagnostic group reported déjà vu more or less frequently than the mean for the group. These findings further confirm that the reporting of déjà vu is a relatively common phenomenon, probably no more frequent in seizure or ceregram tumor patients than in other patients or even control patients without cerebral pathology.
It was found that déjà vu is reported more often in patients with a psychiatric illness than in patients with no psychiatric or no cerebral pathology. Further evidence was presented to show that this could be due to the high reporting of déjà vu by patients with personality disorder and situational reactions. It is suggested that the phenomenon of déjà vu may be of help in clarifying the vague psychiatric diagnostic categories called personality disorder and situational reactions.


A review of the effects of sleep deprivation

Tucker RP

University of Michigan Medical Center Journal 34(3): 161-4, 1968

(They cite a 1959 paper by Brauchi and West that reported on a radio disk jockey who, as part of a contest, went 168 hours and 33 minutes without sleep.  He became psychotic and had to be hospitalized "with depersonalization and frightening déjà vu."  p. 162)


Déjà vu, déjà entendu, déjà raconté, Automatismen, fausse reconnaissance und kryptomanie

Meier CA

Chapter 2 in: Die Empire des Unbewussten, Rascher Verlag, Zürich, 1968

(Prof. Meier suggested that such phenomena may be due to a "leak" in the "wall" that separates the conscious mind from the unconscious. p. 71)


Déjà vu in psychiatric and neurosurgical patients

Richardson TF, Winokur G

Archives of General Psychiatry 17(5):622-5, 1967

A systematic interview was performed on two entirely different hospital populations to obtain the incidence of deja vu and possible related variables. The findings closely parallel those of Chapman and Mensh on a general medical population; the incidence of deja vu is a phenomenon that is equally common in men and women; it is inversely proportional to age; and it is probably related to education, occupation, and travel. Negroes report the phenomenon less frequently than whites. From the present study it was also found that female psychiatric patients probably have an increased- incidence of deja vu. It is realized that "statistical significance" is not necessarily "clinical importance," but it is felt from this study that it can be assumed the incidence of deja vu is sufficiently common to be of questionable help in such conditions as temporal lobe or psychomotor epilepsy diagnoses.


Transvestism, impotence and temporal lobe dysfunction

Hunter R

Journal of Neurological Science 4:357-360, 1967

(There are several references to déjà vu on pages 358-360.)


Vorstellungsanomalien, Trugerinnerungen [Imagination anomalies, misleading memories] [Article in German]

Jaspers K

Section e in: Allgemeine Psychopathologie, 3. Auflage, Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1965

(He provides an example of déjà vu as experienced by a patient suffering from schizophrenia. p. 66)


Behavioral responses to stimulation of human hippocampus, hippocampal gyrus and amygdala (American EEG Society meeting abstract)

Walter RD, Chapman L, Porter R, Crandall P, Rand R

Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology 17:461, 1964

(Déjà vu is listed among the symptoms evoked by electrical stimulation of temporal lobes in 10 patients during evaluation for temporal lobectomies.)


The brain's record of auditory and visual experience

Penfield W, Perot P

Brain 86(4):595-694, 1963

("[G]entle electrical stimulation of the temporal lobe cortex also produced sudden 'feelings' -- sometimes the feeling of familiarity that clinicians had been in the habit of calling déjà vu, sometimes an alteration in the apparent meaning of things seen or heard." p. 597)


Capgras syndrom und déjà vu [Capgras syndrome and deja vu experience] [Article in German]

Dietrich H

Fortschritte der Neurologie und Psychiatrie 30:617-25, 1962

(Based on a case the author compares normal dèjà vu with that occurring in connection with mental illness, especially a form that appears together with the Capgras syndrome in which the afflicted person denies knowing someone they actually know well.  For the normal dèja vu he quotes from Berndt-Larsson's definition:

"Mitten in einer beliebigen Beschäftigung überfällt einen plötzlich einige Sekunden oder Minuten das bestimmtee Gefühl, schon früher einmal gerade diese Situation mit allen Details und allen Nebenumständen -- genau in derselben Weise wie jetzt -- erlebt zu haben.  Gleichzeitig packt einen ein Gefühl von Unwirklichkeit und Unbehagen.  Es ist, als hätte man voraussagen können, was gerade geschieht und was demnächst geschehen wird. Plötzlich ist das Symptom weg, ebenso rasch und unerklärlich verschwunden, wie es gekommen war." p. 623.

[In the middle of some activity one is suddenly overcome for a few seconds or minutes with that specific, undeniable feeling of having experienced just this situation with all its details and all concomitants -- precisely in the same way as now. Simultaneously, one is grabbed by a feeling of irreality and unease.  It is as if one could have told in advance what was happening just now and what would happen next.  Suddenly, the symptom is gone, disappeared just as quickly and inexplicably as it came."¨]

The form experienced by the mentally ill is also defined by Berndt-Larrson as:

"Seiner Natur nach ist es aufdringlich, störrisch und weicht nicht logischen Gründen gegenüber. Der Kranke ist in der Regel von der Wirklichkeit eines früheres Erlebnisses vollkommen überzeugt.  Er kann es bestimmt in Zeit und Raum lokalisieren.  Es ist ihm einmal oder mehrmals vorher passiert, es hat sich identisch gleich oder nahezu gleich wie jetzt zugetragen.  Es breitet sich gerne aus und verwebt sich mit seinem übrigen paranoiden oder schizophrenen Ideen." p. 623.

[According to its nature it is intrusive, intractable and does not give way to logical reasons. As a rule the ill person is completely convinced about the reality of his or her earlier experience.  They are certain they can localize it in time and space.  It has happened to them once or many times; it occurred at that time exactly or nearly exactly as it has now.  It spreads out and interweaves itself with the rest of their paranoid or schizophrenic ideas.])

(Berndt-Larrson H: Über das Déjà vu und andere Täuschungen des Bekanntheitsgefühls. Z. ges. Neurol. Psychiat. 1931 133:521-543)


Über abnormes Zeiterleben bei einer Schizophrenen [About abnormal time experience in a schizophrenic] [paper in German]

Ciompi L

European Neurology 142:100-121, 1961

(Déjà vu discussed on p. 105.)


Brain Mechanisms in Emotion

Arnold MP

In Emotions and Personality, Vol. II, part I (Magda P. Arnold, ed),Columbia University Press, NYC, NY, 1960

(Déjà vu must be due to "some defect in neural conduction" and "is a frequent and conspicuous symptom in mental disease [see Bellak, 1958]. p. 66)


Depressive states and their borderlands: Classification, diagnosis and treatment

Roth M

Comprehensive Psychiatry 1(3): 135-155, 1960

("There are other interesting disturbances of consciousness, the most important being the syncopal attacks in about ten percent of cases and symptoms such as déjà vu phenomena, metamorphopsia and panoramic memory reminiscent of temporal lobe dysfunction, which occur in some 40 per cent." [p. 142])


Le syndrome de Korsakov [The Korsakoff syndrome] [Article in French]

In: Manuel de Psychiatrie

H. Ey, P. Bernard, Ch. Brisset (eds.), Mission et Cie, Paris, 1960

(Déjà vu is mentioned on p. 263.)


Part I: Brain Mechanisms in Emotion

Arnold MP

In: Emotion and Personality, Vol. II: Neurological and Physiological Aspects. Columbia University Press, NYC. 1960

(Déjà vu must be due to "some defect in neural conduction" and "is a frequent and conspicuous symptom in mental disease [see Bellak, 1958]. p. 66)


Interpretive responses

Penfield W, Roberts L

Section D in the Recording of Consciousness chapter of: Speech and Brain Mechanisms, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 1959

(When patients experience a sudden sense of familiarity when stimulated by electrodes at points 14 and 15 on the temporal lobe [see diagram of Fig III-5], "clinicians have long called them 'déjà vu' [already seen] phenomena.  They are false interpretations of the present and therefore are called illusions." p.47)


Functional localization in temporal and deep sylvan areas

Penfield W

Chapter 6 in: The Brain and Human Behavior, Research Publications No.36, Proceedings of the December 7-8 meeting of the Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease, Harry C. Solomon, Stanley Cobb, and Wilder Penfield (eds.), Williams & Williams, Co., Baltimore, 1958, pp. 210-226

("Illusions of familiarity ['déjà vu'] were produced by stimulation only in cases in which this had been reported by the patient as an aura.  They also occurred predominantly as the result of discharge or stimulation in the temporal lobe of the hemisphere which is minor for speech and handedness." p. 222)


Some mechanisms of consciousness discovered during electrical stimulation of the brain

Penfield W

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 44(2): 51-66, 1958

"Then point 15 was stimulated, and she said, "Just a tiny flash of familiarity and a feeling that I knew everything that was going to happen in the near future." To explain this, she added, 'as though I had been through all this before.'" p. 63


The schizophrenic syndrome

Bellak L

In: Schizophrenia: a review of the syndrome, Bellak L (ed.), Logos Press, New York, 1958

(Déjà vu mentioned on pp. 12, 21, 27.)


Einige variationen des Ichgefühls [Several variations of the I feeling] [Article in German]

Federn P

In: Ich psychologie und die Psychosen, Hans Huber Verlag, Bern, 1956

(Déjà vu mentioned on pp. 29, 53-4, 235.)


