Deja Reve: The Opposite of Deja Vu

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Deja Reve: The Opposite of Deja Vu

The feeling that the actual experience was dreamt in the past is called Deja Reve / Photo by Fer Gregory via Shutterstock


Most people are familiar with Deja Vu, a phenomenon wherein a person feels as if they have already experienced something that is currently happening to them in this present life or in their past. Scientists say this may just be an illusion caused by the brain. Experts speculate that when an individual goes through Deja Vu, the regions of the brain where memories of similar experiences are kept are being triggered.

Some spiritual explanations, on the other hand, say this happens because time is not linear. Carl Jung’s explanation for this event is that an individual is linked to their “Divine Mind” or “Collective Unconscious” when they undergo consciousness growth. When they access this dimension, time is experienced in a circular manner and circumstances can either be forecasted or goes back the memory.

Now, researchers have discovered another phenomenon called Deja Reve, which is like having a prophetic dream and is considered the opposite of  Deja Vu. Their study, Deja-Reve: Prior Dreams Induced by Direct Electrical Brain, was published in the journal Brain Stimulation. The authors of the study investigated medical records of patients with epilepsy from 1958 to 2015 and found that it was common among patients who were treated with brain stimulation. This may imply that Deja Reve is the product of a physiological activity in the brain.

The results of their study show that people who experience Deja Reve do not gain precognitive abilities or simply that they cannot foresee what will happen in the future. It was also found that those who have felt this phenomenon may not have actually dreamed what they think they dreamed.

In connection to this, a research published in the Journal of Consciousness says that almost 80% of people who were surveyed online have already experienced Deja Reve. It was conducted by Schredl, Goritz, and Funkhouser.

What Is Deja Reve?

Deja Reve is defined by The Minds Journal as “the state in which one person has the feeling that an actual experience was dreamt in the past.” It is the French term for “already dreamt”. In other words, it is the feeling that something which they are experiencing at the present moment in the real world feels as if they had already dreamed the situation or have somehow foretold their situation.

It is said to be different from a precognitive dream, wherein the dream is an indicator of a future event. Afterwards, the person is able to confirm that the event in the dream did happen. In Deja Reve, the person experiences an event and then they suddenly remember that they had a dream about that same circumstance.

Kinds of Deja Reve

According to Curiosity, it does not only refer to the dreams that somehow predicted a person’s situation, but it also pertains to feeling that a real experience feels like they are in a dream. These are the three kinds of Deja Reve:


This is the type of Deja Reve experience wherein an individual has a memory of a particular dream. When one goes through this, they are able to point out the precise or approximate day that they had their prophetic dream. Some people report that they remember dreaming about the circumstance years or days ago.


When a person experiences this, they have a recollection of a dream which was unclear. Their brains remember fuzzy, half-remembered scenes which are reflections of their present situation.

Dreamy state

This kind of Deja Reve involves one feeling as if what they are currently experiencing is inside a dream. They may feel that their experience is strange, dreamlike or nightmarish. Some participants of the previously mentioned study report feeling like they have fainted or that they were floating.

The Outlook of Deja Reve

The authors of the study say that most researchers tend to concentrate more on REM (rapid eye movement) sleep dreams and stories of dreams which they collect by waking the participant up. They encourage future researchers to focus more on non-REM dreams, since the discovery of Deja Reve may provide more insight into how dreams work.

Jonathan Curot, the lead researcher and a Ph.D. student at the Toulouse University Hospital, states that EBS-induced Deja Reve can be an interesting way to being able to gain more comprehension about physiological dreams which cannot be replicated in the laboratory.  He adds, “... Non-REM sleep dreams account for a significant portion of all typical dreams and several factors might render dream reports less trustworthy--especially the sleep stage before awakening--when compared with reports of waking experience.”

In their research, the authors admitted that attempting to understand why some dreams can be recalled and being able to decipher the mental content of dreams pose great difficulties, but being able to activate the dream states and examining people’s brainwaves could be an alternative method for capturing dreams in action.


Deja Reve is a way to gain comprehension about physiological dreams / Photo by Ljupco Smokovski via Shutterstock




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