The New York Times has an excellent article on people who experience chronic d√©j√† vu, or, more accurately d√©j√† v√©cu – the feeling of already having lived through something.
The article discusses work by Leeds-based neuropsychologist (and blogger) Chris Moulin who was asked to investigate a recurring feeling of familiarity in Susan Shapiro’s 77 year-old mother.
He was countacted because he is one of the only people to have investigated a similar case, that of a person known as ‘A.K.P.’:
His d√©j√† vu episodes seemed to be “practically constant,” as Moulin and colleagues outlined in a 2005 paper [abstract|pdf] in the journal Neuropsychologia:
He refused to read the newspaper or watch television because he said he had seen it before. However, A.K.P. remained insightful about his difficulties: when he said he had seen a program before and his wife asked him what happened next, he replied, “How should I know, I have a memory problem!” The sensation… was extremely prominent when he went for a walk ‚Äî A.K.P. complained that it was the same bird in the same tree singing the same song… When shopping, A.K.P. would say that it was unnecessary to purchase certain items, because he had bought the item the day before.
A little ironically, the New York Times published another excellent article on d√©j√† vu last February.
Link to article ‘Deja Vu, Again and Again’ from the New York Times.