July 16, 2014: Déjà vu

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July 16, 2014

Déjà vu is a dreamy and fleeting feeling of familiarity in which a scenario is inappropriately perceived as being exactly the same as one that has been previously experienced. It is seen in both normal subjects as well as those with temporal lobe epilepsy. The phenomenon has also been associated with use of drugs such as amantadine and phenylpropanolamine. The mesiotemporal lobe plays a role in this phenomenon. In particular, the hippocampus is critical in the recollection of memories, while the parahippocampal gyrus plays is involved in memories of familiarity as exhibited in Déjà vu. [1, 2]


  1. Spatt, Josef. Déjà vu: Possible Parrahipocampal Mechanism. The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 2002;14: 610. 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.14.1.6.
  2. Illman N, Butler C, Souchay C, Moulin C. Déjà Experience in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. Epilepsy Research and Treatment 2012.

Submitted by: Elina Melamed, MD, and Priyank Khandelwal, MBBS, Suny Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn.

Disclosures: Drs. Melamed and Khandelwal report no disclosures.

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