Jul 16, 2008

Related Phenomena to Deja

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Several other recognition dysfunctions have been related to the deja vu experience. Jamais vu can be considered the opposite of deja vu in that it involves encountering an objectively familiar stimulus that momentarily feels unfamiliar (Burnham, 1903; Conklin, 1935; Critchley, 1989; Cutting & Silzer, 1990; Hughlings-Jackson, 1888; Neppe, 1983e; Reed, 1974; Sno, 2000).

Jamais vu is related to both word alienation, when an ordinary word suddenly looks unfamiliar (Heymans, 1904, 1906; Sno & Draaisma, 1993), and semantic satiation (Amster, 1964; Kounios, Kotz, & Holcomb, 2000), when the repeated (massed) presentation causes a word to momentarily lose its connotative meaning. Jamais vu is much rarer than deja vu (Findler, 1998; Reed, 1974; Sno, 2000), but Heymans (1904, 1906) presented data suggesting that the two recognition dysfunctions of deja vu and jamais vu may be related.

Also related to deja vu is the Capgras syndrome (Capgras & Re ´boul-Lachaux, 1923), a condition in which an individual believes that someone familiar (friend, relative) has been replaced by an imposter. This most studied of the delusional misidentification syndromes does not occur in neurologically and psychiatrically healthy adults but is associated with either schizophrenia or organic brain damage (Critchley, 1989) involving the right hemisphere (Fo ¨ rstl, Almeida, Owen, Burns, & Howard, 1991).

Déjà vu may also be related to reduplicative paramnesia, whereby an individual believes that the present situation is one that has been duplicated from the past (Hakim, Verma, & Greiffenstein, 1988; Langdon & Coltheart, 2000). The typical episode of reduplicative paramnesia involves a hospitalized patient mistakenly convinced that the present hospital is the same one that he or she had been in earlier (in a different geographical location). As with the Capgras syndrome, this recognition dysfunction is confined to individuals with (delusional) psychopathology usually associated with brain injury involving the frontal lobe (Benson & Stuss, 1990) and is unaltered by providing patients with clear evidence to the contrary (Langdon & Coltheart, 2000).

Two other rare misidentification syndromes, Fre ´goli syndrome (Courbon & Fail, 1927) and intermetamorphosis (Courbon & Tusques, 1932), have also been connected with deja vu by Berrios (1995). Both involve the belief that a familiar (intermetamorphosis) or unfamiliar (Fre ´goli syndrome) individual has been replaced by a familiar friend or relative.