Dale - email
I might have experienced jamais vu, if I correctly understand your explanation. When I drive I am exclusively focused on the road, to the exclusion of almost everything else. No looking at the surrounding landscape or buildings, unless I’m looking for a particular street in a strange neighborhood. If I have to converse with the other occupants I never look at them – always focus on the road and surrounding traffic. Over the last year a CVS store has been built at an intersection I travel through at least twice daily. Recently I drove through that intersection at night for the first time since the store opened for business. As I approached the intersection I was stunned and mystified when I first saw the illuminated building. It was as if I had never seen it before. The feeling lasted only a few seconds before I realized what I was looking at. The time lag for retrieval of conscious memory (presque vu?) seemed to be what caused the sensation.
That’s not the first time I’ve experienced such “blindness”. It is a standing joke with my wife that buildings I notice “for the first time” when she is driving were just erected last week.
Does any of this qualify as jamais vu?
Sunday: 8 November 2009 @ 14:05:45
Wayne - email - url
Dale - I still don’t have a grip on jamais vu, so am not sure whether that qualifies. My impression is that it isn’t noticing something that hasn’t previously been noticed; rather, it’s finding something suddenly totally unfamiliar that has been consciously noticed all the while.
I did think of something in my past that might technically fit, although it probably falls more under some other kind of aberration. I was with a group of friends, many years ago, and we were in conversation. Then, for a period of about a minute or two, I couldn’t understand anything that was being said. It was as if a completely different language were being spoken. Since I was being addressed I had to admit that I didn’t understand - no really I *didn't* *understand*. I’ve never had a repetition of that episode, but it was unmistakably weird.
Tuesday: 10 November 2009 @ 11:00:58
Dale - email
I’ve had the same thing happen, Wayne. When I’m ordering food at a counter sometimes the waitron asks me a question and I have no earthly idea of what is being said. I don’t even recognize it as English. I always interpreted it as my hearing (I’m hard of hearing and wear, sometimes, hearing aids). But it is jarring when it happens. Maybe the hearing circuitry in the brain temporarily disconnects.
Tuesday: 10 November 2009 @ 11:57:01
bev - email - url
There’s an interesting video clip on YouTube that illustrates what is probably a good example of the kind of aberration that you’ve both described. It was done on the Goldmind show with Haim Goldenberg. The show is shot in Toronto and he does a lot of stuff like this - some of the episodes are really fascinating. Btw, my favourite clip is one where he asks a bunch of artists to paint whatever is on their minds. If you have a few minutes, that one is worth looking for and watching as well. Anyhow, here is the clip about losing the ability to comprehend something that should be familiar.
I’ve had a lot of problems with my memory since going through the year of caring for Don and then the past year without him. I think a lot of strange perceptual stuff can be caused by stress. My memory is truly terrible at times now – a couple of weeks ago, I was trying to tell a friend about a nice campground that I’d been to in Arizona, and could think of the mountain it was on - famous for its observatory (Mt. Graham). About a week later, it came back to me just like that. I’m now like that about people’s names, a lot of nouns, and less often, of place names. My friend who was traveling with me for three weeks noticed it as I would so often just say “that thing” instead of using the proper noun for an object. The odd part of all of this is that I have a physical sensation associated with these memory glitches – an unpleasant feeling in a certain area of the left side of my head that feels sort of like when you rub backwards against a sliver (the closest comparison I have been able to some up with). I experience it whenever one of these glitches occurs and it’s so unpleasant that I just substitute some other word and move on immediately. It was really bad before, but a little less so now, so I’m guessing that whatever is going on may be gradually mending. Weird though.
Tuesday: 10 November 2009 @ 14:02:51
Wayne - email - url
Bev - I had occasion to come back to this, almost three years later, and noticed your comment that I somehow missed. There’s no way, of course, that you’ll ever see this, but I’ll leave it anyway.
I wonder if something like that might be due to a TIA or small stroke, that wipes out a very tiny portion of the brain that makes connections? I don’t think any medical professional would ever suggest such a thing without many more elaborate testings. What you describe is profound, and in large part because it is so circumscribed.
Sunday: 22 July 2012 @ 16:55:06
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