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Multi-Genre Work: “DEJA VU ILLUSION”

J. Alvarado Morales INDEX


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Prologue……………………………………………………………………………… Page 3 Introduction………………………………………………………………………….. 4-6 Annotated Bibliography…………………………………………………………….. 7-9 Genre #1: Interview ………………………………………………………………… 10-13 Genre #2: Quiz ……………………………………………………………………… 14-16 Genre #3: Website………………………………………………………………….... 17 Epilogue……………………………………………………………………………..... 18

Prologue Dear Reader:


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When I use the word “Déjà vu” I am thinking about a strange feeling of familiarity in some activities or places that I did not do or went before. Usually I feel or experience this illusion and for that reason I started to think about what kind of elements or facts can evoke this sensation and in what situations it is more frequents. First, I started to ask my family and friends if they had experiences it and how frequent. It was a surprise when every one of them said that had experience this illusion and some of them said that they feel it frequently. Those results increase my curiosity and I tried to evaluate the situation the next time I had the experience. Some months ago my family prepared a dinner to celebrate an award that the baseball league gave to my older brother. Casualty one member of my family, who I never meet before, came to my house. When I saw him I felt a strange sensation and when he started to talk about how he went to college and how he graduated with honors in Mechanical Engineering I felt that I had heard the same story from the same person before. It was impossible because he lived in Arizona and it was his first visit to Puerto Rico in twenty six years. I recognized that I was experiencing a “Déjà vu”. With that experience my curiosity increase even more but I had many work from my classes and I did have time to investigate or look at this topic on the internet. Then came this opportunity to make a Multi-Genre Work and I decided to write about this illusion to better understand it and show you even you had or had not experience it before how it can be possible and how frequently it can be possible. Hope you enjoy it! Sincerely,

Jorlys Alvarado Morales Introduction


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Have you ever felt an inappropriate feeling of familiarity in a situation that is objectively unfamiliar or new? Have you ever smelled or heard something that made you feel that you were there before? That’s what you feel when you have experience a “Déjà vu” illusion. “Déjà` vu is the sensation that an event has been encountered previously. It is the knowledge that a situation could not have been experienced, combined with the feeling that it has” (Thompson eat al 2004). According to Alan S. Brown, author of the article “The Déjà vu Illusion”, more than 50 surveys on déjà` vu indicate that approximately two thirds of individuals have experienced at least one déjà` vu in their lifetime and these individuals typically report multiple déjà` vu experiences (6). Brown also mentioned that the reported incidence of de’ja’vu has increased in recent surveys, suggesting a growing cultural awareness and acceptance of the illusion. “Déjà` vu incidence decreases with age, increases with education and income, and is more common in persons who travel, remember their dreams, and have liberal beliefs (political and religious) compared with those who do not travel, do not remember their dreams, and have conservative beliefs” (Brown 2004). On one hand Brown argue that a déjà` vu experience is triggered by a general physical context; although as spoken words alone sometimes cause the illusion (6). “People experience it mainly when they are indoors, doing leisure activities or relaxing, and in the company of friends; fatigue or stress frequently accompany the illusion. Déjà` vu is relatively brief (10 to 30 s), and is more frequent in the evening than in the morning and on the weekend than on weekdays. Personal reactions to déjà` vu are more positive than negative, and people typically indicate that they are surprised, curious, or confused when they experience the illusion” (Brown 2004). On the other hand Thompson eat al argue that this kind of illusion is related to brain system more than a simple curiosity or confusing experience.


