Have I been here before? Didn't you say that before? What's going on here?

What's this web page about? It's about some science, and a wild eyed string of conjecture.
It begins with a rather mild discussion regarding the medical cause(s) for dejavu,
and ends with CIA sponsored studies in mind control.
Are you ready for a little mind expanding reading?


Deja-Vu; the feeling that you are re-experiencing some specific event from the past in the present. Dejavu happens to everyone at one time or another. But do you ever stop to wonder what it really is? Have you assumed that it was some sort of paranormal psychic event? A past life regression? Perhaps you assumed that it was exactly what it feels like, remembrance of a past event. Perhaps you thought it was indigestion. Lay off the meatballs dude! Studies have shown that dejavu is primarily visually oriented. You see something, and suddenly get that dejavu feeling. The visually triggered Dejavu is by far the most common occurrence, but I know that I've encountered audible and scent based Dejavu in the past. So what is dejavu?

First of all lets get a definition out of the way, so we're all on the same page. I had a difficult time finding one adequate definition, so the definition below is a compilation from various dictionary references.

  dé·jà vu (day zha voo), [Fr., lit., already seen]:  
  In psychology, the illusion that one has previously had a given experience. The feeling that you are re-experiencing some specific event, sound, or scent from the past in the present. An impression of having seen or experienced something before.

Now that the definition is out there, let's get on with some scientific background. I once read, and have no idea where I originally read it; about the scientific causes of Dejavu. I was able to find a web reference that basically covers what I read in the past. The scientific explanation for dejavu goes something like this... It's caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. When events are occurring in the present, our brain processes the activity in a part of the brain called the amygdala. Dejavu occurs when present events are processed in a part of the brain typically used to recall past memories. The parahippocampal cortex, which is very closely connected to the hippocampus. Because the event is processed in the parahippocampal cortex, it has a past 'flavor' associated with it.

There you go. That's the gist of the scientific explanation for this phenomena. I've also read supporting materials that state that dejavu can also be triggered by transmission delays in the optic nerve. That delays between the image received by one of the eyes, can cause the brain to experience dejavu. This may be true, but does not fully explain audibly (or scent) triggered dejavu. The root cause of dejavu appears to be a chemical imbalance in the brain. The imbalance may be caused by a variety of reasons (including the optic one mentioned above). The imbalance causes memories to be processed by an inappropriate part of the brain. Processing of the data by the parahippocampal cortex gives the information a 'past flavor'. If the data had been processed correctly, by the amygdala, then it would have had the correct 'present flavor'.

Now that we've gotten the scientific part as a foundation, let's explore a little conspiracy theory. The original article that I read went into an in depth description of how these scientists had done experiments on mice (and other animals) in an attempt to prove that this chemical imbalance was the true cause of dejavu. They eventually concluded that it was in fact caused by a chemical imbalance. In their human studies, they were able to locate individuals who experienced dejavu quite often, some individuals reported experiencing dejavu hundreds of times a day. Brain scans showed these individuals to have damaged amygdala's.

Here's where the conjecture comes in. From a study of these subjects brain chemicals, these scientists could probably figure out what brain chemical regulates the information processing carried out by the brain. Specifically they could have discovered the chemical that regulates processing in the parahippocampal cortex versus the amygdala. If they were able to discover the chemical that regulated this process, they could control this process. Discovering the chemical triggers for this activity would not be an impossible task, as a matter of fact, I'm thinking that it would be rather simple, given the level of medical sophistication present in todays scientific community.

Let's go a little further. O.k. so scientists discover the chemical that triggers dejavu. Big deal, right? That's a pretty small step towards mind control. Where would you get mind control from something as benign as dejavu? Read on curious conspiracy junky. Read on.

