Division of Perceptual Studies

The DOPS Mission

Founded in 1967 by Dr. Ian Stevenson, the Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS) is a highly productive university-based research group devoted to the investigation of phenomena that challenge mainstream scientific paradigms regarding the nature of the mind/brain relationship. Researchers at DOPS are focused on studying phenomena related to consciousness functioning beyond the confines of the physical body, and phenomena that suggest the continuation of consciousness after physical death.

DOPS researchers objectively document and rigorously analyze empirical data collected regarding human experiences which suggest that mind and brain may be distinct and separable and that consciousness may persist in detectable ways beyond bodily death.

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.


1) Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, Research Faculty, UVA DOPS.  DOPS is currently seeking a full-time research faculty member. The successful candidate will conduct research at the Division of Perceptual Studies with a focus on human consciousness surviving post-mortem, known as “Afterlife Studies”. This research will include modeling and statistical analysis of two large databases of cases, one involving near-death experiences and the other reports of past-life memories. Design and completion of new studies on these and related anomalous phenomena will be expected. There are no clinical responsibilities associated with this position.

Qualified applicants will possess a Doctoral degree in Psychology/Cognitive Science or a related field. Necessary relevant experience includes conducting research and data analysis in psychological experiments and manuscript writing, and a background in statistics is required. In addition, experience in research involving both near-death experiences and past-life memories is preferred.

For more information about this position and the process for applying, please see the UVA job listing for Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, Research Faculty

2) A RARE OPPORTUNITY!  The Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, at the University of Virginia, School of Medicine, is seeking applicants for an Assistant/Associate Professor in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The position can include 20-25% time in the Division of Perceptual Studies, working on studies of children who report memories of previous lives.

For more information, please contact DOPS Director, Dr. Jim Tucker (jbt8n@virginia.edu) and/or review and apply for the position here: Assistant/Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist (myworkdayjobs.com)

3) UVA DOPS EEG LAB IS SEEKING A POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATE. The Ray Westphal Neuroimaging Laboratory, Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS), Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia, is seeking a postdoctoral candidate who can effectively contribute to and carry out the ongoing research in our EEG lab. The research efforts of the DOPS EEG lab revolve around intensive functional neuroimaging studies of paranormal or “psi” processes and psi-conducive altered states of consciousness in human subjects who demonstrate consistent exceptional psi abilities. Both EEG and fNIRS studies are utilized in the lab.

For more information about this position and the process for applying, please see the UVA job listing for Postdoctoral Research Associate.

UVA Division of Perceptual Studies Newsletter

We invite you to keep up with the latest DOPS news through our quarterly newsletter.

"How to Ease Fear of Death in a Pandemic" by Bruce Greyson

"...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..."
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"Consciousness Unbound: Liberating Mind from the Tyranny of Materialism"-edited by Edward F. Kelly and Paul Marshall

In this new book, Ed Kelly and Paul Marshall build on the groundbreaking research of "Irreducible Mind" and "Beyond Physicalism". The authors gather a cohort of leading scholars to address the most recent advances in our understanding of the psychology of human consciousness.
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The Hard Science of Reincarnation

VICE: The Hard Science of Reincarnation. All over the world, scholars studying reincarnation are making findings even skeptics have difficulty explaining-by Rebecca Nathanson
VICE: Tech Section


After: A Doctor Explores What Near-Death Experiences Reveal about Life and Beyond

Dr. Bruce Greyson, the world's leading expert on near-death experiences, reveals his journey toward rethinking the nature of death, life, and the continuity of consciousness.
"After" is available now.

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Announcing Dr. Bruce Greyson's Newly Released Book

After-A Doctor Explores What Near-Death Experiences Reveal About Life and Beyond by Dr. Bruce Greyson

After: A Doctor Explores What Near-death Experiences Reveal about Life and Beyond

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.

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“This very captivating book by Dr. Bruce Greyson chronicles his personal, spiritual and professional quest to understand the meaning of near-death experiences. His long-awaited and amazing book is a major contribution to the study of what happens when we die, and will quickly prove to be a classic in near-death studies.”
~Raymond Moody, MD, PhD, Author of Life After Life

Dr. Bruce Greyson’s Website

Announcing Dr. Jim Tucker's Newly Released Book

Dr. Jim Tucker's Book "Before"

Before: Children’s Memories of Previous Lives

A fully updated 2-in-1 edition, with a new introduction by the author, combining Dr. Jim B. Tucker’s bestselling books about children who remember past lives—Return to Life and Life Before Life.

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.

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Praise for “Before”
“In this very elegant book, Dr. Tucker offers the most convincing scientific evidence for the fact that our consciousness survives physical death. And indeed, takes quantum leaps of creativity in the form of reincarnation. The model that Dr. Tucker presents opens a new vision of who we are, limitless beings that fill up all of space and time.”
~Deepak Chopra, author of Life After Death: The Burden of Proof

Dr. Jim B. Tucker’s Website


Dr. Jim Tucker: Life Before Life-Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives

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.

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The DOPS staff and researchers

Participate in Our Research

Join our team as a subject, an academic researcher, or as a volunteer.
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Recently Published books by the DOPS researchers

Books by DOPS Faculty

Explore the many books authored by DOPS faculty covering subjects such as past life memories, near death experiences and the study of mind and body.
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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.
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Is There Life After Death? ( Read Video Transcript )

In 2018, John Cleese moderated a discussion amongst the UVA DOPS researchers regarding the nature of consciousness and the evidence for survival of consciousness after physical death.

John Cleese is a friend and supporter of the research being done at UVA DOPS.

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Support Our Mission

We very much appreciate your kind donations and support of our research.

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The staff of the Division welcomes information about unusual or anomalous experiences that appear to challenge normal explanations.

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