The role of the temporal cortex in certain psychical phenomena

Penfield W

Journal of Mental Science 101:451-465, 1955

("The sense of familiarity ('déjà vu') is an interpretation -- it might be called a feeling or even an emotion -- which accompanies new experiences.  It is a reaction which is set off very easily in some patients and, it should be added, in some individuals who are not subject to overt seizures.  The reaction may have the same character regardless of the nature of the experience." p. 464)


Die Störung von Zeit und Raum in der Hirnpathologie [Disorders of time and space in cerebral pathology] [Article in German]

Glonung I, Glonung K, Hoff H

Wiener Zeitschrift für Nervenheilkunde und deren Grenzgebiete 10:346-377, 1955

(Déjà vu, déjà entendu and déjà connu are treated on pp. 271-4.)


Die psychopathologie der höher strukturierten psychischen Vorgänge [The psychopathology of the higher structured psychological processes] [Article in German]

Bash KW

In: Lehrbuch der Allgemeinen Psychopathologie, Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart, 1955

(cf. pp. 182-3)


Illusions of comparative interpretation and emotion

Mullan S, Penfield W

AMA Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry 81:269-284, 1954

(They report on results of electical stimulation of various parts of the brain via electrodes. In their conclusions, they wrote: "Illusions of familiarity were predominantly associated with epileptic discharge or electrical stimulation in the temporal region of the hemisphere that is minor for handedness and speech.  However, this preponderance is less invariable than in the case of visual illusions." p. 283.)



Wilson SAK

From Chapter LXXXVI in: Neurology. A. N. Bruce (ed.) Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins company, 1940

(The author wrote: "As for the dreamy state, it can be extremely brief, or prolonged into the space of a few minutes.  Comprised thereunder are conditions for which a variety of phrases have been coined by those with experience of it -- 'a feeling of having been there before', 'feeling of being somewhere else', 'reverie', 'double consciousness', 'recurrence of an old dream', 'memories of things that happened in childhood', 'feeling of strangeness and unreality'.  Sometimes the sensation is so weird and evanescent as to elude depiction; it so transcends reality that the subject feels he is quivering on the brink of the unknown; sometimes there are 'terrible thoughts' that cannot be uttered." p. 1479)


Mental symptoms in cases of tumor of the temporal lobe

Keschner M, Bender M, Strauss I

Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry 35:572-596, 1936

("Some patients complain of a 'feeling of having been in exactly the same situation as before' -- the déjà vu state.  This is relatively rare, and we did not observe it in any of our cases." pp. 577-8)


General Paralysis with "déjà vu" Phenomenon

Dawson WS

Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 20(5):634-5, 1927

(The author reports on a case in which the man claimed he had had dreams that told him the future [precognitive dreams].  The author terms this "déjà vu" and fears that it "is being worked into a grandiose delusion." p. 635)

(available on-line at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2101168/ )


Die Erinnerungstäuschungen der "reduplizierenden Paramnesie" und des "déjà vu", ihre klinische Differenzierung und ihre psychologischen Beziehungen zueinander [The memory illusion of "reduplicative paramnesia" and "déjà vu", their clinical differentiation and their psychological relationships with each other] [Article in German]

Rosenberg M

Zeitschrift für Pathopsychologie 1:561-602, 1912

(This paper makes a clear distinction between reduplicative paramnesia [as described by Pick in his 1901 paper] and déjà vu.  It is in the latter that the individual is immediately confronted with the impression of having lived through something before in all its detail while with the former the impression gradually grows as the experience progresses [p. 561].  Pages 587 to 599 are devoted to a lengthy discussion of déjà vu with many examples and case reports.  Especially valuable is the distinction made between how déjà vu is experienced by normal people [of short duration and dream-like] and by ill persons who tend to believe, he said, that there is a mysterious purpose at work behind what they are living through [p. 594].)


Psychological Literature: Hysteria, Paramnesia

(No authorship indicated)

Psychological Review 1(1):93-95, 1894

Discusses the topics of hysteria and paramnesia, highlighting two articles: one by Bernheim entitled On the Psychical Nature of Hysterical Unilateral Amblyopia and Sensitivo-sensorial Hemianaesthesia (see record 1894-10029-001), and one by A. Lalande entitled Des Paramnésies (1893). For the first article, in taking the case of a youth of 19, the upper left half of whose body was completely anaesthetic, Bernheim defends the view that the insensibility in such hysterical cases is not real, but only mental, just like that produced by suggestion in hypnotic subjects. The second article focuses on Lalande's theory on paramnesia, the illusion of feeling as if one had already undergone the experience which may be passing. Lalande suggests that unconscious telepathic perception, if made conscious by the succeeding mental state, might give rise to the sense of a previous experience repeated.


Section six: Psychoanalytic thinking


The ego, the ocular, and the uncanny: why are metaphors of vision central in accounts of the uncanny?

Rahimi S.
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, S7N 5B1, Canada. Sadeq.Rahimi at usask.ca

International Journal Psychoanalysis 94(3):453-76, 2013    doi: 10.1111/j.1745-8315.2012.00660.x. Epub 2013 Mar 15

I am my own twin, Always with me, same as me, and always watching me! From interview with a psychotic patient Every man carries with him through life a mirror, as unique and impossible to get rid of as his shadow W.H. Auden, 1989, p.93 I cannot urge you too strongly to a meditation on optics. Jacques Lacan, 1991, p.76 This paper outlines the basic arguments for a reading of the notion of the uncanny that draws on direct and metaphorical significances of the ocular in the development of human ego. It is argued that a specular-oriented reading of the uncanny as made possible through Lacan's model for ego development introduces a significant analytic device capable of explaining diverse features of the uncanny experience that escaped the traditional phallic/castration-based reading. To examine this claim, evidence is presented from a number of contexts to demonstrate how uncanny experiences are typically constructed through and associated with themes and metaphors of vision, blindness, mirrors and other optical tropes. Evidence is also presented from a historical point of view to demonstrate the strong presence of ocular and specular themes, devices and associations in a tradition of literary and psychological writing out of which the notion of 'the uncanny' (including Freud's own formulation) emerged. It is demonstrated that the main instances of the uncanny, such as doppelgangers, ghosts, déjà vu, alter egos, self-alienations and split personhoods, phantoms, twins, living dolls and many more in the list of 'things of terror' typically share two important features: they are closely tied with visual tropes, and they are variations on the theme of doubling. It is then argued that both of these features are integrally associated with the developmental processes of ego formation and self-identity, thus explaining the strong association of the uncanny accounts and experiences with ocular and specular motifs and metaphors.


[Proust e Freud: Memoria involuntaria e o estranhamente familiar] [Proust and Freud: Involuntary memory and the strangely familiar] [in Portuguese]

Moritz-Kon, N

Percurso: Revista de Psicanalise 10(20)[1]: 37-48,

Attempts to define the similarities and differences between what the author feels are 2 analogous experiences: Freud's description of the "strangely familiar" ("das Unheimliche") in his paper, "The uncanny" (1919) and Marcel Proust's definition of "involuntary memory" in 2 moments of his 7 vol. novel, "Remembrances of things past" (1913-1927). Proust's "involuntary recollection" is triggered by a physical sensation (e.g., the taste of a "madeleine," a small, sweet, tea-dipped cake). Freud's "uncanny" is the impression of having already experienced a moment or situation ("deja vu). The main difference between Proust's and Freud's experiences is the sense of joy and liberation associated with Proust's involuntary recollection, whereas Freud's "uncanny" triggers unease and anxiety.


Screen reconstructions: traumatic memory, conviction, and the problem of verification

Good MI
Harvard Medical School, USA

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 46(1):149-83, 1998

Just as formerly recalled screen memories may be remembered again in the course of psychoanalysis, so new screen phenomena can arise during the treatment process. This paper attempts to relate the process of reconstruction and the occurrence of a type of screening. It is proposed that, under certain circumstances, psychoanalysis can result in a mutually determined screen construction that both patient and analyst consider convincing and valid but which may, for the most part, actually be untrue as a result of the screen function. Screen memories arising during the reconstructive process resemble the déjà vu and déjà raconté situation in that the experience is felt with certainty to have actually occurred previously, although a degree of doubt about its having happened can consciously or unconsciously coincide. Factors contributing to the formation of screen constructions include regressive aspects of the analytic situation; superego elements and the experience of an injunction to remember; the wish to witness what took place in the past; direct or indirect suggestive influence by the analyst; a defensive identification with the analyst; and the analyst's theoretical orientation to reconstruction. Like a screen memory having some veridical content yet serving a masking function, a screen construction can have elements of truth. At the same time such constructions may function as a strong resistance of compromise against intense erotic, sadomasochistic, or narcissistic themes in the transference/counter-transference that were painful or conflictual in the past. If screen constructions are assumed to be historically real or valid, they may not be analyzed for their transferential screening role. A previously published case involving a presumably repressed memory of sexual molestation is considered from the perspective of the possible development of a screen reconstruction. Clinical and scientific aspects of seeking extra-analytic confirmation or falsification of reconstructions are discussed.


Psychoanalysis and time.

Arlow JA

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 34(3):507-28, 1986

Psychoanalysis is fundamentally related to time because it is an effort to understand how disturbances in the present are determined by events in the past. Technically, we know that the patient who is reporting immediate perceptions is not aware of the passage of time, but he becomes self-conscious as undesirable elements threaten to appear in his associations. Time is not sensed by direct awareness, nor is it an agent of action or events. Various functions of the ego influence how time is experienced consciously, leading to phenomena such as déjà vu, a sensation of timelessness, misjudgment of time duration, the experience of premonition. Psychoanalysis more than any other discipline sheds light on the coexistence of past, present, and future, as influenced by unconscious fantasy thinking. The analyst's understanding of the patient's associations is guided by temporal factors such as context and contiguity, succession of similar or opposite elements. Basically, the self is a time-bound concept; identity implies that a self is the same entity at different points in time. There is a deep-seated rebellion against the tyranny of time, beginning with need frustration in the infant and culminating in the knowledge that man is destined to lose the struggle against death.



