+
upworthy
Science

You've heard of déjà vu, but what about jamais vu? Many have experienced it without even knowing.

The opposite sensation of déjà vu can be just as bizarre.

déjà vu, jamais vu , nuerology, brains science
Canva

Jamais vu is the opposite sensation of déjà vu.

Most of us have heard of déjà vu—that strange sensation that you have already experienced something as it’s happening in the present moment. A large portion of the population, 97% according to one study, can attest that they have felt a sense of déjà vu in their lifetime.

However, we can also have the exact opposite sensation, though very few people know the name for it.

Jamais vu—which in French means “never seen,” again opposite to déjà vu meaning “already seen”—occurs when something familiar suddenly feels completely, utterly unfamiliar.

“It is the feeling that something is unreal or unusual, whilst at the same time knowing it is something you are very familiar with,” Dr. Chris Moulin, a jamais vu researcher, told “Medical News Today.”

Think about when a word you regularly use abruptly has you wondering whether or not it’s spelled correctly. Or you see a co-worker you’ve known for years that, without notice, now feels like someone you’ve never met. That uncanny “recall without recognition” sensation, when pathways in the brain become unsynced and can’t make sense between what’s new and what’s familiar, is jamais vu.

While more rare than déjà vu, jamais vu holds a lot of similarities with its more famous counterpart.

For one thing, like déjà vu, the exact causes for jamais vu are unknown. There are, however, a few theories. Some experts attribute it to chronic stress or lack of sleep, others believe it happens as the mind’s way of protecting itself from trauma, or when a person becomes distracted while trying to process information.
deja vu, jamais vu, neurology

Déjà vu and jamais vu might be opposites, but they have a lot in common.

Canva

While more rare than déjà vu, jamais vu holds a lot of similarities with its more famous counterpart.

For one thing, like déjà vu, the exact causes for jamais vu are unknown. There are, however, a few theories. Some experts attribute it to chronic stress or lack of sleep, others believe it happens as the mind’s way of protecting itself from trauma, or when a person becomes distracted while trying to process information.

For those of us who were spared of this disciplinary action in our formative years, the concept is well reflected in a small study from 2021, where six participants were given words to stare at for three minutes. After only one minute, the participants began noticing that certain letters looked “peculiar.” By the time the three minutes was up, they noted that the word stopped being a word at all, only “a collection of letters.”

jamais vu, psychology

Study participants reported letters looking peculiar are staring at them for 60 seconds.

Canva

Lastly, both déjà vu and jamais vu can happen at any time, but only last for a couple of minutes. This last part is important to note, as jamais vu can often be mistaken for dissociation or delusions. Some psychiatrists even hypothesize that there may be an overlap between the three, especially when it comes to disorienting out-of-body experiences caused by psychedelics.

But overall, jamais vu is typically a brief, temporary moment that simply washes over us and then we go about our day. If this is an everyday occurrence, however, it’s best to get a doctor’s evaluation. Otherwise, it might leave you wondering if the Matrix is real after all, but nothing more harmful than that.

Pop Culture

Optical illusion that looks like a person with two dogs has people totally tripping

It takes a while to see it, but there are not two dogs in the photo.

Where is the third dog in this photo?

Optical illusions are wild. The way our brains perceive what our eyes see can be way off base, even when we're sure about what we're seeing.

Plenty of famous optical illusions have been created purposefully, from the Ames window that appears to be moving back and forth when it's actually rotating 360 degrees to the spiral image that makes Van Gogh's "Starry Night" look like it's moving.

But sometimes optical illusions happen by accident. Those ones are even more fun because we know they aren't a result of someone trying to trick our brains. Our brains do the tricking all by themselves.

Keep ReadingShow less
Canva

Mom makes teen son's bed and picks up his clothes after he goes to school.

Parenting is difficult, not only because raising unique human beings through childhood and beyond is complex on every level, but because it's hard to know if you're doing it right. And the internet definitely doesn't help on that front, as everyone has an opinion on what constitutes good parenting.

Case in point: A mom who makes her teen son's bed and picks up his clothes for him after she drops him off at school every morning.

Shannon Tarkey a mother of five (including triplets), shared a video on Instagram and Facebook showing how she makes her son's bed and picks up his clothes, and people had feelings about it. The text overlay on the video as she's tidying up reads:

Keep ReadingShow less
@susandoingsusanthings/TikTok

Though this image might infuriate you, know there's more to the story.

We’ve probably all (especially moms and wives) have had it up to here with stories of men not being able to really pull their weight in partnerships.

So when I present to you a story about a husband leaving behind a sink full of dirty dishes for his wife to find, you’d probably sooner roll your eyes and contemplate hopping over to Instagram instead than give this one a read.

But hold on just a second, because this story has a surprising hopeful twist.

Keep ReadingShow less

The bride wouldn't budge.

One of the major decisions a couple has when planning a wedding is whether guests are free to bring their children or if it will be child-free. Many people believe that children should be able to come to weddings because, after all, they are family affairs.

However, the counter-argument is that a wedding also costs a lot of money per guest, and people would rather have an adult enjoying a $75 plate of prime rib than a 5-year-old who will take a bite and then ask for some chicken nuggets.

Further, the child-free crowd may also want their party to be an all-out rave, which may be inappropriate for children to attend.

Keep ReadingShow less

Dad has adorable imaginary hair beef with daughter's teacher

Dads are fully capable of all the things a mom can do and one dad is on a mission to assert his abilities in an imaginary beef he has with his daughter's preschool teacher. Jonathan Gregg posted a video explaining that he's been working really hard to be able to style his daughter's hair in ways that she likes.

In the caption he writes, "Sure, when I first started doing my daughter's hair, it was like a blind gorilla trying to style a coconut." But he goes on to say he's good at doing hard things, so when he sent his child to school with a "high pony waterfall," he was surprised when she came back with an asymmetrical French braid. Upon asking his daughter where the new hair style came from, she replied, "Ms. Yolanda."

That was all Gregg needed to know, "Ms. Yolanda, I didn't know you wanted problems okay. Don't start none won't be none but now we're here. So now, I gotta spend all weekend learning the fishtail, made popular by Elsa Queen of Arendelle because Ms. Yolanda apparently chose violence."

Keep ReadingShow less

A man considers divorcing his wife after learning she cheated 20 years ago.

Is there an expiration date for infidelity? If you learned your spouse cheated on you 10, 20, or 30 years ago, would it be any more or less significant than if it happened last week? Is it easier to forgive something that happened years ago or does their silence over all these years make the indiscretion even worse?

A Redditor recently posted that he’s divorcing his wife after learning she cheated on him 20 years ago and the commenters overwhelmingly support his decision. Why? It wasn’t necessarily that she cheated, but how she handled the situation.

“My wife (44F) and I (43M) have been married 20 years,” the poster wrote. “We started dating in high school when I was a junior and she was a senior. We were long-distance for her first two years of college while I was in high school and did one year at community college, then we went to college in the same city for a year and have lived together since.”

Keep ReadingShow less