Does this all feel a little familiar? Called déjà vu, that sensation may be your brain correcting its own errors





Read the article and answer the questions below:


  1. What is déjà vu?
  2. Why is studying déjà vu a challenge?
  3. How do scientists explain this phenomenon?
  4. Why would people with dementia claim they’ve already seen their doctor (even though they haven’t?)
  5. Why do younger people experience déjà vu more often than older people? Why do older people experience it less often?



  • eerie – so mysterious, strange, or unexpected as to send a chill up the spine
  • off-kilter – not completely right; not in perfect balance
  • discomfiting – making someone feel uncomfortable, especially mentally
  • sneakily – secretly and without telling anyone
  • adept – very skilled or proficient at something
  • conflation – the act or process of combining two or more separate things into one whole, especially pieces of text or ideas


Practice makes perfect


Fill in the gaps in the video extract below with articles: a, the, or nothing (-)


What is déjà vu?

Have you experienced déjà vu? It’s that shadowy feeling you get when 1. ….. situation seems familiar. 2. ….  scene in 3. …. restaurant plays out exactly as you remember. 4. …. world moves like 5. …. ballet you’ve choreographed, but 6. …. sequence can’t be based on 7. ….  past experience because you’ve never eaten here before. This is 8. …. first time you’ve had 9. …. clams, so what’s going on? Unfortunately, there isn’t one single explanation for déjà vu. 10. .… experience is brief and occurs without 11. …. notice, making it nearly impossible for 12. …. scientists to record and study it. 13. …. scientists can’t simply sit around and wait for it to happen to them — this could take years. It has no physical manifestations and in studies, it’s described by the subject as 14. …  sensation or feeling. Because of this lack of hard evidence, there’s been 15. …. surplus of 16. ….. speculation over the years. Since Emile Boirac introduced déjà vu as 17. ….  French term meaning “already seen,” more than 40 theories attempt to explain this phenomenon. Still, recent advancements in neuroimaging and cognitive psychology narrow down 18. …. field of prospects.

Now watch the video and check your answers:


Key: 1. a; 2.a; 3. a; 4. the; 5. a; 6. the; 7. a; 8. the; 9. -; 10. the; 11. -; 12. -; 13. –;14. a; 15. a; 16. -; 17. a; 18. The




Some words/phrases in the sentences below have been used incorrectly. Find them and replace them with other words from Glossary above.


1. She’s very eerie at dealing with the press.

2. They ran up to discomfiting take photos of the celebrity’s kids.

3. Her hat was slightly adept.

4. He had the sneakily feeling that he had met this stranger before.

5. The questions he asked me about my ex-husband were off-kilter.

Key: 1. (She’s very) adept; 2. (They ran up to) sneakily (take); 3. (Her hat was slightly) off-kilter; 4. (He had the) eerie (feeling); 5. (The questions he asked me about my ex-husband were) discomfiting


Explore more to create your own teaching-learning experience!


Been There, Done That—or Did I?: Déjà Vu Found to Originate in Similar Scenes

Misplaced scene familiarity may provide an explanation for déjà vu other than superstition. The knowledge could also be applied to treatments for the memory-impaired