DALLAS—About 2/3 of the population experience deja vu, but there is a science behind it. The phenomenon is being put to the test at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
The research study is headed by psychologist and SMU Professor Alan Brown. Dr. Brown is one of the country's lead researchers on memory.
He says that eerie feeling is actually something called double perception.
"That is you'll glance at something where your mind is vacant or absent or thinking about something else, but when you glance at it again and somehow it's a familiar experience. That experience was just a second or 2 before it wasn't months or years ago."
Brown says this happens because we live in a distracted society and a lot of information gets put in our brain but is not fully processed. We are continually multi tasking, whether it's on the phone, in the car, on the computer or with an IPOD.
"We're not paying attention to one information source."
The research shows about 90-percent of the population has experienced deja vu. It is most common in teenagers and young adults. When we hit our 30s those feelings start, but you never forget the sensation.
The research is funded by Duke University. Dr. Brown says this is just one of many theories. His study was just published in the Journal of Psychological Science.