Neuropsych 101

Repeating repeating

The neuropsychology professor lectured on déjà vu that morning.

It’s the first day of Fall semester.  Freshmen slouch in their seats, apathy inevitable in a 500-seat lecture hall filled to capacity.  They can hardly see the professor’s features from the back rows.

Still, most want to be premeds, so they try to pay attention.  Everyone’s a rival in this room.  The competition is fierce.  Half are female, a little more than half, actually, closer to 60%.  Brain science:  the Land of Opportunity.

“Déjà vu is that sense of having experienced something already,” the professor continues.  “A number of experiments have suggested that the phenomenon is closely related to the brain’s  familiarity-based recognition processes.”

Students rustle papers, check their smartphone surreptitiously.  Some tap on tablet computers, others type on laptops.

“We’ll be exploring the neurological basis for pattern recognition for the first couple of weeks in this class.”

At the end of the class period, the bell rings.  Students, who have already been gathering their books and backpacks in anticipation of the bell, empty the lecture hall.

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