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“Two brain areas, the hippocampus and amygdale are associated with déjà` vu, it invoke via deep brain electrode stimulation in these areas (Thompson eat al 2004). He also mention that in a recent review “ Brown (2003) divided current theories of déjà` vu into four categories: (1) neurological: the result of a brief dysfunction disruption in the nervous system; (2) dual processing: the result of two cognitive processes that usually synchronies becoming momentarily uncoordinated; (3) attentional: the result of an initial exposure to information being under distraction (creating no explicit recall of the information), followed by a second exposure under full attention. Therefore when information is encountered for a second time it is accompanied by a strong sense of familiarity in the absence of explicit recall, (4) memory: the result of a memory error, i.e. an item is retrieved from memory (thus it is familiar) but the context of the memory is not accessed, e.g. recognizing a person but not knowing where from” (906). The Déjà vu illusion can be interpreted by a hallucination or distortion of the reality. People may think that this sensation do not have any relationship with brain and neurological systems but Uwe Wolfradt, author of the article “Strangely Familiar”, argued that exist many differences between those illusions. We have to start distinguishing déjà vu from other unusual perceptual experiences. “The scenes are not hallucinations, for example, which involve heightened awareness of visual, auditory or other sensations triggered by internal brain imbalances, whether from mental illness or narcotics such as LSD. Fausse reconnaissance ("false recognition" or "false memory") is not the same either; this condition often appears during a phase of schizophrenia and can drag on for hours”(Wolfradt 2004). Wolfradt also argue that if we consider the example of seeing an old cupboard at a flea market, and suddenly it seems strangely familiar, as does the act of viewing it. “What you may have forgotten — or, rather, cannot retrieve — is that when you were a young child, your grandparents had a cupboard just like this one in their home” (2004).


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According to Wolfradt a related theory implies that we may perceive a person, place or event as familiar if at some earlier time in our lives we were exposed to just a partial aspect of the experience, even if it was within a different context. “Perhaps, when you were young, your parents stopped at a flea market while on vacation and one vendor was selling old kitchen cupboards. Or perhaps you smell an odor that was also present at that flea market you attended as a child. A single element, only partially registered consciously, can trigger a feeling of familiarity by erroneously transferring itself to the present setting”(2004). Since Déjà vu illusion is seem as a common feeling related to some characteristically situations and as mentioned before experienced by a significant amount of the population, many studies tries to describe and make a formal definition of it. Psychologists, Sociologists and other professionals in humanities and human behaviorists had been formulating many hypothesis and assumptions in this topic. I want to point out that no matter how many articles or conclusions we have about it, this illusion is a mystery. There are several situations that can be considered to relate and obtain a formal explanation of this sensation but there are not facts that can create a real and genuine déjà vu.

Annotated Bibliography 1.) Brown, Alan. “The Déjà vu Illusion”. <http://library

American Psychological Society. 2004

.uprm.edu:2139/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=5&hid=2&sid=f747ed52-242f-

4301-b35d-322 0 751495b3%40sessionmgr13>


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This article explains how recent advances in neurology and a better understanding of implicit memory and attention are helping to clarify this cognitive illusion named “Déjà vu”. The author also mentioned that this illusion have variables that can affect how frequently it can occur. For example, the incidence of it can decrease with age or increase with education and income. Also is more common in persons who travel, remember their dreams, and have liberal beliefs (political and religious) compared with other persons. According to Brown “The interpretations that appear to be the most promising for guiding laboratory research on the illusion explain it as arising from biological dysfunction, divided perception, and implicit familiarity in the absence of explicit recollection.” 2.) Thompson R.G. and eat al. “Persistent Déjà vu; A disorder of memory” Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2004; 19: 906–907. <http://library.uprm.edu:2139/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vi d=4&hid=2&sid=f747ed52-242f-4301-b35d-3220751495b3%40sessionmgr13> In this article the author, Thompson and eat al, explain that the persistence of “Déjà vu” can be a disorder of memory. He mentions that two brain areas, the hippocampus and amygdale are associated with déjà` vu. “Bancaud and colleagues (1994) invoked déjà` vu via deep brain electrode stimulation in these areas” (2004). Also mention that in a recent review Brown (2003) divided current theories of déjà` vu into four categories: (1) neurological (2) dual processing (3) attentional Therefore when information is encountered for a second time it is accompanied by a strong sense of familiarity in the absence of explicit recall, (4) memory: the result of a memory error, i.e. an item is retrieved from memory (thus it is familiar) but the context of the memory is not accessed, e.g. recognizing a person but not knowing where from(Thompson and eat al 2004).