Sohn L

International Journal of Psychoanalysis 64(pt. 2): 203-11, 1983

("The déjà vu is to be considered as a paramnesia, with the feeling that one has seen it before, heard it before, or been it before, but does not know where or when. The basis for this may be in some real experience which has been forgotten, something real and not clearly recollected, or real, or fantasy life, waking or dream life."  p. 204)


Enuresis: A functional equivalent of a fetish

Calef V, Weinshel EM, Renik O, Mayer EL

International Journal of Psycho-Analysis 61:295-305, 1980

The split in the ego between consciousness and unconsciousness which sometimes eventuates in fetishism can also be clinically manifested in sleep disturbances, depersonalization, déjà vu and a variety of alterations in the sense of reality.  It is suggested that this same split comprises the central dynamic mechanism in enuresis. The sleep disturbance which accompanies enuresis involves a confusion between waking and sleeping, sometimes taking the form of a dream that one is awake.

Three patients (adult males) revealed in the course of their analyses that they suffered from childhood enuresis accompanied by a sleep disturbance.  Milder forms of sleep disturbances persisted into adult life.  In these analyses, certain perceptual distortions, difficulties in the sense of reality, confusions between fantasy and reality and between waking and sleeping, could all be linked to the functional split between consciousness and unconsciousness and eventually to disavowal of the female genitals.  The enuresis represented a functional equivalent of the fetish (and it may be that the urinary stream itself actually served as fetish).
Psychological test data from nine enuretic boys were examined as well.  This material clearly demonstrated that these boys wished to deny the differences between males and females, that they suffered from sleep disturbances and that they confused reality and fantasy, sleeping and waking.  The combined data suggest the existence of a functional split in the ego used in the service of defense, the product of a regressive fixation and a reinstatement of an archaic mode of thought.


Micropsia and testicular retractions

Myers WA

Psychoanalytic Quarterly 46(4): 580-604, 1977

Describes the analysis of an adult male who experienced 5 episodes of micropsia which were precipitated by oedipal masturbatory fantasies. Traumatic visual events and testicular retractions during the oedipal and latency years predisposed the ego functions concerned with visual perception to later involvement in conflict. The micropsia itself is seen as defending against castration anxiety by means of a series of unconscious fantasies of denial. These fantasies cause a regression to an earlier mode of visual perception (and to micropsia) characteristic of latency. The defensive modifications of the functions of the ego itself seen in micropsia are closely allied to those seen in the déjà vu experience and in depersonalization.


Early ego development and the déjá vu

Pacella BL

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 23(2):300-26, 1975

It is proposed that certain deja vu experiences may be the result of a sudden partial decathexis of the current situation, and a concomitant recathexis of primitive experiences which readily allow certain symbolic representations to force themselves into conscious awareness as a discrete and circumscribed experience in the perceptual ego, carrying with it only a strong sense of the familiar rather than discrete memories. The drive investment that cathects the current situation or object to be "familiarized" (deja vu) may be derived in substantial part from the "face-gestalt configuration" of the symbiotic and, later, nonsymbiotic mother, described as an early crucial organizer of the psyche.

Certain deja vu experiences may be initiated by anxiety (often castration anxiety) induced by the current reality situation. They could but not necessarily be dynamically similar or related structurally to other deja phenomena. It is speculated that there may be certain dynamic parallels between the deja vu) the dream screen of Lewin, and the Isakower phenomenon.


Time and affect in psychopathology

Hartocollis P

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 23(2):383-395, 1975

Discusses the sense of time, which is normally implicit and unconscious. In schizophrenia and borderline conditions, however, and in normal people under stress, the sense of time becomes dominant. The less one is conscious of time as a duration or perspective, the more likely that one is free of psychopathology. The exaggerated awareness of time may be experienced as an affectless state. Several types of time distortion are illustrated by clinical cases. Schizophrenia or borderline conditions are characterized by boredom and depersonalization affects dominated by the sense of time as present. Psychotic depression and morbid anxiety are dominated by the sense of an irrevocal past and a dreadful future, respectively. Time distortions reflect defenses against unconscious fantasies. Depending on the effectiveness of the blocking defense, time distortions may be experienced as pleasant or as painful. (29 refs.)

(Déjà vu referred to on pp. 387, 389.)


Kapitel IX: Die Abwehrmechanismen, Die pathogene Abwehr, Die Verleugnung [Chapter IX: The defense mechanisms, the pathogenic defense, the denial] [Article in German]

Fenichel O

Psychoanalytische Neurosenlehre, Walter Verlag, Olten, 1974

(See pp. 208-9.)


Derealization and déjà vu: formal mechanisms

Siomopoulos V

American Journal of Psychotherapy 26(1):84-9, 1972

This paper suggests the possibility that perceptual wholes might be capable of forming larger object-affect wholes with the affective states associated with them. The phenomena of derealization and déjà vu appear to be reflections of disturbances in the organization of perceptual wholes and their affective components into such larger object-affect wholes. In derealization, a familiar affect is missing from a familiar object-affect whole. This is due to repression of pure affect viewed not as cathexis of an idea, but as a separate psychic structure. In déjà vu, the feeling of object familiarity is actually an awareness of a familiar affect constituting part of an object-affect whole.  The phenomena of derealization and déjà vu appear to support the view that the affects are independent psychic structures following their own formal laws.


Freud's déjà vu on the Acropolis. A symbolic relic of 'mater nuda'

Slochower H

The Psychoanalytic Quarterly 39(1):90-102, 1970

The voyeuristic imagery which Freud uses in describing his feelings on the Acropolis is interpreted as a deja vu, connected with a childhood memory of having seen his mother nude. The Letter is further seen as another indication of Freud's greater attention, especially in the last years of his life, to the preoedipal phase. This is also evident in his increasing examination of the prehistory and myth of Egypt, Greece, and other places. To some degree, the oedipal and patriarchal considerations are also introduced in the Letter. Thus Freud's disturbance of memory may also be connected with having forgotten that it was FIiess who brought to his attention the idea of bisexuality.


Unconscious fantasy and disturbances of conscious experience

Arlow JA

The Psychoanalytic Quarterly 38:1-27, 1969

(He wrote about an "attack" of déjà vu and provides an example which he discusses.)


Varieties of consciousness: I. Intercorrelations

Buck LA, Geers MB

Journal of Clinical Psychology 22:151-2, 1966-7

The present study evaluated the interrelationships between the reported frequency of occurrence of the daydream, synesthesia, déjà vu, depersonalization, hypnagogic experience and the dream. Significant correlations were found in 33 of 55 comparisons.


Time of dreaming and the déjà vu

Zuger B

Comprehensive Psychiatry 7(3): 191-6, 1966

Some dreams are presented which in content seem closely related in the immediate situation facing the dreamer at the time of recalling the dream.  The question is raised if the sense of pastness of such dreams is not like that of the déjà vu. An attempt is made to correlate the occurrence of dreaming and the déjà vu phenomenon in 58 patients seen in psychotherapy.  All 10 who reported as not dreaming also reported as not having experienced the déjà vu; dreaming generally correlated with experiencing the déjà vu. These findings are discussed from the point of view that dreaming may also be a product of the awakening or awake state. pp. 195-6


A reconsideration of Freud's "A disturbance of memory on the Acropolis" in relation to identity disturbance

Harrison IB

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 14(3):518-527, 1966

("Depersonalization, like déjà vu, is a symptom revealing more or less successful defense during a period of erupting drive energies." [p. 525])


Dreams and deja vu

Schneck JM

Psychosomatics 5:116-8, 1964

Déjà vu occurring within a dream, which so far as I know has not been mentioned before, is described now and compared with other material reported on this subject. The influences apparently brought to bear on its occurrence in this patient are discussed. It is said at times that déjà vu reflects an unconscious impression entering consciousness because of the presence of a current similar impression. Here the earlier impression was an event of which the patient was consciously aware, but with a symbolic significance of which the patient was apparently unaware. Déjà vu as been mentioned as having connections with unconscious fantasies and recent or distant dreams. The reverse occurred in the present case with the déjà vu occurring within the dream itself, linked to an earlier real life situation. The dream déjà vu in the present patient reflects his desire to have a second chance at success in reaching a goal. This conforms to an opinion given by another writer regarding the role of second chance. Previous cases I have reported do not, however, support this explanation. I expressed the opinion that there is an undesirable tendency to offer encompassing explanations of déjà vu in an attempt to fit a mold, whereas it would be better to recognize variations in psychodynamics present in different patients. This opinion is reenforced now along with support for my claim that déjà vu reflects ambivalence associated with recognizing an area of conflict that lies at the core of the phenomenon.


The psychodynamics of 'deja vu'

Schneck JM

Psychoanalysis and the Psychoanalytic Review 49(4):48-54, 1962

(This paper is essentially the same as Schneck, 1961 [see following paper]. On p. 51, though, the author wrote "Many déjà vu episodes take place without evidence of concurrent physical illness or physiological disturbance.")


A contribution to the analysis of deja vu

Schneck JM

Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 132:91-3, 1961

("I wonder whether it would be more correct to say that déjà vu reflects only in part an attempt at acceptance, but more accurately the ambivalence associated with recognizing an area of conflict that lies at the core of the phenomenon." p. 91)


Das déjà vu-Erlebnis [The deja vu experience] [Article in German]

Herrmann T.

