Thursday, June 23, 2011

10 Strange Things Your Mind Can Do

1 – L’esprit de l’Escalier


L’esprit de l’escalier (stairway wit) is the sense of thinking of a clever comeback when it is too late. The phrase can be used to describe a riposte to an insult, or any witty, clever remark that comes to mind too late to be useful—when one is on the “staircase” leaving the scene. The German word treppenwitz is used to express the same idea. The closest phrase in English to describe this situation is “being wise after the event”. The phenomenon is usually accompanied by a feeling of regret at having not thought of the riposte when it was most needed or suitable.

2 – Capgras Delusion

Capgras delusion is the phenomenon in which a person believes that a close friend or family member has been replaced by an identical looking impostor. This could be tied in to the old belief that babies were stolen and replaced by changelings in medieval folklore, as well as the modern idea of aliens taking over the bodies of people on earth to live amongst us for reasons unknown. This delusion is most common in people with schizophrenia but it can occur in other disorders.

3 – Déjà Senti

Déjà senti is the phenomenon of having “already felt” something. This is exclusively a mental phenomenon and seldom remains in your memory afterwards. In the words of a person having experienced it: “What is occupying the attention is what has occupied it before, and indeed has been familiar, but has been forgotten for a time, and now is recovered with a slight sense of satisfaction as if it had been sought for. The recollection is always started by another person’s voice, or by my own verbalized thought, or by what I am reading and mentally verbalize; and I think that during the abnormal state I generally verbalize some such phrase of simple recognition as ‘Oh yes—I see’, ‘Of course—I remember’, etc., but a minute or two later I can recollect neither the words nor the verbalized thought which gave rise to the recollection. I only find strongly that they resemble what I have felt before under similar abnormal conditions.”
You could think of it as the feeling of having just spoken, but realizing that you, in fact, didn’t utter a word.

4 – Déjà Vécu

Déjà vécu (pronounced vay-koo) is what most people are experiencing when they think they are experiencing deja vu. Déjà vu is the sense of having seen something before, whereas déjà vécu is the experience of having seen an event before, but in great detail – such as recognizing smells and sounds. This is also usually accompanied by a very strong feeling of knowing what is going to come next. In my own experience of this, I have not only known what was going to come next, but have been able to tell those around me what is going to come next – and I am right. This is a very eerie and unexplainable sensation.

5 – Déjà Visité

Déjà visité is a less common experience and it involves an uncanny knowledge of a new place. For example, you may know your way around a a new town or a landscape despite having never been there, and knowing that it is impossible for you to have this knowledge. Déjà visité is about spatial and geographical relationships, while déjà vécu is about temporal occurrences. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote about an experience of this in his book “Our Old Home” in which he visited a ruined castle and had a full knowledge of its layout. He was later able to trace the experience to a poem he had read many years early by Alexander Pope in which the castle was accurately described.

6 – Déjà Vu

A black cat went past us, and then I saw another that looked just like it, says Neo in “The Matrix.” Trinity responds: A déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.
There are more than 40 theories as to what déjà vu is and what causes it, and they range from reincarnation to glitches in our memory processes.
Déjà vu is a French term that literally means “already seen”. French scientist Emile Boirac, one of the first to study this strange phenomenon, gave the subject its name in 1876.
There are often references to déjà vu that aren’t true déjà vu. Researchers have their own definitions, but generally déjà vu is described as the feeling that you’ve seen or experienced something before when you know you haven’t. The most common misuse of the term déjà vu seems to be with precognitive experiences, experiences where someone gets a feeling that they know exactly what’s going to happen next, and it does. An important distinction is that déjà vu is experienced during an event, not before. Precognitive experiences, if they are real, show things that will happen in the future, not things that you’ve already experienced. (However, one theory about déjà vu deals with precognitive dreams that give us a “déjà vu feeling” afterwards.

7 – Jamais Vu

Jamais vu (never seen) describes a familiar situation which is not recognized. It is often considered to be the opposite of déjà vu and it involves a sense of eeriness. The observer does not recognize the situation despite knowing rationally that they have been there before. It is commonly explained as when a person momentarily doesn’t recognize a person, word, or place that they know. Chris Moulin, of Leeds University, asked 92 volunteers to write out “door” 30 times in 60 seconds. He reported that 68 per cent of his guinea pigs showed symptoms of jamais vu, such as beginning to doubt that “door” was a real word. This has lead him to believe that jamais vu may be a symptom of brain fatigue.

8 – Presque Vu

Presque vu is very similar to the “tip of the tongue” sensation – it is the strong feeling that you are about to experience an epiphany – though the epiphany seldom comes. The term “presque vu” means “almost seen”. The sensation of presque vu can be very disorienting and distracting

9 – Fregoli Delusion

Fregoli delusion is a rare brain phenomenon in which a person holds the belief that different people are, in fact, the same person in a variety of disguises. It is often associated with paranoia and the belief that the person in disguise is trying to persecute them. The condition is named after the Italian actor Leopoldo Fregoli who was renowned for his ability to make quick changes of appearance during his stage act. It was first reported in 1927 in the case study of a 27-year-old woman who believed she was being persecuted by two actors whom she often went to see at the theatre. She believed that these people “pursued her closely, taking the form of people she knows or meets”.

10 – Prosopagnosia

Prosopagnosia is a phenomenon in which a person is unable to recognize faces of people or objects that they should know. People experiencing this disorder are usually able to use their other senses to recognize people – such as a person’s perfume, the shape or style of their hair, the sound of their voice, or even their gait. A classic case of this disorder was presented in the 1998 book (and later Opera by Michael Nyman) called “The man who mistook his wife for a hat”.

1 comment:

  1. Deja Vu is freaking awesome right? Happens to me like all the time.. mind blowing..

    and Deja Vu Movie.. starring Denzel one of my favorite actors.. is a nice movie
    Watch it if you haven't seen it yet..




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