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3.) Wolfradt, Uwe. “Strangely Familiar”. Scientific American Mind. 2003. <http://library.uprm .edu:2139/ehost/detail?vid=6&hid=2&sid=f747ed52-242f-4301-b35d-3220751495b3%40sessio nm gr13&bdata= JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=pbh&AN=16496382> Uwe Wolfradt, in his article “Strangely Familiar”, explains and compares the differences between hallucinations and illusions as “Déjà vu”. He mention that the scenes are not hallucinations, for example, which involve heightened awareness of visual, auditory or other sensations triggered by internal brain imbalances, whether from mental illness or narcotics such as LSD (2003). Also explains that Fausse reconnaissance ("false recognition" or "false memory") is not the same; this condition often appears during a phase of schizophrenia and can drag on for hours. Wolfradt points out that the insufficient attention and the memory without memories can evoke long-forgotten sight or smell that can trigger familiarity by erroneously transferring itself to the present. Therefore, understanding the illusion could explain how the brain, succeeds in producing a coherent likeness of reality. 4.) Cleary, Anne. “Recognition Memory, Familiarity, and Déjà vu Experiences.” Association for Psychological Science. Vol. 17 Pages 353-357 The author of the article “Recognition Memory, Familiarity & Déjà vu”, Anne Cleary, explains that the recognition memory is the type of memory that allows people to realize that what they are currently experiencing was experienced before, as when one realizes that a face was seen before, or that a song was heard before. She also mentions that recognition researchers have used a dual-process approach to study such feelings of prior experience with some actually using the example of déjà` vu to illustrate how such feelings can sometimes lead us astray. 5.)

Gómez, Virginia. “Esto es un Deja Vu”. Periódico el Nuevo Día. May 7 2010.

http://www.elnuevodia.com/estoesundejavu-699629.html


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This article written by Virginia Gomez, who had been studying about Déjà vu, shows that people who have the experience think that it can be a strong premonition or vision of reality. Also Gomez explains some examples and situation in where people would have the sensation.

Genre #1: Interviews In this genre I interviewed two students who have some equal and different characteristics to relate and compare how those facts can affect the frequency and the acceptance of the Déjà vu illusion of both. Table 1 shows those characteristics to compare in the analysis of the interviews. Table 1 Characteristics of both students


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Name

Age

Yarelis Ayala Samuel Bonet

20

Do you Do you Do you Do you Do you Do you Do you suffer make have consume remember have travel of leisure or any any drug your liberal frequently? stress relaxing mental or dreams? beliefs? and activities? illness? medicine? fatigue? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No

20

No

No

No

Yes

No

No

No

Hypothesis: According to these characteristics, created according to the article “The Déjà vu illusion” written by Alan Brown in 2004, the student Yarelis Ayala is supposed to have the illusion more frequently than Samuel Bonet. This hypothesis is formulated because even both students have the same age and are both college students they have differences that can determine how this illusion can be experience and how frequently. Interviews: These interviews are made to determine if the hypothesis is correct or not making direct questions related to the experiences and thoughts about the illusion.

Interview 1: Yarelis Ayala (May 2, 2010) 1.) How much do you know about the “Déjà vu” Illusion? Do you had experience that illusion before?


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“I think that déjà vu is a strange feeling of familiarity when you are making something that is new but you feel that you had made it before. I had been experiencing it since I have memory.” 2.) If you remember, describe a situation where you usually experience the illusion. “I usually experience it when I am talking about something important with my friends, when I enter in a room in some houses or when I am walking in the street and using my IPod with a specific song. Also I use a perfume that every time I use it I feel that familiarity and strange sensation of the past.” 3.) How frequently you experience the illusion? “I experience it every time and curiously I remember it clearly every time I have it. I also remember my dreams. Those experiences are interesting and make me think about how powerful and mysterious the human mind is.” 4.) How do you accept the illusion, positively or negatively? “When I experience it I accept it positively. Usually I smile because it happens in moments full of happiness and it is strange and mysterious but interesting and funny at the same time. It is normal and I live with it.”

Interview 2: Samuel Bonet (April 28, 2010) 1.) How much do you know about the “Déjà vu” Illusion? Do you had experience that illusion before?


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“The déjà vu is an illusion that when you are doing something and you feel that you were making it sometime before. I am not sure because it is confusing but I think I had felt some illusions like this.” 2.) If you remember, describe a situation where usually you feel the illusion. “I really do not remember events like these, as I mentioned before I do not remember my dreams or hallucinations. I guess it was when I am stressed because my classes or something like that.” 3.) How frequently you experience the illusion? “I do not have the illusion frequently. I only remember, not so clearly, two or three experiences in my life. One of them was when I was with my father in my yard.” 4.) How do you accept the illusion, positively or negatively? “When I had this illusion I felt confused and strange. I accepted it negatively because that kind of feeling make me be mad. I do not believe in superstitions or magic. I do not like these kinds of sensations.”

