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Memory Echoes

by Anonymous

I experience what I can only describe as 'memory echoes, where I get a strong feeling of 'didn't I do this before?' when recalling a memory. Most often the next day. For example I'll do something completely new, for the first time ever. At the time I know that I've not done it before. However, the next day, when remembering the previous day, I'll be convinced that I've actually done that thing many times before.

I can kind of stop this happening by thinking very 'loudly' to myself 'this is NEW', but even then I sometimes get confused and wonder if maybe I've just forgotten the previous experiences, because the feeling similar to Déjà vu, that I've 'been there, done that', is very strong.

While this condition doesn't really affect me adversely, I'm curious to learn what might be the cause. I'd, therefore, be grateful for any insights.

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A recall
by: Carolyn J

I've had this happen to me often. I was told that when you have a recalling memory it's because your mind had stored a memory of that very thing you are seeing, it's something your brain has stored in your subconscious mind that makes it seem very similar.

Curious and Intriguing
by: Amanda Wells

The experience you're describing as "memory echoes" or a sense of déjà vu, is a curious and intriguing phenomenon. While it is impossible to point to a definitive cause, the following information may offer some insights into the potential causes and factors contributing to the sensation you feel.

Neurological Factors: Déjà vu and similar phenomena are thought to be related to how memories are processed in the brain. Some researchers believe that déjà vu occurs when there is a momentary delay or mismatch in the brain's processing of incoming sensory information and the retrieval of related memories. This can create the sensation that you've experienced something before, even if you haven't.

Memory Consolidation: Memory is a complex process, and sometimes, our brains may consolidate or integrate new experiences with existing memories in unusual ways. This can result in a sense of familiarity with a recent experience, even when it's genuinely novel.

Stress and Fatigue: Stress, fatigue, or altered states of consciousness can affect memory and perception. When you're tired or stressed, your cognitive processes may not function optimally, which can lead to distortions in how you perceive and remember events.

Cognitive Processes: The act of recalling a memory can be a reconstruction rather than a verbatim playback of the original event. During this reconstruction, your brain may inadvertently introduce elements from other memories, leading to a feeling of familiarity.

Psychological Factors: Your emotional state and psychological factors may also play a role. For example, high levels of anxiety or emotional arousal can impact memory and perception.

Individual Variability: It's worth noting that memory processes can vary widely among individuals. Some people may be more prone to experiencing déjà vu or memory echoes due to their unique cognitive and neurological profiles.

If this experience is not causing you distress or interfering significantly with your daily life, it may simply be a quirk of how your brain processes and recalls memories. However, if you find that these experiences become more frequent, distressing, or disruptive, it could be beneficial to consult with a qualified mental health professional or neurologist. They can provide a more in-depth assessment and explore potential interventions or strategies to manage these sensations.

Related Information on The All About Psychology Website

What Is Déjà VU? Informative answer to the question what is déjà vu? by Anne Cleary, Professor of Cognitive Psychology, Colorado State University.

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