Scientists are recreating the sensation of deja vu in a laboratory in an effort to back up a new theory on the cause of the phenomenon.
Up to 97 per cent of people know the feeling of experiencing something familiar that should not be familiar at all.
Now researchers are using hypnosis to induce deja vu in an experiment that they hope will throw light on its possible causes and on the workings of human memory.
A team at the University of Leeds is testing the theory that deja vu is caused by a faulty memory process.
They believe two separate processes occur when a person thinks they recognise a scene or object. Firstly, the brain searches through its memory to check if it has been seen before. If it has, a separate part of the brain then identifies the event as being familiar.
The experiment involved asking a group of volunteers to remember words, hypnotising them to forget and then showing them the same words again to induce the feeling that they had seen them before.
Of the 18 people studied so far, 10 reported a "peculiar sensation" and five said it "definitely felt like deja vu". ..SUPL: