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 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.

Please Note:  Although our physical offices at UVA DOPS are currently closed due to COVID-19 precautions, our DOPS staff and researchers are continuing our research projects in all of the ways that we can from home. During these unprecedented times, we invite you to look around on our website and view the many resources, videos, and academic papers we have posted about our research.
Be well and safe everyone!

Support Our Mission

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


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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

"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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After- Next Big Idea

"After" Selected by The Next Big Idea Club

The Next Big Idea Club editorial staff reviews dozens of upcoming books every season to identify the most exciting, must-read nonfiction titles. They start with a broad pool of nominees, and then share them with curators—Adam Grant, Susan Cain, Daniel Pink, and Malcolm Gladwell—to identify six finalists and, ultimately, two official season selections. "After" is on the list of nominees for Spring 2021.
The Next Big Idea Club


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.

Watch the Video

Contact DOPS

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

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