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Founded in 1967 by Dr. Ian Stevenson, the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies (UVA DOPS) is a highly productive university-based research group devoted to the investigation of phenomena that challenge mainstream scientific paradigms regarding the nature of human consciousness. DOPS researchers objectively document and carefully analyze data collected regarding extraordinary human experiences.
The DOPS core research mission is the rigorous evaluation of empirical evidence for exceptional human experiences and capacities that bear on whether mind and brain are distinct and separable and whether consciousness survives physical death.
Also in our research, we examine the impact of these experiences on individuals and the general public, explore the implications for scientific theory, and disseminate this information broadly to the public as well as to scientific communities.
It is our hope that other scientists will join us in addressing the serious study of the nature of consciousness and its interaction with the physical world.
-Jim Tucker, MD: Director of DOPS, Bonner-Lowry Prof. of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences
-Bruce Greyson, MD: Chester Carlson Prof. Emeritus of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences
-Kim Penberthy, PhD: Chester Carlson Prof. of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences
-Edward Kelly, PhD: Prof. of Research
-Marieta Pehlivanova, PhD: Senior Research Specialist
Keep Up With the Latest DOPS News Through Our Quarterly Newsletter.
Current Positions Open at The Division of Perceptual Studies
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Jim Tucker and Kim Penberthy of the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies (UVA DOPS) were the presenters for this special panel discussion of “Is There Life After Death?”, at the SXSW conference, 2022. The Panel Discussion was facilitated by Deborah Blum of MIT. Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer-prizewinning American science journalist, columnist, and author of six books. Among many other distinctions in the field of journalism in science, Blum is the fourth director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT and is the founder of the award-winning science magazine, "Undark".
"...Near-death experiences give people who have them the spark to reevaluate their lives and to make changes in how they spend their time and how they relate to other people. They tell us that death is more about peace and light than about fear and suffering. They tell us that life is more about meaning and compassion than about wealth and control. They tell us that appreciating both the physical and the nonphysical aspects of life gives us a much fuller understanding of ourselves and our role in the world..."
Psychiatrist Dr, Bruce Greyson studied 1,000 near-death experiences.
Here’s what he discovered.
Dr. Bruce Greyson, leading expert on near-death experiences, reveals his journey toward rethinking the nature of death, life, and the continuity of consciousness.
What happens when we die? Approximately 10% of people whose hearts stop report near-death experiences (NDEs). Stories of lights, tunnels and loved ones have been relayed — and dismissed — since ancient times. But when Dr. Bruce Greyson’s patients started describing events that he could not just dismiss, he began to investigate.
In After, Dr. Greyson shares the transformative lessons he has learned over four decades of research. In this book, Bruce Greyson challenges us to consider what NDEs can teach us about the relationship between our brain and our mind, expanding our understanding of consciousness, and of what it means to be human.
Dr. Bruce Greyson’s Website
These two books contain first-person accounts of Jim B. Tucker’s experiences with a number of extraordinary children with memories of past lives, and expands on the international work started by Tucker’s University of Virginia mentor and colleague Ian Stevenson.
Jim Tucker’s goal in each case of a child reporting memories of previous lives is to determine what happened—what the child has said, how the parents have reacted, whether the child’s statements match the life of a particular deceased person, and whether the child could have learned such information through normal means. Tucker has found case studies that provide persuasive evidence that some children do, in fact, possess memories of previous lives.
Thought-provoking and captivating, the stories in Before urge readers, skeptics and supporters alike to think about life, death, and reincarnation and to reflect about their own consciousness and spirituality.
Dr. Jim B. Tucker’s Website
In this video, Dr. Tucker presents cases from our collection of this worldwide phenomenon, as well as details of recent American cases.
Dr. Tucker was invited to give this talk at the 2019 Vail Symposium.
In this UVA Medical Center Hour, DOPS researchers highlight the unit's work since its founding over 50 years ago. Our dedicated and passionately focused faculty and staff are privileged to continue this research into the future. DOPS researchers are leading the way in the study of survival of consciousness beyond the physical body.
The Parapsychological Association Book Award was established in 2015 to recognize books in the field of parapsychology that make significant contributions to science and to the cultural conversation about the implications of parapsychology.
The 2021 Parapsychology Book Award, is being given to the trilogy of important scholarly books edited by Edward F. Kelly Ph.D.
This trilogy of books, edited by Edward F. Kelly and his co-authors, document the results of a series of scholarly seminars held at Esalen’s Center for Theory and Research. The trilogy is very useful to anyone interested in understanding the challenges to materialistic and physicalistic assumptions about consciousness. This collection places psi research in a historical and philosophical context, and it reviews in detail empirical data from a wealth of sources. The result, over 1500 pages across the three books, demands a radical revisioning of what consciousness is and what is possible regarding the nature of consciousness.
Congratulations Ed Kelly and co-authors for this important book award from the Parapsychological Association!
We very much appreciate your kind donations and support of our research.
The staff of the Division welcomes information about unusual or anomalous experiences that appear to challenge normal explanations.