Déjà vu

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Déjà Vu (or Deja Vu) is defined as as any sudden inappropriate impression of familiarity of a present experience with an undefined past.[1][2][3][4] Its two critical components are an intense feeling of familiarity, and a certainty that the current moment is novel.[5] This term is a common phrase from the French language which translates literally into “already seen”. It is a well-documented phenomenon that can commonly occur throughout both sober living and under the influence of hallucinogens.

Within the context of psychoactive substance usage, many compounds are commonly capable of inducing spontaneous and often prolonged states of mild to intense sensations of déjà vu. This can provide one with an overwhelming sense that they have “been here before”. The sensation is also often accompanied by a feeling of familiarity with the current location or setting, the current physical actions being performed, the situation as a whole, or the effects of the substance itself.

This effect is often triggered despite the fact that during the experience of it, the person can be rationally aware that the circumstances of the “previous” experience (when, where, and how the earlier experience occurred) are uncertain or believed to be impossible.

Déjà vu is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as olfactory hallucinations and derealization.[6] It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of hallucinogenic compounds,[7] such as psychedelics,[8] cannabinoids,[9] and dissociatives.


It is worth noting that the experience of Déjà vu is extremely common in people who are completely sober. For example, a 2003 review found that roughly two-thirds of the general population have had déjà vu experiences.[10] Other studies confirm that déjà vu is a common experience in healthy individuals, with between 60% and 70% of individuals reporting it, particularly within those who are between the ages of 15 and 25.

Scientific explanations of déjà vu typically conclude that this state of mind is as an anomaly of memory, which creates the distinct impression that an experience is "being recalled" when it is actually occurring within the present moment. This explanation is supported by the fact that the sense of "recollection" at the time is strong in most cases, but the circumstances of the "previous" experience (when, where, and how the earlier experience occurred) are believed to be improbable or impossible.

Psychoactive substances

Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:

Experience reports

Annectdotal reports which describe this effect with our experience index include:

See also

External links


  1. O’Connor, A. R., Wells, C., Moulin, C. J. A. (9 August 2021). "Déjà vu and other dissociative states in memory". Memory. 29 (7): 835–842. doi:10.1080/09658211.2021.1911197. ISSN 0965-8211. Retrieved 16 June 2022. 
  2. Funkhouser, A. T., Schredl, M. (2010). "The frequency of déjà vu (déjà rêve) and the effects of age, dream recall frequency and personality factors". doi:10.11588/IJODR.2010.1.473. Retrieved 16 June 2022. 
  3. Brown, A. S. (2003). "A review of the déjà vu experience". Psychological Bulletin. 129 (3): 394–413. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.129.3.394. ISSN 1939-1455. 
  4. Wild, E. (January 2005). "Deja vu in neurology". Journal of Neurology. 252 (1): 1–7. doi:10.1007/s00415-005-0677-3. ISSN 0340-5354. Retrieved 16 June 2022. 
  5. O’Connor, A. R., Moulin, C. J. A. (June 2010). "Recognition Without Identification, Erroneous Familiarity, and Déjà Vu". Current Psychiatry Reports. 12 (3): 165–173. doi:10.1007/s11920-010-0119-5. ISSN 1523-3812. 
  6. Warren-Gash, C., Zeman, A. (1 February 2014). "Is there anything distinctive about epileptic deja vu?". Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. 85 (2): 143–147. doi:10.1136/jnnp-2012-303520. ISSN 0022-3050. Retrieved 16 June 2022. 
  7. Doss, M. K., Samaha, J., Barrett, F. S., Griffiths, R. R., Wit, H. de, Gallo, D. A., Koen, J. D. (2022), Unique Effects of Sedatives, Dissociatives, Psychedelics, Stimulants, and Cannabinoids on Episodic Memory: A Review and Reanalysis of Acute Drug Effects on Recollection, Familiarity, and Metamemory, Neuroscience, retrieved 16 June 2022 
  8. Luke, D. P. (2008). "Psychedelic substances and paranormal phenomena: a review of the research". Journal of Parapsychology. 72: 77–107. ISSN 0022-3387. Retrieved 16 June 2022. 
  9. Basu, D., Malhotra, A., Bhagat, A., Varma, V. K. (1999). "Cannabis Psychosis and Acute Schizophrenia". European Addiction Research. 5 (2): 71–73. doi:10.1159/000018968. ISSN 1022-6877. Retrieved 16 June 2022. 
  10. Brown, A. S. (December 2004). "The Déjà Vu Illusion". Current Directions in Psychological Science. 13 (6): 256–259. doi:10.1111/j.0963-7214.2004.00320.x. ISSN 0963-7214.