Friday, June 8, 2007

Mechanisms of Deja Vu Explained

Brain mechanism explains sense of deja vu | Lifestyle | Reuters: "By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Most people have had deja vu -- that eerie sense of having experienced something before -- but U.S. researchers have identified the part of the brain responsible for this sensation, and they think it may lead to new treatments for memory-related problems.

They said neurons in a memory center of the brain called the hippocampus make a mental map of new places and experiences, then store them away for future use.

But when two experiences begin to seem very much alike, these mental maps overlap and start to blur."

Of more interest to me was this quote "Tonegawa said the type of memory that allows people to quickly distinguish different faces and places fades with age."

Oh great! That means NT's (neurotypical face recognizers) will eventually be poor at recognizing faces too. Who will we rely on then? I am married to a good face recognizer, and though I am sure he gets tired of the constant questioning, it is so helpful to me to have him there to identify people for me. If he loses his memory for faces, I will be in a bad spot!