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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Intelligence and Deja Vu?

I had a periphany: I generally "suffer" thru extremely frequent bouts of "deja vu", sometimes 5-10 times a day, usually very intense. Practically every other thing I see or do, I get a feeling I have thought or seen it earlier. I happened to discuss this with a few friends of mine, and I found quite a few who had a similar problem (with a similar intensity). I kept wondering about it.

Then, today I was reading something, and I had a mild attack of deja vu, which led me to think I had read the same thing earlier. That was obviously not possible as I was reading a recently published paper. I worked on the thought, and for a change I managed to have it crystallized. What I found was I had actually read another paper with a similar vein, but in a completely different scientific domain (that old paper was in Math, the new paper was in psychology). But this deja vu attack allowed me to mentally link up the concepts in these two papers and come up with a completely new insight (writing it up, yeah!).

This got me thinking, and I realized there was a pattern to the set of people I knew who suffered from frequent deja vu, and those who didn't. The ones who shared my problem were ones who I invariably regarded as "brilliant", like myself (so long, Ms Modesty Blaise ). These people were ones who you could trust to always come up with innovative ideas, sprout brilliant analogies, scored high at analytical reasoning and just had fun at work cause of all that.

Makes we wonder: Is Deja Vu just a conscious manifestation of a sub-conscious brain process that helps us analyze, correlate, create analogies, make intuitive/non-linear leaps? Is there any known/possible relationship between how badly one suffers from Deja Vu, and how "analytical" a person is, or is it just me trying to call a bug a feature?


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Lets start off by assuming that it is not a glitch in The Matrix that causes Deja Vu (lets call it DV for now).

Lets also assume that DV is a phonomenon that has no explaination, so everything falls under the category of theory and not fact. Let alone its relationship to intelligence or analytical skills.

Certainly it is possible that such a relationship exists. But it may not be a requirement for intelligence or skills. Just a side effect.

I need to think a little more. Will post after that ...

I think the phenomenon of the "dejavu" can be explained as :
All our thinking can be crystallised into a standard method of thinking irrespective of the nature of the subject ( at least technical ones ), that when we read or hear something we try to "digest" it by making something similar to a state machine in our heads ( i would love to know some other way of thinking,if anyone can trace out their line of thoughts and suggest something better .., bcoz i admit i maybe an biased CE). And we "chew" over the subject in our minds until that "state machine" in our minds is "satisfactory".That is the time u feel that now u "know" it.
Now imagine u are the brain, and u are being fed with such technical data, then out of ur habit u start making a "state machine", and like all "intelligent programs" ,u are also simultaneously probing ur database, u find a similar "state machine" already made and this makes u send a "signal" saying "Buddy i think i know this.." which is then we describe as the talked "deja vu".

And abhishek once u are able to crystallize that a similar pattern of logic exist in both mathematics and psychology for a certain vein, i am damn sure that if u come across a similar idea the third time, u would be able to associate it faster and even remember that in what context u had known the logic, and in what two different arenas, just due to the simple reason that u have "re-traced" that "state machine" thus making the connections between the neurons stronger for that logic.

In fact this is the way we learn new things, mapping it to what we already know and then trace out the differences and additions in the new idea.

About the connection of the whole thing with intelligence, as autif said, this is definitely a by-product of intelligence, but the vice versa, i.e the sole ability of making such associations like this make u intelligent ?,i am a bit sceptical.It needs probing a little deeper into different aspects of intelligence , but yes thsi can be at least said, that if u didnt get such "dejaVu's" and now u do, u have definitely got more "intelligent" than u were before.

I think the phenomenon of the "dejavu" can be explained as :
All our thinking can be crystallised into a standard method of thinking irrespective of the nature of the subject ( at least technical ones ), that when we read or hear something we try to "digest" it by making something similar to a state machine in our heads ( i would love to know some other way of thinking,if anyone can trace out their line of thoughts and suggest something better .., bcoz i admit i maybe an biased CE). And we "chew" over the subject in our minds until that "state machine" in our minds is "satisfactory".That is the time u feel that now u "know" it.
Now imagine u are the brain, and u are being fed with such technical data, then out of ur habit u start making a "state machine", and like all "intelligent programs" ,u are also simultaneously probing ur database, u find a similar "state machine" already made and this makes u send a "signal" saying "Buddy i think i know this.." which is then we describe as the talked "deja vu".

And abhishek once u are able to crystallize that a similar pattern of logic exist in both mathematics and psychology for a certain vein, i am damn sure that if u come across a similar idea the third time, u would be able to associate it faster and even remember that in what context u had known the logic, and in what two different arenas, just due to the simple reason that u have "re-traced" that "state machine" thus making the connections between the neurons stronger for that logic.

In fact this is the way we learn new things, mapping it to what we already know and then trace out the differences and additions in the new idea.

About the connection of the whole thing with intelligence, as autif said, this is definitely a by-product of intelligence, but the vice versa, i.e the sole ability of making such associations like this make u intelligent ?,i am a bit sceptical.It needs probing a little deeper into different aspects of intelligence , but yes thsi can be at least said, that if u didnt get such "dejaVu's" and now u do, u have definitely got more "intelligent" than u were before.

i donno how to explain it but i to get it v often

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