So the amygdala controls present thoughts. Memories and information processing concerned with current events. Things that are happening now. Short term memory. The parahippocampal controls past thoughts. Memories and information processing concerned with past events. Things that happened a long time ago. Long term memory. If you try to remember the first time you rode a bicycle, your parahippocampal cortex kicks into high gear recalling those past memories. If you're trying to remember whether you just read the previous sentence (the one about riding a bicycle), your amygdala processes the data. So people have short term and long term memories. Some short term memories are seconds old, some might consider short term to be a day old. It's kind of hard to decide exactly where short term becomes long term. Some long term memories are days old, some long term memories are many years old. Some memories are so old that you cannot (practically) remember them. Do you remember your first solid food? Was it one of those little weenies? Or was it some sort of pickled vegetable? I'll bet you can't remember, can you? Some long term memories can be reclaimed through the use of hypnosis. People often remember past events while undergoing hypnosis. It's a common way to bring buried/repressed old memories to the forefront of our minds.

So people have short term and long term memories. No one knows exactly where one begins and the other takes over, but we agree that one part of the brain; the amygdala, is used to process short term memory, while another part of the brain; the parahippocampal cortex, is used to process long term memories. Let's say you could control where a memory is stored or processed. What if you could find a chemical that causes a memory to be stored in a persons long term memory? O.k. you expose them to this chemical, and then show them a short video clip of a giraffe being painted red. It's a rather stark, vivid scene. Not something you'd likely forget rather easily. But, because they were exposed to this chemical, their mind stores the information in long term storage. You ask them about a giraffe, and they claim to have once; a long time ago, seen a giraffe painted red. You ask them when this happened, and all they can come up with is that it happened a long time ago. That's interesting considering the fact that you just showed them the video clip no more than five minutes ago.

Long term memory. How far back does it go? Let's revisit the scenario above. This time the chemical that the subject is exposed to is more powerful, or more tailored, to create a specific effect. You show your subject a video about a mass murder which occurred in Bosnia. The video shows the commander of a serbian militia unit personally strangling sixteen bound teens. The teenage boys; ages 12-17, are screaming and begging for mercy. But they cannot escape from their predicament. The commanders troops a standing nearby with smiles and laughs as they watch the horrid scene. One of the troops, the one with the long blond hair and the hooked nose seems repulsed, he turns around and you hear him vomiting. After the video ends you move your subject to a nearby examination room. You ask him about a mass murder. You ask him about commander Radiczyk Sadriyeh. The man with the dark eyes, and black hair. The serbian commander of a militia unit called very simply, "Number thirtyseven". For some reason your subject professes to know nothing. "I don't know anything about a mass murder, I don't know what you're talking about". The event occurred so long ago; in the subjects mind, that he cannot recall it. It's back their in his long term memory. Way back there with the memories of his first solid meal.

What if such chemicals could be discovered, synthesized, and packaged in a fast acting aerosol form? A person exposed to the chemcial spray would be unable to remember anything that happened to him within the next five minutes. A stronger acting spray could affect memories formed within the next thirty minutes, or more. Could these memories be recalled through regression hypnosis? Possibly. Perhaps a spy could use this as a way to learn some information, and then forget it in the event that he was captured. Later, with the correct chemical counteragent, the memories could be recovered.

Perhaps a chemical similar to this could be used to move a memory into the long term storage area of the brain. One could take such memories; memories at the forefront of the brains short term memory, and move them to the extreme long term storage part of the brain. A person who sees something that they weren't supposed to could have memories of the event Erased. This would be a very potent device in the hands of somebody like the CIA or FBI. Imagine what a criminal organization could do with such a chemical.

Given the current scientific knowledge regarding the chemical roots of the brain and memories, it would not be too far of a leap to imagine that studies into this area have been conducted. It's likely that some chemicals; like those conjectured of above, have been discovered. Where does this research stand today? Who is doing this research? What are the goals of research into brain chemistry and it's effects on memories?

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the CIA in any way, this web page represents pure conjecture, and some small amount of information supporting the medical basis for dejavu.

Author: Robert L. Vaessen e-mail: robert robsworld org
Last Updated:

This page has been accessed times since 10 Apr 2002.