Feeds

Boffins use hypnosis to induce déjà vu

Boffins use hypnosis to induce déjà vu

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A post graduate student at Leeds University claims to have replicated the phenomenon of déjà vu in the laboratory.

The basic mechanism behind the phenomenon is thought to work as follows:

When it is presented with a scene, the brain runs through two processes. First it checks to see if it has seen or experienced any of the things before. If it has, a second process is triggered in a separate part of the brain which alerts the brain's owner that the scene is familiar.

This sense of familiarity can be triggered in error, leading to a feeling of déjà vu - something that 97 per cent of people report having experienced at some point in their lives.

The Leeds researcher, Akira O'Connor, wanted to use hypnosis to separate the two processes, and see if he could provoke a sense of déjà vu when presenting people with a novel situation, according to New Scientist.

He showed a group of volunteers a set of 24 words. Then the volunteers were hypnotised. While they were in their trance, they were told that when they saw a word in a red box, it would feel familiar but that they wouldn't be sure when they had seen it before. Words in green boxes, meanwhile, would be identified as belonging to the original list of the 24.

Once they were out of their trance, the volunteers were shown another set of 24 words, some from the original list, but others that were new. The words were all framed in various colours, including some in red and some in green.

Of the 18 volunteers, ten reported feeling odd when they saw words that were new and framed in red. Half of those said the sensation was like déjà vu.

This, the researchers say, demonstrates that the two processes can be separated. which could have implications for our understanding of how human memory works.

As yet, the work is not peer reviewed, but O'Connor says that he now plans to write up the study for publication in a journal. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST
Speculation rife, but Orbital claims it's too early to tell
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM
'What fun!' exlaims NASA boffin who found the LADEE
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.