Psyche (Stuttg) 14:60-76, 1960-1

("Das déjà vu ist ein durch Unbehaglichkeits- und Spannungsqualitäten ausgezeichnetes, im Zustand reduzierter Wachheit plötzlich auftretendes relativ kurz daurendes Erlebnis, bei dem irgendeine objektiv neue und auch gleichzeitig oder fast gleichzeitig als neu erkannte Umweltkonstellation, die wahrscheinlich für den Betroffenen nicht in spezifischer Weise bedeutsam zu sein braucht, unmittelbar bekannt und mit einer vermeintlich schon einmal dagewesenen identisch anmutet." p. 65).

[Déjà vu is an experience distinguished by qualities of unease and tension, arising suddenly in conditions of reduced alertness, and lasting a relatively short time, in which some objectively new and also simultaneously, or almost simultaneously, as a new constellation of surroundings that probably for the person involved do not need to be especially important, are immediately familiar and seem to be identical with what one holds to have been already.]


Answer to Job

Jung CG

In: The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, vol. 11, Bolligen Series XX, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J., 1958.

("As always when an external event touches on some unconscious knowledge, this knowledge can reach consciousness.  The event is recognized as a déjà vu, and one remembers a pre-existent knowledge about it." par. 640)

[The German version was originally published in 1952.]


The meaning of déjà vu

Marcovitz E

The Psychoanalytic Quarterly 21(4):481-9, 1952

(This is a good review of psychoanalytic thinking about déjà vu.  He believes déjà vu, at least for some people, represents a second chance. p. 483)


Déjà vu in Proust and Tolstoy

Pickford RW

International Journal of Psychoanalysis 25:155-165, 1944

(As a Freudian psychoanalyst the author analyzes both examples of déjà vu in terms of repressed infantile and sexual needs. Tolstoy's description of a déjà vu experience is found in chapter XXV of the section entitled 'Youth' of his semi-autobiographical work, Childhood, Boyhood and Youth.  The chapter is entitled 'I Get Acquainted'. 

Poust's "déjà vu experience is recounted on pp. 20-24 of the fourth volume of the English translation of À la recherche du temps perdu." p. 160)


Rossetti's 'Sudden Light' as an experience of déjà vu

Pickford RW
Glasgow University

British Journal of Medical Psychology 19:192-200, 1941-3

(Rossetti's "déjà vu experience is to be understood as a momentary eruption into consciousness of unconscious identification of mistress with mother image, and, since this meaning could be tolerated in consciousness, the eruption was immediately wrapped in rationalizations and became converted into a poem." p. 199)


Erroneous recognition (fausse reconnaisance)

Oberndorf CP

Psychiatric Quarterly 15(2):316-26, 1941

The feeling of déjà vu or of having said something before is primarily a disturbance of reality perception, and constitutes a defense reaction against future danger or unpleasantness, as well as against the anxiety associated with the memory of an undefined, unsolved experience (Freud's "wish for improvement of the situation").


Three related experiences of déjà vu

Pickford RW

Character and Personality 9:152-9, 1940

("Experiences of déjà vu, or 'false' recognition, are common among normal as well as abnormal people, and do not of themselves indicate abnormality of personality any more than do ordinary dreams. p. 152

"There is ... the distress at the fear of losing control of one's thoughts when something disturbing unconscious idea enters consciousness, and the déjà vu is a form of insistence that the experience is familiar, which protects surface layers of the personality to some extent from the disturbing effects of a direct uprush of unconscious material." p. 158)


Brief an Romain Rolland (Eine Erinnerungsstörung auf der Acropolis) [A letter to Romain Rolland (A disturbance of memory on the Acropolis)] [Article in German]

Freud S

Almanach 1937, pp. 9-21

(In the English version entitled "A disturbance of memory on the Acropolis", he refers to déjà vu on the 7th page.)


Zur Metapsychologie des "déjà vu" [Concerning the metapsychology of déjà vu] [Article in German]

Pötzl O

Imago (Vienna) 12:393-402, 1926

(Due to his own experience the author agrees with Grasset that some instances of déjà vu arise from forgotten dreams [pp. 393-4].  Further on he wrote that those coming for therapy often experience déjà raconté [already told] and that a therapist, like himself, often experiences déjà vu, déjà entendu [already known], déjà éprouvé [already attempted], and déjà senti [already felt] [p. 395].)


Les Obsessions et la Psychasthénie [Obsessions and psychoasthenia] [Articles in French]

Janet P

Vol. 1, Libraire Felix Alcan, Paris, 1919,

(The sensation of déjà vu is an intellectual feeling that belongs to the area of depersonalization [p. 29].
It is discussed in these passages [pp. 295-8, 324-325, 558].)

(See http://archive.org/stream/lesobsessionsetl001jane#page/556/mode/2up )

Vol. 2, Libraire Felix Alcan, Paris, 1919,

(He discusses a case in which the patient was not familiar with places she should have known well.  He says this is the opposite of déjà vu [now it might be called jamais vu - never seen]. p. 29)

(See http://openlibrary.org/books/OL24485564M/Les_obsessions_et_la_psychasth%C3%A9nie )


The psychopathology of everyday life

Jones E

American Journal of Psychology 22(4): 477-527, 1911

(The author mentions Freud's explanation of déjà vu. p. 506)


Determinism -- Chance -- and Superstitious Beliefs

Freud S (1901)

Chapter 12 in: Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Translation by A. A. Brill (1914), London: T. Fischer Unwin, 1922

"I do not know whether this phenomenon of Déjà vu was ever seriously offered as a proof of a former psychic existence of the individual; but it is certain that psychologists have taken an interest in it, and have attempted to solve the riddle in a multitude of speculative ways. None of the proposed tentative explanations seems right to me, because none takes account of anything but the accompanying manifestations and the favouring conditions of the phenomenon. Those psychic processes which, according to my observation, are alone responsible for the explanation of the Déjà vu -- namely, the unconscious fantasies -- are generally neglected by the psychologists even to-day.

"I believe that it is wrong to designate the feeling of having experienced something before as an illusion. On the contrary, in such moments something is really touched that we have already experienced, only we cannot consciously recall the latter because it never was conscious. In short, the feeling Déjà vu corresponds to the memory of an unconscious fantasy. There are unconscious fantasies (or day dreams) just as there are similar conscious creations, which everyone knows from personal experience.

"I realize that the object is worthy of most minute study, but I will here give the analysis of only one case of Déjà vu in which the feeling was characterized by particular intensity and persistence. A woman of thirty-seven years asserted that she most distinctly remembered that at the age of twelve and a half she paid her first visit to some school friends in the country, and as she entered the garden she immediately had the feeling of having been there before. This feeling was repeated as she went through the living-rooms, so that she believed she knew beforehand how big the next room was, what views one could have on looking out of it, etc. But the belief that this feeling of recognition might have its source in a previous visit to the house and garden, perhaps a visit paid in earliest childhood, was absolutely excluded and disproved by statements from her parents. The woman who related this sought no psychologic explanation, but saw in the appearance of this feeling a prophetic reference to the importance which these friends later assumed in her emotional life. On taking into consideration, however, the circumstance under which this phenomenon presented itself to her, we found the way to another conception." [pp. 320-1]

"My own experience of Déjà vu I can trace in a similar manner to the emotional constellation of the moment. It may he expressed as follows: 'That would be another occasion for awakening certain fantasies (unconscious and unknown)  which were formed in me at one time or another as a wish to improve my situation.'"[13] [pp. 323-4]

[13] Thus far this explanation of Déjà vu has been appreciated by only one observer. Dr. Ferenczi, to whom the third edition of this is book is indebted for so many contributions, writes to me concerning this:"I have been convinced, through myself as well as others, that the inexplicable feeling of familiarity can be referred to unconscious fantasies of which we are unconsciously reminded in an actual situation. With one of my patients the process was apparently different but in reality it was quite analogous. This feeling returned to him very often, but showed itself regularly as originating in a forgotten (repressed) portion of a dream of the preceding night. Thus it appears that the Déjà vu can originate not only from day dreams but also from night dreams." [p. 324]


Some further typical dreams

Freud S (1900)

Section E in: The Interpretation of Dreams, Basic Books, 2010, p. 409

("In some dreams of landscapes or other localities emphasis is laid in the dream itself on a convinced feeling of having been there once before. (Occurrences of ‘déjà vu’ in dreams have a special meaning."1)

1 [This last sentence was interpolated in 1914 (Die Traumdeutung, 4. Ausgabe, Leipzig and Vienna: Franz Deuticke.) The phenomenon of ‘déjà vu’ in general is discussed by Freud in Chapter XII (D) of his Psychopathology of Every-day Life (1901b) and in another short paper (Freud, 1914a ).

(1901b) Zur Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens, Berlin. [Trans.: The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Standard Ed., 6.]

(1914a ) ‘Über fausse reconnaissance (“déjà raconté”) während der psychoanalytischen Arbeit’, [Trans.: ‘Fausse Reconnaissance (“déjà raconté”) in Psycho-AnalyticTreatment’, C.P., 2, 334; Standard Ed.,14.]


