Health and Disease

Deja Vu: The Feeling Of Familiarity

Have you ever experienced the feeling of familiarity before? Well, what you might be feeling is Deja Vu. Experiencing deja vu is very normal and can happen to anyone. Learn more about the causes and implication of this mysterious condition.


Deja vu is a French term and literally means, “already seen”. Many people probably have felt and experienced the feeling of deja vu or have already heard about the term. The feeling of deja vu gives you a feeling of familiarity but something you can’t quite pinpoint either. This mysterious feeling is actually very common and not usually something to be worried about. However, this mysterious feeling isn’t something that can be easily explained. There have been many theories about what causes deja vu and what can be done to further analyze it. In this article, we will be diving into the depths of deja vu and give a deeper explanation and understanding of this phenomenological experience.

A Deeper Understanding

As mentioned before, deja vu can happen to anyone and anywhere, but to give a deeper understanding of deja vu is that it is a phenomenon of the human brain. Scientists have done many labs and research with deja vu, however the task isn’t as easy as it seems. Studying deja vu, especially in a lab setting, is very difficult because it is something that occurs in your brain. Researchers believe that deja vu can happen more likely to someone who is exhausted or stressed and has also tied instances to fatigue. Since there hasn’t been a solid answer for the cause of deja vu, there are many theories regarding the cause of deja vu. Some have argued that deja vu could possibly happen because of our higher consciousness. This means that deja vu could be caused by our higher consciousness trying to send us a message or that it is sharing something that might have occurred in a previous lifetime. However, obviously, these theories haven’t been proven to be true because they are not necessarily backed up by core evidence. You might be wondering now, then what is the cause of deja vu?


There have been many researchers trying to find the answer to deja vu and have been able to come up with the most hypothetical reasoning of what could possibly cause deja vu. However, researchers believe that the cause of deja vu is due to a malfunction in the brain. It is believed that deja vu might have a connection to the temporal lobe. The temporal lobe is one of the four major lobes that is located in the cerebral cortex. The main job of the temporal lobe is to create and preserve consciousness and long term memory. This connects to deja vu because of its ties to our memory. Researchers believe that the more stressed or tired you are, the more likely deja vu will happen to you because being tired can cloud short and long-term memory.  However, this is not  proven yet so there is still much room left for improvement and more things to be discovered regarding deja vu.

Relations to Fatigue and Seizures

Deja vu and fatigue surprisingly have a relation to one another. Since deja vu is more likely to happen to a person who is tired or stressed, this ties into fatigue because fatigue and stress are related to one another. Symptoms of fatigue include feeling overtired, having low energy, and the urge to sleep during daily activities. If a person experiences fatigue, it is more likely that they will experience deja vu as well since they are under much stress. Deja vu can also be tied into seizures that  occur in the temporal lobes of your brain. Symptoms of this can include deja vu as well. Although deja vu is harmless, it is possible for someone to experience temporal lobe seizures and have symptoms of deja vu at the same time.


Although the mysteries of deja vu still remain unanswered, as technology continues to advance, answers to deja vu in the future could be possible. As of now, our knowledge of deja vu is quite limited but for now, theories can give us a better understanding of what could possibly be the cause of this mysterious feeling. We can currently conclude that deja vu is more prone to happen to someone who has fatigue or someone who experiences stress and tiredness throughout their day. Researchers believe that the cause of deja vu is a malfunction of the brain but more research will be needed for a more solid understanding. For now, we can only make assumptions and theories about deja vu. Hopefully, in the near future, we will be able to come to a conclusion with what causes deja vu.

Mary Mai, Youth Medical Journal 2020


Feel Like You’ve Been Here Before? It Might Be Déjà Vu – Penn Medicine. (2019, July 2). Retrieved November 01, 2020, from

Johnson, J., & Moawad, H., MD. (2020, May 21). Temporal lobe: Definition, function, diagrams, and linked conditions. Retrieved November 01, 2020, from

Raypole, C. (2020, March 30). What Causes Déjà Vu? Retrieved November 01, 2020, from

Temporal lobe seizure. (2019, June 18). Retrieved November 01, 2020, from


By Mary Mai

Mary Mai is a student at Balboa High School in California. She is interested in fields of medical genetics, neurology, psychiatry, and pediatrics.

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