Monday 14 January 2008

A Stunning New Look At Deja Vu ?

A blind man suffering déjà vu? - It sounds like a contradiction in terms, but the first case study of its kind has turned the whole theory of déjà vu on its head – and has the wide-reaching potential for Anthony Peake’s theories to reach new academic circles.

Traditionally it was thought that images from one eye were delayed, arriving in the brain microseconds after images from the other eye -- causing a sensation that something was being seen for the second time. Indeed further research within Consciouness Studies regarding a “Consciousness Buffer” are continuing with pace.

However, University of Leeds researchers report for the first time the case of a blind person experiencing déjà vu not through visual empiricalism but through smell, hearing and touch.

The University is a world-leader in déjà vu research. The ground-breaking work of the University's Institute of Psychological Sciences has been widely published in both the scientific and the news media. Their work is particularly aimed at understanding chronic déjà vu, where patients are constantly plagued by the feeling of having "been here before" – or déjà vecu as it should more accurately be named; “already lived”.

In a paper published in the journal Brain and Cognition, Leeds University researchers Akira O'Connor and Chris Moulin relate how mundane experiences -- undoing a jacket zip while hearing a particular piece of music; hearing a snatch of conversation while holding a plate in the school dining hall -- were examples of how déjà vu experiences were triggered in the blind subject.

"It is the first time this has been reported in scientific literature," said O'Connor. "It's useful because it provides a concrete case study which contradicts the theory of optical pathway delay. Eventually we would like to talk to more blind people, though there's no reason to believe this man's experiences are abnormal or different to those of others.

"Optical pathway delay is a quite antiquated theory, but still widely believed -- and was the basis for the déjà vu sequences in Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22. But this provides strong evidence that optical pathway delay is not the explanation for déjà vu. The findings are so obvious, so intuitive, that it's remarkable this research has never been done before."

O'Connor admits that to the person experiencing déjà vu, it feels almost inexplicable. "And because it feels so subjective, psychology, in striving for objectivity, has tended to shy away from it. But psychologists have gone some way to illuminating things like the 'tip of my tongue' sensation when you can't think of a particular word. We just wanted to get to the same sort of understanding for déjà vu."

O'Connor's thesis, due to be completed next year, examines the experimental induction of déjà vu through hypnosis. "We now believe that deja experiences are caused when an area of the brain that deals with familiarity gets disrupted," he said.

In one experiment, students are asked to remember words, then hypnotised to make them forget -- and then shown the same word again to induce a feeling that they have seen it before. Around half said this brought on a sensation similar to déjà vu -- half of whom said it was definitely déjà vu.

O'Connor would like to take the research further.......................

........................Enter Anthony Peake ?????

A Dark Philosopher
Karl L Le Marcs

Adapted from materials provided by University of Leeds.


Karl Le Marcs said...


Maybe you should get in contact with the Institute of Psychological Sciences at Leeds University, and even with Akira R O'Connor & Christopher J A Moulin who wrote 'Normal patterns of deja experience in a healthy, blind male: Challenging optical pathway delay theory.”
I’m sure they would be fascinated with your theory and would welcome a lecture/discussion.


Karl Le Marcs said...


Institute of Psychological Sciences - Leeds University.

Institute of Psychological Sciences,
University of Leeds,

Phone: 0113 3435724
Fax: 0113 3435749


*I'm too good to you!*

Hurlyburly said...

It's all about the Deja Vu at the moment isn't it!!

Deja vu is very strange. Why is it usualy the mundane that provokes this feeling within us?

I usualy get Deja Vu about getting Deja Vu if that is at all possible. Soemthing will happen which will provoke me saying "Oooh Deja Vu ( In that Jim Carrey Eternal sunshine kinda way!) then the fact that i've acknowledged it also sparks off a feeling of familiarity.

Maybe Deja Vu are flagposts we put down for specific reasons. I see no reason what-so-ever that this wouldn't apply to blind people aswell, particularly with smell.

Anthony Peake said...


Thanks vey much for this link. You may be already aware that Dr.Chris Moulin and myself have been in touch but not recently. Indeed Chris has a link to my website on his.

I was not aware of the work of Akira O'Connor (Japanese Irish?? - if so similar to one of my favourite writers Patrick Lafcadio Hearn. Although Hearn had no Japanese blood in him he adopted Japanese ways and lived in Japan for many years).

I will contact her and send her a link to this Blog. Lets see where it takes us.

Karl Le Marcs said...

As ever, you are welcome sire!
*back out of the room bowing graciously*

Karl Le Marcs said...

And HurlyBurly,
I agree. I like the neurological nuances in Eternal Sunshine which brings me again to my Neurogenesis/Dentate Gyrus theory.
*Bangs head with palm*
I must get all that posted sometime as well, too much in my head !!!!!!

SM Kovalinsky said...

Karl: Please see my response to this fascinating post in my last comment on the "Hello" post (gulp--glad I did not post it here; you will see why).
Hurlyburly; Yes, it is always the trivial and the mundane which calls forth this feeling! Why, one wonders?. . .

Karl Le Marcs said...

Susan Marie:
Thanks again, and regarding your gulp ..................
........ I told you so!

SM Kovalinsky said...

KARL; Yes, it really puts a whole new spin on the phenomenom. And I do know what hurlyburly is referring to when he say that the deja vu almost obscures itself. Certainly, further research into this area is called for, and Tony's book has already pointed the way in that direction. . ,. Eager to hear more.

Karl Le Marcs said...

I'm eager to hear more, research more and write more. I'm also hoping that Tony's Daemon will tell him to tell me whether I helped him towards our future work, as my Daemon is still drinking Grey Goose somewhere in Moscow.

Hurlyburly said...

Outstanding post sir! Here is your reward!

Chicken? Why do you give me these pedestrians to eat?

My first idea was to print 3 copies of my poem: one for myself, one for the British Museum, and one for Heaven. I had some doubt about the British Museum.

Intuition is the strange instinct that tells a woman she is right, wether she is or not.

She is a peacock in everything but love.

The conscience of an editor is purely decorative

Niagra Falls is simply a vast unnecessary amount of watergoing the wrong way and then falling over unnecessary rocks.

To disagree with three-fourths of the british public on all points is one of the first elements of sanity, one of the deepest consolations in moments of spiritual doubt.

We do not go to war with France because her prose is perfect

Originality is no longer possible, even in sin.

One never trusts anyone that one has deceived.

One should never listen. To listen is a sign of indifference to one's hearer.

I can't remember your name, but don't tell me.

Henry Irvin's left leg is a poem.

I think it's kind of the mimic to tell us who he is imitating. It avoids discussion doesn't it?

Yup, i just wrote all of those, honest i did!