Section seven: Parapsychology research

The nature, incidence, impact and integration of spontaneous parapsychological experiences: An exploratory mixed methods research study

Rosemary Breen
Doctoral thesis; Monash University. Faculty of Education, Clayton, Vic., 2008

Anecdotal reports of paranormal experiences abound. In addition to the numerous books, films and media articles, there is a growing body of personal narratives which is readily accessed through online websites, blogs and chatrooms. By comparison, there is a paucity of documented research on spontaneous parapsychological phenomena in the academic literature. The current exploratory study sought to redress this imbalance by addressing the research problem: what types of paranormal phenomena do people spontaneously encounter, and are there unifying themes in the reports of these experiences? This research followed the Mixed Methods Research model. Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered via an online survey instrument, which was written in English. Over three thousand (N=​3194) self-selecting respondents completed the questionnaire and in total, 59 countries were represented. The majority of the paranormal experients were from the United States of America (N=​1979), Australia (N=​485), United Kingdom (N=​252), and Canada (N=​228). More women (62 per cent) than men participated in the survey, and while the dominant age group was the 18-35 year olds (45 per cent), this was closely followed by the 36-55 year olds (43 per cent). The survey gathered information on ten categories of paranormal experience, namely deja vu, apparitions, near-death episodes, out-of-body experiences, psychokinesis, premonitions, auras, mediumship, reincarnation, and telepathy. The survey gathered statistical data on the type, frequency, and age at onset of each type of experience. Respondents were also invited to reflect on the possible causes and the personal impact of their own parapsychological experiences. Several significant themes were identified in the data. These included: variations in the levels of incidence of the different types of phenomena; gender differences; national variations; and the trend for paranormal experiences to have a marked impact on the experients, their values, and the way they lived their lives. The research outcomes also supported the notions that spontaneous parapsychological experiences are universal, and not limited to adulthood. The majority of first encounters, of eight of the ten types of paranormal phenomenon, occurred in childhood (<18 years), including a small number of pre birth experiences. In addition, the narratives offered numerous references to the perceived significance that race, genetics, and the female bloodline play in the paranormal experience. The current findings both support the existing literature and suggest new research directions. At the personal level, for those charged with the mental, spiritual, and educational welfare of the individual, particularly the young, this exploratory study highlights the need to take spontaneous parapsychological experiences, and their experients, seriously. At the broader level, the findings confirm the ubiquitous nature of the paranormal and suggest both unifying and independent themes in the nature, incidence, impact and integration of parapsychological phenomena. Additional research is indicated and a catalogue of eleven recommendations for future study is proffered. [Author abstract]



I knew you were gonna say that: Déjà vu and predictive dreams

Schafton A

Chapter 7 in "Dream Singers: The African-American Way with Dreams, John Wiley & Sons, NY, 2002, pp. 83-90

("57% of the blacks in my sample asserted that déjà vu is due to a dream which predicted the event prompting the déjà vu experience. Only 15% of my white sample asserted this belief." p. 83)


The popular uncanny

Arnzen MA

Doctoral thesis: University of Oregon, 1999


"The Uncanny" generally refers to any experience of "strange familiarity," haunting, or déjà vu . It is also the name of a genre of literature (horror fiction) and a school of literary criticism (deconstruction), both of which are interested in the "living dead" and the way the past haunts the present. In The Popular Uncanny , I apply the lessons of these genres to American mass culture since World War II, claiming that the uncanny is not merely an unconscious "return of the repressed" (as Sigmund Freud says), but also signifies media culture's management of cultural alienation under late capitalism. Borrowing heavily from the schools of Marxism and feminist theory, I read the uncanny as an "ideologeme"--a sign of a "political unconscious"--which often functions to maintain the status quo in postwar culture, particularly in terms of gender and class relations. By closely examining representations of the uncanny in advertising history ("Doublemint Gum"), horror cinema (the "Alien Hand"), the bestseller (Stephen King's Misery ), and the Internet (the "Un-Home" page), I discover contemporary culture's uniquely ambivalent relationship to commodities and recording technology, particularly evident since World War II, when the mass media began to offer America a false sense of mastery over postwar malaise. Indeed, what is uncanny in commodity culture is often media technology's ability to "magically" reinvest the past with a sense of presentness, as if reanimating the dead, in the interest of profit. I argue that this nostalgic fantasy reflects patriarchy's mourning for lost social power under late capitalism. In the process, representations of the uncanny often function to renew cultural oppression on the basis of gender and class. Yet the ambivalence of the uncanny in postmodern culture, I conclude, suggests the capacity of the media to not only raise dated ideologies from the dead but also resurrect a culture's awareness of all that it oppresses.


Moments of transcendence: A psychospiritual interpretation of psychic, conversion, and mystical experiences

Bousquet MH

Masters thesis: Acadia University (Canada), 1998


This study examines various phenomenological events associated with a sense of knowing, the process that leads to them, and the interpretation given them by the informants. These events include but are not limited to psychic events (intuition, insight, experiences of fore knowledge or deja-vu), conversion experiences, and mystical experience including visions. Research on phenomenological experiences is limited and has been guided by a predominantly skeptic agenda. Psychic events, usually associated with paranormal manifestations and relegated to the field of parapsychology, continues to be associated with attributive models of psychopathology. While conversion and mystical experiences have a more positive connotation within the confines of faith community, the study of Hermeneutics and Depth Psychology, they have received little attention from a developmental perspective. This research examines these events in the context of both psychological and spiritual development on the premise that psychic, conversion and mystical experiences are the product of natural creative processes inherent to the human experience, an active component of psychological functioning and development, and an integral part of our growth toward our higher goal, our quest towards Transcendence. Structure for understanding the process involved in each experience is provided in the four stage model of spiritual growth (Peck, 1987, ch.5). Results are communicated both in terms of the informant's own understanding and in light of the existing theories. The research concludes with implications for counselling and recommendations for further research.


A Critique of Arguments Offered Against Reincarnation

Almeder R
Department of Philosophy, University Plaza, Georgia State University. Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3083

Journal of Scientific Exploration 11(4): 499-526, 1997


In his recently published book Reincarnation: A Critical Examination (Amherst, New York: Promethius Books, 1996). Paul Edwards has offered a number of arguments against the possibility of reincarnation. It is a sweeping effort to show that the very idea of reincarnation is illogical and indefensible. While not arguing directly for reincarnation, this essay criticizes the main arguments, methodology and polemics wielded in what is more an effort to debunk than to carry out the critical examination claimed in the title of the book. In criticizing Edward's arguments this essay is criticizing the major objections available against the reincarnation hypothesis.

The book, incidentally, has seventeen sections, all of which confront, either directly or indirectly, arguments favoring either reincarnation, or some form of personal survival of death. These sections bear the titles: 1. Reincarnation, Karma, and Competing Doctrines of Survival; 2. The Moral Argument; 3. The Law of Karma; 4. Child Prodigies, Deja Vu Experiences, and Group Reincar­nations; 5. The Rise and Fall of Bridey Murphy; 6. More Hypnotic Regres­sions and "Progressions"; 7. Spontaneous Memories of Earlier Lives; 8. The Conservation of Spiritual Energy; 9. The Astral Body; 10. Telephone Calls from the Dead, Birth-marks, and the Modus Operandi Problem; 11. Dr. Kubler Ross, Dr. Moody, and the New Immortality Movement; 12. The Fan­tasies of Dr. Kubler Ross; 13. Dr. Grof, LSD and the Amorous Snake Woman; 14. The Population Problem and Other Common Sense and Scientific Objec­tions; 15. The "Interregnum": What Happens Between Lives?; 16. More about Dr. Ian Stevenson, the "Galileo of Reincarnation"; 17. The Dependence of Consciousness on the Brain; and Irreverent Postscript: God and the Modus Operandi Problem.


Spontaneous Psi Phenomena

Stokes DM

In: Advances in Parapsychological Research 8. Stanley Krippner (ed.). Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1997

(Stokes gives a good summary of skeptical reasons for dismissing any of the cases, but argues that dismissing all of them would be unwise. He adds short sections on deja vu and animals' psi-trailing, then turns to poltergeists. Here he describes only a few reports, but they are representative and give an adequate introduction.)


Feelings of past lives as expected perturbations within the neurocognitive processes that generate the sense of self: Contributions from limbic lability and vectorial hemisphericity

Persinger MA
Laurentian University

Perceptual and Motor Skills 83:1107·1121, 1996

Normal, young men and women who believed they may have lived a previous life (n = 21) or who did not endorse (n = 52) this belief of "reincarnation" were exposed to partial sensory deprivation and received trans cerebral stimulation by burst-firing magnetic fields over either the left or right hemisphere. Individuals who reported belief in reincarnation could be discriminated from nonbelievers by their more frequent report of experiences of tingling sensations, spinning, detachment of consciousness from the body, and intrusions of thoughts that were not attributed to the sense of self. The results support the hypothesis that there may be neurocognitive processes which identify experiences as originating from the sense of self (episodic or autobiographical memory) or "not self." When anomalous experiences are beyond the boundary of the experiences contained with the generalization gradient of concurrent autobiographical memory, they are more likely to be attributed to culturally available default explanations such as living a previous life.

("The reconstruction of an experience that is familiar but yet is discriminably different from the cluster of experiences labelled as one's unique memory could involve a process similar to deja vu as normally applied to percepts. This experimenter has suggested [Persinger, 1993] that the latter occurs in situations where there is a mismatch between the arrival times of bilateral information within the two hemispheres. Consequently, people who are prone to frequent but intermittent delays in bilateral processing such as patients with complex partial epilepsy and a focus within the limbic system or highly creative individuals who display frequent complex partial epileptic-like signs and symptoms should and do have quantitatively more of these experiences than does the average person." p, 1119)


Alternative Realities: The Paranormal, the Mystic and the Transcendent in Human Experience

George L

New York: Facts on File, 1995

In this book clinical psychologist Leonard George provides us with an encyclopedia of psychological, parapsychological, mystical, and religious experiences. The entries, listed in alphabetical order, are classified by George in his introduction as referring to correlates of experiences (e.g., absorption, creativity, hypnotizability, religiosity), mental disorders (e.g., delusion, fugue, hysteria, somatoform disorder), body and self phenomena (e.g., aura, autoscopy, bilocation, depersonalization), mystical and related experiences (e.g., ecstasy, mystical experience, peak experience, rapture), memory phenomena (e.g., agnosia, cryptomnesia, déjà vu, past-life recall), sensory and perceptual anomalies (e.g., eidetic imagery, entoptic phenomena, hallucination, synesthesia), psi experiences (e.g., clairvoyance, retrocognition, telekinesis, teleportation), encounters with otherwordly beings (e.g., apparitions, Bigfoot, ghosts, poltergeists), and a variety of other topics such as organic disorder and drug and religious experiences and practices.


