Little Author : Jason S. ( 7th Grader from New York )
Have you been overcome with an uncanny familiarity to something you have actually never done? You have no reason to worry. It’s not something dangerous or rare, at least not to young people. This kind of “re-experiencing the un-experienced” is actually quite common, occurring in about 60-70% of people in their lifetimes. And guess what? It even has a name: déjà vu.
Have you been overcome with an uncanny familiarity to something you have actually never done? You have no reason to worry. It’s not something dangerous or rare, at least not to young people. This kind of “re-experiencing the un-experienced” is actually quite common, occurring in about 60-70% of people in their lifetimes. And guess what? It even has a name: déjà vu. Déjà vu refers to the feeling that you have lived or experienced a particular thing before. One example is going to a new country, and feeling like you’re encountering the same park and familiar hotel from your dreams. French for “already seen”, déjà vu is a rather strange and unsettling experience to many people. Nevertheless, it can immensely help to advance robots in the medical field, and to concoct treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. Not only may this phenomenon enable us to possibly find a cure for neurodegenerative diseases , but it may facilitate the replay mechanism built into artificially intelligent machines and robots. Research conducted on the hippocampus, or the part of the brain that causes déjà vu and memory deficiencies, has propelled scientists to develop new ways of preventing and reversing neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s is known to restrain and shrink the size and capacity of the hippocampus, thereby causing Alzheimer’s patients to forget easily since they possess less space to store memories Nevertheless, déjà vu could alarmingly be a symptom of dementia, for which Alzheimer’s is the most common cause. An investigation with micel has shown that people with Alzheimer’s not only forget memories, but cannot distinguish them from reality. Scientists have isolated the dentate gyrus part of the hippocampus as the cause for such disconnect. . Further studies may lead to the discovery of memory-improving treatments, and perhaps even to a cure for Alzheimer’s. Déjà vu can also significantly help to advance the development of artificial intelligence and machines, by enabling them to help replay and match the thoughts and movements of humans. Robots and A.I. have played significant roles in many fields. In the medical field, robots have been used for surgery, radiotherapy, rehabilitation, and social purposes. Replay, a —------- [define] can enhance these abilities, and be improved through the enactment of déjà vu . Through replay, people can literally replay previous events and render robots more precise. For example, when a robot makes a medical error, replay can help to locate the error and ameliorate the situation. The robot will thereby be able to save many lives. Déjà vu, unsettling as it seems, is a major factor in the building of preventing Alzheimer’s and enhancing replay in robots and AI, especially in the medical field. Déjà vu could save the 3 million annual U.S. Alzheimer’s victims and over 250,000 more people that die from medical errors per year. Who knew that one day, a memory phenomenon could be a medical hero?