Entropy, Amnesia, and Abnormal Déjà Experiences
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Entropy, Amnesia, and Abnormal Déjà Experiences

Previous research has contrasted fleeting erroneous experiences of familiarity with equally convincing, and often more stubborn erroneous experiences of remembering.
Entropy, Amnesia, and Abnormal Déjà Experiences

While a subset of the former category may present as nonpathological “déjà vu,” the latter, termed “déjà vécu” can categorize a delusion-like confabulatory phenomenon first described in elderly dementia patients. Leading explanations for this experience include the dual process view, in which erroneous familiarity and erroneous recollection are elicited by inappropriate activation of the parahippocampal cortex and the hippocampus, respectively, and the more popular encoding-as-retrieval explanation in which normal memory encoding processes are falsely flagged and interpreted as memory retrieval. This paper presents a novel understanding of this recollective confabulation that builds on the encoding-as-retrieval hypothesis but more adequately accounts for the co-occurrence of persistent déjà vécu with both perceptual novelty and memory impairment, the latter of which occurs not only in progressive dementia but also in transient epileptic amnesia (TEA) and psychosis. It makes use of the growing interdisciplinary understanding of the fluidity of time and posits that the functioning of memory and the perception of novelty, long known to influence the subjective experience of time, may have a more fundamental effect on the flow of time..

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