The anomalous experiences inventory: Reliability and validity

Gallagher C, Kumar VK, Pekala RJ

Journal of Parapsychology 58(4): 402-428, 1994

Used a revised version of the Mental Experience Inventory (V. K. Kumar and R. J. Pekala, unpublished), termed the Paranormal Beliefs and Experiences Questionnaire (PBEQ), to develop the PBEQ's subscale structure and evaluate the subscales for their reliability and validity. The revised subscales included anomalous/paranormal (A/P) experiences, A/P beliefs, A/P abilities, fear of the A/P, and drug use, which were combined into the Anomalous Experiences Inventory (AEI). Results from 393 university students indicate that the AEI's 5 subscales fared well with both reliability and validity and showed moderate convergent validity with other measures of paranormal beliefs and experiences and with selected personality measures.

(Déjà vu correlations given on pages 419 and 422.)


The SPR centenary census: II. The survey of beliefs and experiences

Thalbourne MA

Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 59(835):420-31, 1994

As part of the activities to celebrate the Centenary of the founding of the SPR a questionnaire was mailed in 1982 to all those persons who were members at that time. Some 402 persons —about half the membership—returned usable data. The questionnaire contained an ESP test (the results of which were reported in Part I) and 51 questions pertaining to belief in and experience of phenomena ranging from the paranormal to religion to dream-life. This paper details the responses to those questions, and confirms previously discovered relationships both between belief in various aspects of the paranormal and between it and aspects of religion and dream-life.

Psi-Relevant Variables. Persons who scored high on the Sheep-Goat Scale claimed also to have detected being stared at (r - +0.32), to have experienced déjà vu (r = +0.18), sheep also tended to report other experiences which appear to have some relation to psi without themselves being necessarily paranormal, such as out-of-the-body experiences (cf. Blackmore, 1984), déjà vu, as well as lucid dreams and mystical experience (cf. Palmer, 1979; Kohr, 1980; Blackmore, 1984)


Wondrous events: Foundations of religious belief

McClenon J

Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994.

(Chapter 2 gives figures and tables up to 1989, reporting, for example, that in that year, 64% of US Americans had deja vu experiences, 58% ESP experiences, and an amazing 36% had contact with the dead. The author's main cross-cultural comparisons use figures from Japan and China [Chapter 3]).


[The psychoneurological status of psychics] [Article in Ukrainian]

Vynnyts'ka NV, Vynnyts'kyi OR

Lik Sprava (5-6):87-92, 1993

It was established that 2/3 of extrasenses sustained head injury, clinical death etc. The same ratio are left-handed. It is this group that show the déjà vu phenomenon and abnormal orientation in time and space. It is suggested that in several subjects organic lesions of the brain do not result in neurological deficit, but create preconditions for the appearance of extrasensory capabilities in the victims. The necessity is postulated for a detailed and mass screening of extrasenses by neurologists that may create a basis for scientific elaboration and understanding of this complex, interesting and unclear phenomenon.


Belief in the paranormal: A review of the empirical literature

Irwin HJ

Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 87(1): 1-39, 1993

Both parapsychologists and skeptics have interests in investigating the nature of belief in the paranormal, albeit with somewhat different objectives in mind.  Despite substantial variation across studies in the definition of the scope of paranormal belief, some degree of order can be imposed on the empirical literature by taking due account of the multidimensionality of paranormal belief. In this light, correlates of paranormal belief are surveyed in the domains of demographic variables, other beliefs and activities, cognitive variables, and personality. Particular emphasis is given to the need for a theory of the psychodynamic functions served by paranormal belief.

(Déjà vu mentioned on page 2.)


Age differences in mystical experience (Erratum in Gerontologist 1993 33[5]).

Levin JS
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk 23501

Gerontologist 33(4):507-13, 1993

Age differences are examined in reports of deja vu, ESP, clairvoyance, spiritualism, and numinous experience. According to the 1988 General Social Survey (N = 1481), these mystical experiences are somewhat more common now than in 1973, and deja vu, clairvoyance, and a composite mysticism score have increased with successively younger age cohorts. Further, private and subjective religiosity are positively related to overall mystical experience, while organizational religiosity is inversely related.


Dying to live: Science and the near-death experience

Blackmore S

Grafton, London, 1993

And sometimes she is tempted to digress down inviting sidepaths, on themes such as humankind's response to the constraints of time, or the déjà vu phenomenon; she tells us much more about the OBE than we need to know in the NDE context.


Belief in paranormal phenomena among adult Americans

Gallup GH Jr, Newport F

The Skeptical Inquirer 15:137-146, 1991

A Gallup national survey shows that paranormal beliefs are widespread.  Yet belief in astrology and the reality of UFOs has lessened, superstitions are widely disbelieved and the New Age movement is unadmired.

(A result of this survey is that 55% believe that they have had a déjà vu experience, 13% are not sure, and 32% believe that they have never had such an experience [from 1,236 telephone interviews].  In a 1978 survey, only 30% claimed they had had such experiences [or were willing to admit it].)


Children Claiming Past-Life Memories: Four Cases in Sri Lanka

Haraldsson E
Department of Psychology, University of Iceland, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland

Journal of Scientific Exploration 5(2): 233-261, 1991

"Well known in psychology are deja vu experiences, those anomalies of recognition that have been denned as "illusions of falsely perceiving a new scene or experience as a familiar one" (Wilkening, 1973, p. 56). Representative national surveys show this experience to be widely reported in the general population, such as by 41% of the population in Iceland (Haraldsson, 1975) and 59% in the U.S. (Greeley, 1975)."  Wilkening, H. E. (1973). The psychology almanac. Monterey, California: Brooks/Cole.


'Psychic sensitivity', mystical experience, head injury and brain pathology

Fenwick P*, Galliano S*, Coate MA*, Rippere V*, Brown D
*Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK

British Journal of Medical Psychology 58(1):35-44, 1985

The ‘psychic’ experiences of 17 students (sensitives) from the College of Psychic Studies were compared with those of 17 church-going control subjects, who were matched for age, sex, and approximate intellectual level. At interview, 67 items of information relating to the medical history, family history, ‘psychic gifts’, head injuries, and mystical experiences were obtained. The shortened WAIS, the Benton Visual Retention Test, with tests of both dominant (Wechsler Logical Memory) and non-dominant temporal lobe function (the Rey-Osterreith Test) were given. The results showed that the sensitive population contained more single or divorced people, and people who had sometime consulted a psychiatrist. They had experienced more head injuries and serious illnesses than the controls. Sixty-six per cent showed evidence of right hemisphere and right temporal lobe dysfunction and, of these, 35 per cent had poor visual memories. There was evidence to suggest that some ‘sychic’ experiences were associated with brain dysfunction. Despite an increased occurrence of head injury, no clear correlation with the onset of ‘psychic’ sensitivity was found. Mystical experiences showed a trend towards being related to non-dominant hemisphere dysfunction. Vagueness about the position of the sensitive's ‘psychic helper’ in physical space was also associated with non-dominant hemisphere dysfunction.

(Déjà vu is included in the table on p. 38.)


Sudden Light : the mystery of deja vu

Frank DS

Masters thesis Dissertation: Humanistic and Clinical Psychology, 1983

This thesis explored the question "What is the experience of déǰà vu?" using the heuristic model of qualitative research. Deja vu was defined as "a feeling that some scene or experience in the present has been known to one in the past. "A comprehensive review of the literature on deja vu was part of the study. Data for the study were collected in the Detroit metropolitan area from 11 co-researchers (four female and seven male, ages 28 to 65), including the author. The main research method used to obtain data was the unstructured interview. Handling of the data was accomplished through the heuristic methods of immersion, in dwelling, intuition, tacit dimension, and internal frame of reference. Deja vu experience was shown to be of at least two qualitatively distinct types. Explicit Repetition Deja Vu was characterized by: the feeling of re-living a situation, tacit knowledge or foreknowledge, shift in sensory perception, paradoxical emotional reaction, search for meaning, and sense of wonder or mystery. Profound Impact Deja Vu was characterized by: an intense, extended aura of familiarity in an unfamiliar location, tacit knowledge or foreknowledge, shift in sensory perception, intense or remarkable affect, extended search for meaning, and profound impact. A third type of deja vu, Precognitive Dream Recollection Deja Vu, appeared to be related to Explicit Repetition Deja Vu, suggesting a relationship between dreaming and deja vu. The study indicated that Profound Impact Deja Vu affects the individual greatly, and that other forms of deja vu may emerge with additional research in this area.


Telepathy in mental illness: deluge or delusion

Greyson B

Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 165(3):184-200, 1977

The belief that one can read others' minds has long been considered a symptom of psychosis, despite reports in the parapsychological literature of veridical telepathy. All patients admitted to an inpatient psychiatric unit were screened for paranormal beliefs, and those claiming telepathic abilities were tested in a free-response ESP task. Eighteen per cent of the inpatient population claimed telepathic abilities; of the nine patients who completed the task, none performed above chance expectations. Higher frequencies of paranormal experiences than those reported previously in the psychiatric literature were attributed to the context of the study. Schneider's first rank symptoms and a belief in telepathy discriminated schizophrenics more reliably than other paranormal experiences. Possible psychodynamics of delusions of telepathy were discussed in view of the predominance of women and younger men reporting them, as were the possible effects of such research on patients' delusions.

