Have you ever experienced Jamais Vu, it is the opposite of Deja vu. Here's why it happens
If something you've seen a million times suddenly seems unfamiliar, jamais vu can explain why.
Déjà vu is a transient mental state that, according to a study, up to 97% of the population has experienced at least once in their lives.
You can think of déjà vu as two streams of thought colliding together. That's why it can catch you so off guard. You are filled with a sense of familiarity, or as if you have lived this moment before, but you have no evidence that you have ever faced this situation.
While it's a much rarer occurrence, you can also experience the opposite of déjà vu - a phenomenon known as "jamais vu".
"Jamais vu is the experience of feeling unfamiliar with something that is very familiar to you," explained Blair Steel, a licensed clinical psychologist in California.
This can happen for a number of reasons, most commonly if you are processing something while distracted.
The exact cause of jamais vu is unknown, but many believe it is related to the temporal lobe of the brain as this part of the brain plays a major role in memory.
Chronic stress or sleep disturbances can have an effect on mental health, making someone more susceptible to such experiences.
"High stress situations have been associated with the experience of jamais vu," Steel said.
When does jamais vu happen?
"When we enter a state of high anxiety, the mind will work in overdrive to create defenses to avoid trauma," explained Steel. One is more likely to experience jamais vu in a situation that may be distressing."
That said, jamais vu can happen anywhere and anytime. Think of it as a memory experience without recognition.
Jamais vu can interfere with your memory processing.
While the exact details still require more research, many people believe it's a temporary disconnect between memory and perception in your brain. Specifically, there is a division between two different memory systems called declarative memory—things that can be consciously remembered as facts or stories—and nondeclarative or implicit memory, which are your felt sensations and experiences.
Jamais vu is thought to arise when an electrical disturbance begins in the temporal lobe, which is the part of the brain associated with memory.