The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Is deja vu just dreaming in real time?  (Read 2986 times)

Offline bizerl

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 279
    • View Profile
Is deja vu just dreaming in real time?
« on: 10/09/2012 23:30:30 »
In my extensive research with an n=1 (me!), I've found that whenever I experience deja vu, it's not so much that I feel I've experienced it before, but more that I feel I've dreamed it before.

I know also that sleep has been linked as important for consolidating memories and I was wondering whether deja vu could actually be our brains short-circuiting directly to the dream-like consolidating of the memory. So we experience something and our brain immediately goes into memory-consolidation mode, which feels a bit like a dream, then hey presto! It feels like we've dreamed what we've just experienced.

Any thoughts?


Offline grizelda

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 740
    • View Profile
Re: Is deja vu just dreaming in real time?
« Reply #1 on: 11/09/2012 05:26:04 »
Possibly the neurotransmitter levels associated with any emotion lay down a trace which makes it easier to recreate those emotions (neurotransmitter levels) at a later time. When dreaming, the random levels attained by the neurotransmitters might have a bias towards previous levels because of this trace and thus recreate the emotions you felt before. This would explain why we often have the same dream several times in succession, as each dream reinforces the traces for the neurotransmitters to attain.

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8131
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
« Last Edit: 11/09/2012 06:12:11 by RD »

Offline YouAreDreaming

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Is deja vu just dreaming in real time?
« Reply #3 on: 17/09/2012 20:46:42 »
Hi Everyone,

I would like to share some of my insights into this topic as I have a vast background in this particular area. 

Firstly what you are describing bizerl is not entirely Déjà Vu which means "Already Seen" in French. 
There is another type of deja called "Déjà Rêvé" which means "Already Dreamed" and that is what you are describing.

Unlike Déjà Vu, Déjà Rêvé is when you experience the onset of deja and link the memory of the familiartiy to something you dreamed about in the past.

Precognitive Dreams are also a candidate of this type of Déjà.  There are ample historic accounts of this type of dreaming.

Here is an excerpt from an Abstract I wrote on this topic:

President Abe Lincoln weeks before his assassination dreamed of his death. Author Mark Twain had a dream involving the death of his brother Henry weeks before Henry would die in a riverboat accident with remarkable and uncanny detail in regards to the funeral that followed. British painter David Mandell dreamed three times of planes crashing into the twin towers. In 1996, he painted a picture of such a dream and had it timestamped in a photograph using his bank's clock for reference. German actress Christine Mylius would send her dreams to Professor Bender at the Institute for Border-line areas of Psychology for archiving. When she would have a dream come true, they would reference it in the archives.

Irish aeronautical engineer J. W. Dunne would keep a detailed account of his dreams and using the Scientific Method would investigate his own precognitive dreams. This is a small sampling of cases of precognitive dreams in our Historical Record. More importantly, there is a high probability that you have personal experiences with Déjà Rêvé. Most people have commonly experienced Déjà Vu. When a person connects the memory of the familiarity to something they dreamed in the past, Déjà Vu can then becomes Déjà Rêvé. 

Having had a long history with this type of Déjà experience, I thought I might be able to offer a different opinion and raise some conjecture on the topic as it is quite intriguing.


Offline damocles

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 756
  • Thanked: 1 times
    • View Profile
Re: Is deja vu just dreaming in real time?
« Reply #4 on: 26/09/2012 14:50:29 »
I think that YouAreDreaming has made a nice distinction between déjà vu and déjà rêvé, and then slipped up in application of it to his own post. There are really three or four different types of issue here:

(1) You have a dream, whether nocturnal or waking, that leaves you with a strong impression that something in particular is about to happen (or will at some time in the future). If you record it somehow, it can become a testable precognition.
(2) You hear a piece of news or encounter a situation and feel that it was something that you had previously had some sort of expectation or insight or dream that this situation was going to arise -- a "post-cognition".
(3) You find yourself in a situation where you feel that you have been in the exact same situation before, and reacted in the exact same way -- a "groundhog day" experience, and what is usually (in my experience) meant by déjà vu.

If we consider only the third of these, and leave aside any sort of consideration of precognition, then I think there is a rational explanation of why it can seem dreamlike. When you encounter the situation, your mind, with its remarkable preference for finding patterns, will recognise that certain aspects of the situation you are in are closely similar to an incompletely remembered incident in your past. You then subconsciously try to complete the pattern by making other forgotten or poorly remembered aspects match up as well. But then when you complete this reconstruction and step back to review it, you realise that there are some things that do not quite fit with your partial memories. You are seeing your current construction as something that nearly matches a remembered past event, but not quite, and therefore become perplexed about whether it is a memory of a real past event or a dreamed one.

Offline Steelycascade95

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Is deja vu just dreaming in real time?
« Reply #5 on: 28/11/2012 22:48:26 »
That explains a lot

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Is deja vu just dreaming in real time?
« Reply #5 on: 28/11/2012 22:48:26 »


SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
Login with username, password and session length