Jamais vu


Jamais vu

In psychology, the term jamais vu (from the French, meaning "never seen") is used to describe any familiar situation which is not recognized by the observer.

Psychology

Often described as the opposite of déjà vu, jamais vu involves a sense of eeriness and the observer's impression of seeing the situation for the first time, despite rationally knowing that he or she has been in the situation before.

Jamais vu is more commonly explained as when a person momentarily doesn't recognize a word, person, or place that he/she already knows. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/health/HealthRepublish_1689668.htm Health & Medical News - Is it really you or jamais vu? - 19/07/2006 ] ]

The phenomenon is often grouped with déjà vu and presque vu (together, the three are frequently referred to as "The Vus").

Jamais vu is sometimes associated with certain types of amnesia and epilepsy. With seizures, jamais vu can surface as an aura due to a partial seizure disorder that originates from the temporal lobe of the brain. It also can occur as a migraine aura.

The "TimesOnline" reports:::Chris Moulin, of Leeds University, asked 92 volunteers to write out "door" 30 times in 60 seconds. At the International Conference on Memory in Sydney last week he reported that 68 per cent of his guinea pigs showed symptoms of "jamais vu", such as beginning to doubt that "door" was a real word. Dr Moulin believes that a similar brain fatigue underlies a phenomenon observed in some schizophrenia patients: that a familiar person has been replaced by an impostor. Dr Moulin suggests they could be suffering from chronic "jamais vu". [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2282789,00.html Doctor, I've got this little lump on my arm . . . Relax, that tells me everything - Comment - Times Online ] ]

Linguistics

From a linguistic perspective, the phenomenon that a word after frequent repetition seems to lose its meaning is connected with the very nature of words. A word as a unit of language has three characteristics:
*It has form, i.e. it is shaped out of sounds or, in the case of written language, out of letters (characters).
*It has function, which (among other things) means that it operates in a meaningful sentence.
*It has meaning, which implies that it refers to a certain unit of thought (a concept or an idea) within a context.

However, when a word is repeated over and over again, it is in fact only the "form" which is repeated. There is no sentence, so the function of the word is eliminated. Its meaning, too, is effectively eliminated, because there is no context. A few repetitions will leave the language user's memory and expectation intact: he remembers the meaning and expects a meaningful reference. Continued repetition, however, will more and more foreground the word "form" to the exclusion of function and meaning, until the word literally "makes no sense". It is not the "word" that is being repeated, but only one of its aspects: the word "form".

Related phenomena

* Déjà vu: remembering having seen something before. In French, this literally means 'already seen', though in usage it is basically equivalent to déjà vécu.
* Presque vu: almost, but not quite, remembering something. This is the "on the tip of my tongue" feeling. (Cf. the article on Déjà vu.)

ee also

*Capgras delusion (The delusion that a friend or relative is an impostor)
*Derealization (The Individual feels detached from the external world, a sense of unreality linked to Depersonalization disorder is also felt.)

*Ken Campbell (Jamais vu is the title of one of his comic monodramas)

Notes


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • jamais — [ ʒamɛ ] adv. de temps • XIe; de ja, lat. jam « déjà », et mais, lat. magis « plus » I ♦ Sens positif En un temps quelconque, un jour (passé ou futur). Ils désespéraient d en sortir jamais. A t on jamais vu cela ? ⇒ déjà. Sait on jamais ? « Je ne …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • jamais — Jamais, a iam et magis, Nunquam, l Espagnol dit aussi Jamas, et l Italien Giamai, pour ce mesmes. Jamais depuis je ne le vei, Nunquam post illa vidi. Jamais je ne fus nulle part, que, etc. Nunquam fui vsquam, quin, etc. Jamais je ne l avoye ouy… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • jamais — Jamais. adv. de temps. En aucun temps. Jamais cela ne fut, & jamais cela ne sera. je n y retourneray jamais. adieu pour jamais. Il est quelquefois substantif, & signifie, Un temps sans fin. C est pour un jamais. cela durera un jamais, à jamais.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • jamais vu —    Jamais vu is French for never seen . It is used in a narrow sense to denote a transient feeling of unfamiliarity or alienation that may accompany a visual percept that had actually been experienced before. In a broader sense, it is used to… …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • jamais-vu — ● jamais vu nom masculin invariable Situation, pratique, agissements tout à fait exceptionnels et qui font sensation : C est du jamais vu …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • jamais vu — (en francés) Sensación de extrañeza frente a una persona conocida o un lugar familiar. Diccionario Mosby Medicina, Enfermería y Ciencias de la Salud, Ediciones Hancourt, S.A. 1999 …   Diccionario médico

  • jamais — |jà| adv. 1. Nunca. 2.  [Portugal, Popular] Principalmente …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • jamais — (ja mê ; l s se lie : jamê z on n a vu...) adv. de temps 1°   En un temps quelconque. Elle m est plus chère que jamais. •   Porte en d autres climats ton insolent courroux.... Et tout ce qui jamais a fait Jason coupable, CORN. Médée, II, 2. •   Y …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • JAMAIS — adv. de temps En aucun temps, au sens affirmatif, en un temps quelconque. Elle m’est plus chère que jamais. Cet homme n’a jamais commis rien de criminel. C’est ce qu’on pourra jamais dire de plus fort, de mieux. Si vous venez jamais me voir, je… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • JAMAIS — adv. de temps En aucun temps. On n a jamais rien vu de pareil. Je n en ai jamais entendu parler. Ne me parlez jamais de ces choses là. On sous entend quelquefois la négation et le verbe. Son style est toujours ingénieux, jamais recherché. Avez… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • jamais — adv. (de négation), ne ... jamais : pâ dzamé (Lanslevillard), (NE ...) JAMÉ (Aillon Vieux, Aix, Albanais 001b, Albertville, Annecy 003b, Arvillard 228, Balme Sillingy 020b, Beaufort, Billième, Bogève, Chambéry, Chapelle St Maurice, Cohennoz,… …   Dictionnaire Français-Savoyard


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