Jamais vu

Have you ever heard of jamais vu?

This is the opposite of déjà vu. Jamais vu is when you stare at something familiar, be it a word or an object, until it seems strange and unfamiliar. You may be able to simulate this experience by writing the same word over and over, until the word begins to feel foreign.*

After a while, words or objects you’ve known all your life seem strange and unfamiliar. This is when the creativity can come in—when you can put aside old associations for a moment and construct new meaning from the “same old same old.”

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 he reported that 68 percent of volunteers showed symptoms of jamais vu, such as beginning to doubt that “door” was a real word.