What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

What Causes Déjà Vu?

July 21, 2013, 4:06 PM
Memory

What's the Latest Development?

Colorado State University psychology professor Ann Cleary believes a feature of our memory sometimes causes us to believe we are familiar with places or situations we have never visited or experienced. "Imagine you're visiting Paris for the first time, and you have arrived at the Louvre. Your gaze lands on the giant glass pyramid jutting out of the museum’s main courtyard, and you get that strange feeling. ... A few months ago, you watched The Da Vinci Code, a film that provides an up-close look at the Louvre Pyramid. 'In the absence of recalling that specific experience,' Cleary says. 'You’re left only with this feeling of familiarity with the current situation.'"

What's the Big Idea?

Early doctors thought déjà vu was brought on by brain seizures which crossed neural wires with unpredictable consequences. "Yet another possible explanation for déjà vu, says Cleary, dates back to 1928, when psychology Edward Titchener described the sensation using the example of crossing a street. As we begin to cross a street, we instinctively look to the left, but if something catches our attention on our right, we turn in that direction. By the time we look to our left again, our brains may have forgotten the first glance. This second glance triggers a feeling of familiarity, because, in this case, we really have seen something before."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Smithsonian

 

What Causes Déjà Vu?

Newsletter: Share: