Déjà vu  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Déjà vu, "already seen"; also called paramnesia, from Greek παρα para, "near" + μνήμη mnēmē, "memory") is the experience of feeling sure that one has witnessed or experienced a new situation previously (an individual feels as though an event has already happened or has repeated itself). The term was coined by a French psychic researcher, Émile Boirac (18511917) in his book L'Avenir des sciences psychiques (The Future of Psychic Sciences), which expanded upon an essay he wrote while an undergraduate. The experience of déjà vu is usually accompanied by a compelling sense of familiarity, and also a sense of "eeriness", "strangeness", or "weirdness". The "previous" experience is most frequently attributed to a dream, although in some cases there is a firm sense that the experience "genuinely happened" in the past.

The experience of déjà vu seems to be very common among adults and children alike; in formal studies 70% of people report having experienced it at least once. References to the experience of déjà vu are also found in literature of the past, indicating it is not a new phenomenon. It has been extremely difficult to evoke the déjà vu experience in laboratory settings, therefore making it a subject of few empirical studies. Recently, researchers have found ways to recreate this sensation using hypnosis.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Déjà vu" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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