Amy Reichelt does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Have you ever experienced a sudden feeling of familiarity while in a completely new place? Many researchers propose that the phenomenon is a memory-based experience and assume the memory centres of the brain are responsible for it. The medial temporal lobes are vital for the retention of long-term memories of events and facts. Certain regions of the medial temporal lobes are important in the detection of familiarity, or recognition, as opposed to the detailed recollection of specific events.
2. The Experience Actually Happened
Wait, have I been here before? Have we stood in this exact spot as you said these same words to me at some point in the past? Sometimes, as we experience a new event or place, we get that creepy feeling that it's not the first time.
Glitches in the matrix
Many of us report our first experiences between the ages of 6 and For example, you might be walking to school when you suddenly feel like you have been in exactly this situation before. They are unusual but cool experiences that can actually tell us a lot about how our minds, particularly our memories, work. We are not sure about the exact percentage for two important reasons.
Scientific American reported in that small seizures in the brain responsible for memory formation and retrieval could be the reason something suddenly feels familiar, despite your having never experienced it before. This is called the split-perception theory ; if you're looking at your phone or distracted by something else, and only glance around quickly, your perception might be split into two parts rather than one, and makes your hippocampus slightly confused. Look at things more closely, though, and the feeling will likely dissipate. The feeling of familiarity could be happening because you've actually had the same experience in the past but simply don't remember it. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz explained in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.