(On p. 188, what is called déja vu would better be termed déjà visité.  In a mail survey, 65% of 20 schizophrenic patients and 51% of 68 non-psychiatric patients claimed to have had déjà vu experiences.)


Ultimate values and the paranormal

McCready WC, Greeley AM

Chapter 8 in: The Ultimate Values of the American Population, Sage Publications, Beverly Hills, CA., 1976, pp. 129-136

(The first section of this short book chapter contains a wealth of information about déjà vu and what it is [and is not] correlated with.)


Precognition, clairvoyance, and "time travel"

Grof S

In section IV of Psychiatry and Mysticism, Stanley R. Dean (ed.), Nelson Hall, Chicago, 1975

(Déjà vu is seen to be a pitfall in the research of precognition, clairvoyance and "time travel" in LSD research [p. 129].)


Spontaneous 'paranormal' experiences in relation to sex and academic background

Green CE

Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 43:357-63, 1966

A survey of 115 students intended to measure the frequency of deja-vu experiences, lucid dreaming, out-of-body experiences, hallucinations, and ESP in relationship to the gender and academic backgrounds of the respondents. Tabulates the percentage of affirmative and negative responses obtained. Notes that the results seem to be independent of sex and academic orientation.


Paramnesia and reincarnation

Chari CTK

Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research 53: 264-86, 1960-62

(The author argues that the phenomenon of déjà vu, frequently taken to indicate reincarnation, can equally be explained by paramnesia, the distortion of memory. Instances of veridicality can be held to demonstrate paranormal cognition, such as telepathic exchanges between parent and child, again not requiring the reincarnation hypothesis. The possibility of 'precognitive paramnesia' is also discussed [p. 273]).


On Synchronicity

Jung CG

In: The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, vol. 8, Bolligen Series XX, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J., 1958.

("The sentiment du déjà-vu is based, as I have found in a number of cases, on foreknowledge in dreams ..." par. 974)

[The German version was originally published in 1951.]



Section eight: Papers and letters to the editor without text or abstracts

Comment on Brázdil (2012) "Unveiling the mystery of dèjà-vu: The structural anatomy of dèjà-vu"

Labate A, Gambardella A
Institute of Neurology, University "Magna Græcia", Catanzaro, Italy; Neuroimaging Research Unit, Institute of Neurological Sciences, National Research Council, Germaneto (CZ), Italy. E-mail: labate a unicz.it

Cortex Sept. 3, 2012     pii: S0010-9452(12)00262-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2012.08.021. [Epub ahead of print]

(No abstract available.)


Precognitive avoidance and precognitive deja vu

Bem D

Annual Convention, 6-20. Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 47th Annual Convention, 2004, pp. 431-432


Deja vu and jamais vu

Sno HN

Chapter in: Memory Disorders in Psychiatric Practice. German E. Berrios, John R. Hodges, et al. (eds.) New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 2000, pp. 338-347


The alter ego and déjà vu: Phenomena, notes and reflections

Grotstein JS

Chapter 2 in The Plural Self, John Rowan and Mick Cooper (eds.), Sage Publications, London, 1999, pp. 28- 50


déjà vu

The Blackwell Dictionary of Neuropsychology

J. G. Beaumont, P. M. Kennedy, M. J. C. Rogers, eds.

Blackwell Publishers, Ltd., London, 1996

(Déjà vu also mentioned in the article on epilepsy, p. 327.)


Déjà vu experiences

Edwards P

In: Reincarnation: A Critical Examination, Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY, 1996, pp. 51-56


De Invullijst voor het Deja vu Ervaringen Enquete-onderzoek (IDEE) [The Inventory for Deja vu Experiences Assessment (IDEA)] [Paper in Dutch]

Sno HN, Schalken HFA, de Jonghe F, Koeter MWJ

Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 37(8): 673-677, 1995


Experiential phenomena evoked by human brain electrical stimulation

Halgren E, Chauvel P

Chapter in Electrical and magnetic stimulation of the brain and spinal cord. Orrin Devinsky, Aleksandar Beric, et-al. (eds.) Advances in neurology 1993. New York, NY, USA: Raven Press, pp. 123-140.


Een zonderlinge zweming . . . Over deja vu-ervaringen in de bellettrie [A strange resemblance . . .: On deja vu experiences in literature] [Paper in Dutch]

Sno HN, Linszen DH, de Jonghe F

Tijdschrift-voor-Psychiatrie 34(4): 243-254, 1992


Heymans' onderzoek naar "deja vu"-ervaringen [Heymans' study of deja vu experiences] [Paper in Dutch]

Sno HN, Draaisma D

Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Psychologie en haar Grensgebieden 47(4): 163-176, 1992


Altered ego states

Arlow JA

Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences 29(2): 65-76, 1992


Déjà vu

Koerner JL

Chapter in: Caspar David Friedrich and the Subject of Landscapes. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1990, pp. 233-237.


A la recherche du . . . deja vu [In search of the deja vu phenomenon]

Sno HN, Linszen DH

Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 31(8): 518-532, 1989


The Psychology of Déjà Vu: Have I Been Here Before?

Flach FF

American Journal of Psychiatry 142 (6):772-773, 1985

(A review of Prof. Vernon Neppe's 1983 book with that title.)


Spontaneous psi experiences among unselected high school subjects

Haight JM, Kennedz E, Kanthamani H
Institute for Parapsychology, FRNM, Durham, NC

Research in Parapsychology, The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, NJ, 1979


Homuncular identity-sense as a déjà-vu phenomenon

Comfort A

British Journal of Medical Psychology 50:313-5, 1977


Deja vu, extrasensory perception, and clairvoyance

Greeley AM

Chapter 2 in The Sociology of the Paranormal: A reconnaissance, Sage Publications, Beverly Hills, CA. 1975, pp. 9-33


Kapitel IX: Die Abwehrmechanismen, Die pathogene Abwehr, Die Verleugnung [Chapter IX: The defense mechanisms, pathogenic defense, denial] [Article in German]

Fenichel O

Psychoanalytische Neurosenlehre, Walter Verlag, Olten, 1974

(See pp. 208-9.)


Reincarnation vs. déjà vu and ESP

Holzer H

Chapter III in Born Again. Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, NY, 1970, pp. 51-62


Deja vu and depersonalization in normal subjects

Harper MA

Australian New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 3:67-74, 1969


Déjà Vu and the Mysterious Flashes

Carr DE

Chapter 5 in: The Eternal Return, Doubleday & Co., Garden City, NY, 1968


Déjà vu

In: Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry.  A. M. Freedman & H. I. Kaplan (eds.), Williams & Wilkins Co., Baltimore, 1967, p. 893


Déjà vu en depersonalisatie: Twee gedichten van Achtenberg [Déjà vu and depersonalization: Two poems by Achtenberg] [Article in Dutch]

Janzen EK

Niederlandsch Tijdschrift voor Psychologie en Grenzgebiet 1966 21:136-147


Peculiarities of déjà vu

Fodor N

In: Between Two Worlds, Parker Publishing Company, Inc., West Nyack, NY, 1964, pp. 108-116


Hebbels Erklärung des "déjà vu"

Ferenczi S

In: Bausteine zu Psychoanalyse, Band III, Verlag Hans Huber, Bern, 1964, pp. 43-6


On some types of déjà vu experiences

Chari CTK

Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 58:186-203, 1964


Paramnesia and reincarnation

Chari CTK

Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research 53:264-286, 1960-62


Spontaneous case trends

Palmer J, Dennis M

In: Research in Parapsychology. Methuen, N.J.: The Scarecrow Press, 1975, p. 130


[Contribution to the psychopathological study of the "deja vu" and "jamais vu" experiences in epileptics] [Article in Italian]

Agostini L, De Romanis F

Rivista sperimentale di freniatria e medicina legale delle alienazioni mentali 84:271-88, 1960


The structure of the deja vu experience

Arlow JA

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 7:611-31, 1959


Illusions of comparative interpretation and emotion

Mullen S, Penfield W

Archives of Neurology (Chicago) 81:269-84, 1959


Dreamy states

Bingley T

In: Mental Symptoms in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and Temporal Lobe Gliomas. Acta Psychiatrica et Neurologica, Suppl. 120, vol. 33.  Ejnar Munksgaard, Kobenhavn, 1958, pp. 101-5


Interpretive illusions of familiarity: temporal lobe

Penfield W

Research Publications, Assoc. for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease 36:210-???, 1958


A case of 'déjà vu'

Ferenczi S

In: The Problems and Methods of Psycho-Analysis, Hogarth Press, London, 1955, pp. 319-320

(German original in 1912.)


Die Psychopathologie der höher strukturierten psychischen Vorgänge

Bash KW

In: Lehrbuch der Allgemeinen Psychopathologie. Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart, 1955, 182-3

(cf. pp. 182-3)


[Differences between déjà-vu, fausse reconnaissance and reduplicative paramnesia] [Article in Dutch]

Tolsma FJ

Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde 96(49):3064-8, 1952


The five haystacks: Notes on an experience analogous to déjà vu

Bowyer LR [Bristol University], Picford RW [Glasgow University]

British Journal of Medical Psychology 22:117-121, 1949


Intellectual symptoms in temporal lobe lesions including "déjà pensée"

Brickner RM and Stein A

Journal of Mount Sinai Hospital 9:344-8, 1942


A Contribution to the Psychoanalysis of Déjà Vu

Bergler E

The Psychoanalytic Quarterly 11:165-170, 1942

(No abstract is available.)


