This week the online version of the Journal of Science ran an article detailing a study into the origins of deja vu. Apparently MIT scientist have discovered what causes deja vu. Here is the explanation:
Like a computer logging its programs’ activities, the dentate gyrus notes a situation’s pattern—it’s visual, audio, smell, time and other cues for the body’s future reference. So what happens when its abilities are jammed?When Tonegawa and his team bred mice without a fully-functional dentate gyrus, the rodents struggled to tell the difference between two similar but different situations.“These animals normally have a distinct ability to distinguish between situations,” Tonegawa said, like humans. “But without the dentate gyrus they were very mixed up.”
Déjà vu is a memory problem, Tonegawa explained, occurring when our brains struggle to tell the difference between two extremely similar situations.