Conclusion: According to the information obtained by the interviews the hypothesis was correct. The student Yarelis Ayala had been experiencing the déjà vu illusion more than Samuel Bonet. Alan Brown, author of a article about the illusion, argue that people who frequently travel, remember their dreams, have strong liberal beliefs (religious and political), suffer of stress and make relaxing


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activities have more possibilities of have déjà vu illusion that people who do not make those activities.

Genre #2: Quiz How Much Do You Know About “Déjà vu” Illusion? 1.) The term “Déjà vu” was developed and has first been used in 1876 by a French physician means? a. “New experience”

b. “Seen already”


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c. “Past”

d. “Hallucination”

2.) Who was the first French physician who wrote a book about Déjà vu? a. Isaac Newton

b. Francois Louvre

c. Emile Boirac

d. Christoff Ouih

3.) What is the difference between a “Déjà vu” illusion and “Hallucination”? a. The hallucination and the “déjà vu” illusion are the same mental illness. b. The hallucination drag on for a few seconds but the illusion is for hours. c. The hallucination appears during a phase of schizophrenia and can drag on for hours. 4.) What is the Recognition Memory? a. Type of memory that allows people to realize that what they are currently experiencing was experienced before. b. Type of memory that allows people to realize that what they are currently experiencing was not experience before. c. Type of memory that allows people to remember only important and relevant situations. 5.) What kind of sensation people experience it mainly when they are indoors, doing leisure activities or relaxing, and in the company of friends or suffer of fatigue and stress frequently? a. Hallucinations

b. Déjà vu illusion

c. Depression

d. Schizophrenia


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6.) A person with temporal lobe epilepsy firmly believes his experience is identical to? a. Future experiences

b. Important Events

c. Hallucinations

d. A past situation

7.) Specifically, de’ja’vu may sometimes result from familiarity-based recognition, or recognition that is based on feelings of familiarity that occur without? a. Identification of their source

b. Identification of the duration

c. Recognizing it as an illusion

d. Recognizing it as reality

8.) According to dual-process theory, what two processes can give rise to recognition memory? a. Familiarity and interpretation

b. Recollection and familiarity

c. Interpretation and Organization

d. Recollection and Organization

9.) Many who have experienced déjà vu share the conviction that the phenomenon must arise from? a. Mystical power or as a sign of a past life and reincarnation b. Heritable mental illnesses c. Drug’s consumption 10.) For neuroscientists, these small errors offer invaluable insight into the workings of our consciousness. Further research on the déjà vu phenomenon will help explain not only how


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we manage to deceive our memory but perhaps how the brain ultimately succeeds in producing a coherent likeness of__________? a. Unreality

b. Reality

b. Hallucination

d. Illusion

Genre #3: Website “Déjà vu- Multi-Genre Work”


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Facebook Website: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=107259169314850&ref=ts

Epilogue


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The déjà vu illusion is mysterious and interesting sensation that can be interpreted in different ways. People who frequently have the experience think that it is normal and accept it positively even it can be confusing. This multi-genre work made me look at the real meaning of the illusion and what kind of situations or environments increases it is manifestation. I choose three different ways to show the real essence of the sensation making interviews, investigations, searches and more. One of the genres that I used is “the interview”, in this case I choose two students with some characteristics to formulate a hypothesis according to an article written by Alan S. Brown. Therefore I interviewed the students and based in their answers I proved that people who have those characteristics can have the experience more than people who do not have it. Other genre that I choose was a website. I made it to create a space in where people can share their experiences and learn about the real meaning and consequences of the experiences in different ways. The last genre I used was the Quiz created to help readers to know how much they learned about the topic with ten questions with their answers. I enjoyed this work because made me learn more about interesting topics and situations. Also I had fun combining and organizing the information to provide readers a neat and excellent work. One of the best parts was choosing the genres to create interesting pieces to show the information. I hope you enjoyed it and learned about this illusion that can be mysterious. Likewise I hope that when you feel the sensation you will remember this work.

Mullti-Genre: "The Deja Vu Illusion" (INGL 3231)  

A Multi-Genre Work The Deja Vu Illusion.