Über das déjà vu und ähnliche Erlebnisse bei tumor cerebri

Christiani E

Der Nervenarzt 8:631-3, 1935


"Déjà Vu" The sense of the already seen

Carrington H

Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 25:301-6, 1931


Le sentiment du deja vu en pathologie particulierement dans la schizophrenie (paraphrenie)

Buhecker C

Doctoral thesis: Faculte de Medecine de Strasbourg (France), 1930


Die Erinnerung und das Gegenwärtigen und das Falsche Wiedererinnern

Bergson H

Chapter 5 in: Die Seelische Energie, E. Diederichs Verlag, Jena, 1928 pp. 98-136


General paralysis with "déjà vu" phenomenon

Dawson WS

Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 20(5):634-5, 1927

(A case report)


A propos du sentiment du déja-vu chez les épileptiques

de Teyssieu

Annales Medico Psychologiques 82:313-5, 1924


On paramnesia

Wohlgemuth A

Mind 33:304-310, 1924


Sur le phénoméne du "déjà vu"

Gilles A

Journal de psychologie normale et pathologique 18:166-9, 1921


Illusion of "the already seen" (paramnesia) and of "the never seen" (agnosia)

Gordon A

The Journal of Abnormal Psychology 15:187-192, 1920-21


Kritiken und Referate

Ferenczi S

In: Psychoanalytische Probleme. Leo Kaplan (ed.), Band IV, 1918, p. 113


Über fausse reconnaissance (déjà raconté) während der psychoanalytischen Arbeit

Freud S

Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse 2(1):1-5, 1914


Fausse reconnaissance (déjà raconté) in psycho-analytic treatment

Freud S

In: The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, vol. XIII. The Hogarth Press, London, 1955, pp. 201-7

(First published in German in 1914.)


Ein Fall von "déjà vu"

Ferenczi S

In: Bausteine zu Psychoanalyse, Band III (Praxis), 1964, pp. 161-3

(German original from 1912)


Eine psychologische Grundlage des Wiederkunftsgedankens
(Bemerkungen über den literarischen Wert der "fausse reconnaissance")

Fischer O

Zeitschrift für angewandte Psychologie und psychologische Sammelforschung 5(5-6):487-515, 1911


Un nouveau cas de paramnesie [A new case of paramnesia] [Article in French]

Dugas L

Revue Philosophique de la France et de l'etranger 69:623-9, 1910


Le Souvenir du Présent

Bergson H

Revue Philosophique 66:561-593, 1908


Sur un cas de paramnésie

Bélugou L

Revue Philosophique 64:282-4, 1907


Un cas d'Aura Paramnésique chez une Epileptique

Claude H

Revue Neurologique 15:188-191, 1907


Sur la symmétrie bilatéerale du corps et sur l'indépendance fonctionelle des hémispheres cérébraux

Bonne C

Archives de Neurologie 1:177, 293, 370, 467, 1907


Deuxième note sur la fausse reconnaissance

Féré Ch

Journal de Neurologie 11:101-5, 1906


L'Illusion de Fausse Reconnaissance

Albès A

Doctoral thesis, Faculté de Médecine de Paris, 1906


A propos du "déja vu"

Janet P

Journal de Psychologie 2:289-307, 1905


Recent literature on paramnesia

Coriat IH

American Journal of Psychology 16:550-2, 1905


Un cas de "Fausse reconnaissance" ou de "Déjà vu"

Ballet G

Revue Neurologique 1221-23, 1904

(No abstract available.)


Reduplicative paramnesia

Coriat IH

Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 31:577-587, 639-659, 1904


Essai théorique sur l'illusion dite de "fausse Reconnaissance"

Dromard G, Albès A

Journal de psychologie normale et pathologique 1:216-228, 1904


La sensation du déjà vu : Sensation du "déjà entendu" ; du "déjà éprouvé" ; illusion de "fausse reconnaissance

Grasset J

Montpellier, 1903


La sensation du déjà vu [The déjà vu sensation] [Article in French]

Méré C

Mercure de France 47 (163):62-81, 1903


Interpretazione psicologica di alcune paramnesie [Psychological interpretations of some paramnesias] [Article in Italian]

Ferrari GC

Rivista Sperimentale di Freniatria e medicina legale delle alienazioni mentali 28:718-722, 1902


La fausse reconnaissance dans l'aura de la migraine [False recognition in the migraine aura] [Paper in French]

Féré Ch

Journal de Neurologie 3:353-6, 1898

(No abstract available.)


De l'hypermnésie physiologique et du "déjà vu". -- De quelques variétés d'hypermnésies morbides [Physiological hypermnesia and the "déJà vu" -- The various varieties of morbid hypermnesias] [Paper in French]

Guillon A

Chapter III in Les Maladies de la Mémoire. Librairie J. -D. Bailliére & Fils, Paris, 1897, p. 91ff


Un cas d'illusion du déjà vu ou de fausse mémoire [A case of the déjà vu illusion or false memory] [Article in French]

Arnaud FL

Annales Médico-Psychologiques 3:455-71, 1896


L'impression de "l'entièrment nouveau" et celle du "déja vu" [The impression of "the entirely new" and that of the "déjà vu"] [Paper in French]

van Biervliet JJ

Revue Philosophique 38:40-49, 1894

(No abstract available.)


Observations sur la fausse mèmoire [Observations concerning false memories] [Paper in French]

Dugas L

Revue Philosophique 38:34-48, 1894

(No abstract available.)


Note sur la Paramnésie [Note concerning paramnesia] [Paper in French]

Lapie P

Revue Philosophique 37:351-2, 1894


Erinnerungstäuschung [Memory illusion] [Article in German]

Forel A

In: Das Gedächtnis und seine Abnormitäten. Orel Füssli & Co., Zürich, 1885, pp. 44-5


Le Illusioni della memoria [Memory illusions] [Article in Italian]

Buccola G

Rivista di Filosofia Scientifica 2:708-16, 1882-3


Beitrag zum Capitel über Erinnerungsfälschungen [Contribution to a chapter on memory illusions]


Archiv für Psychiatrie 8: 57 - 64, 1878


(Note without title)

Horwicz M

Revue Philosophique 1:430, 1876


Doppelwahrnehmungen und Doppeldenken [Double perceptions and doubled thinking] [Paper in German]

Huppert M

Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie 26:529-50, 1868

Section nine: Links to articles on the Internet

Reference: Wikipedia article on déjà vu

(undated): Neppe Déjà Vu Research and Theory

(undated): The Various Manifestations of Déjà Vu Experience by Dr. Vernon Neppe

(discussion): Déjà Vu Discussions

What Causes Déjà Vu? – Factomania – Brit Lab – BBC

5 Possible Scientific Explanations for Déjà Vu

Déjà vu confuses its researchers as much as its experiencers

Déjà vu scishow

A translation into English of Emil Boirac's 1876 letter to the editor

The Psychology of Déjà vu

Déjà Vu A Spiritual Perspective

There’s more to déjà vu than a simple glitch in The Matrix

The mystery called dejavu

Disappointingly, Déjà Vu not a Glitch in the Matrix

Probing Question: What causes deja vu?

Explainer: what is déjà vu and why does it happen?

Seeing into the future? The neuroscience of déjà vu

Déjà Vu: What is the currently leading theory for déjà-vu?

Researchers explore secret origin of deja vu

Been There, Done That—or Did I?: Déjà Vu Found to Originate in Similar Scenes

Scientists uncover deja vu mystery

Spatial Configuration Can Spark Deja Vu, Colorado State University Psychology Study Reveals

Déjà vu (definition)

Wait, haven't I read this before? The science of deja vu

The Skeptic's Dictionary: déjà vu

What is going on in the brain when we experience déjà vu?

The neural basis of déjà vu

Probing Question: What causes deja vu?

Déjà vu

New Scientist article about déjà vu

Déjà vu: Where fact meets fantasy

A Fragment Theory of Deja Vu

Deja vu tied to familiarity with past

The Psychology of Déjà Vu

New Research Helps Solve the Mystery of Déjà Vu

Deja vu, jamais vu and false memory play dirty tricks on human beings (21.07.2008)

Could deja vu be explained by grid cells?

Go ask Alice: Deja vu" experiences

Nifty Side Effect: Deep Brain Stimulation For Obesity Causes Boost In Memory

Déjà vu and the Brain, Consciousness and Self

Deep brain stimulation boosts memory and evokes flashbacks

Explaining Déjà Vu

Origin of Deja Vu Pinpointed

The Dentate Gyrus and Deja Vu

Think You've Previously Read About This? Click This to Find Out Why

Simulating the future and remembering the past: Are we prediction machines?

Top Ten Unexplained Phenomena

Deja vu 'recreated in laboratory'

Another look at déjà vu

A stunning new look at deja vu (A blind man has it)

Blind Man Has Déjà Vu, Busting a Myth

Memory no barrier to deja vu: research

Déjà vu created in the lab

Boffins use hypnosis to induce déjà vu

Déjà Vu, Again and Again

New research on the brain mechanisms for déjà vu by Evan Ratliff

How Deja Vu Works

When deja vu is more than just an odd feeling (chronic deja vu)

Real-life Groundhog Days studied

Patients Suffer Déjà Vu Over and Over

Three Types Of Deja Vu

The neurology behind deja vu

The Psychology of Déjà Vu

Discussion on the AboveTopSecret Forum: What is déjà vu?

Déjà Vu: If It All Seems Familiar, There May Be a Reason

The Tease of Memory

An Experiment with Time by J.W. Dunne (review)

Déjà vu: The Past in the Present

What exactly is déjà vu?

Déjà Vu

Déjà vu as a failure of the brain to put "time stamps" on memories

A Theory on the Deja Vu Phenomenon

The experience of Deja Vu in clinical and spiritual terms

Section ten: Other (fun) déjà vu websites

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 21:30