Division of Perceptual Studies

Our Mission - Scientific Study of Extraordinary Experiences

Founded in 1967 by Dr. Ian Stevenson, the Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS) at the University of Virginia is a research group devoted to the rigorous evaluation of empirical evidence for extraordinary human experiences and capacities.

The primary focus of DOPS is investigating the mind’s relationship to the body and the possibility of consciousness surviving physical death. In general, this process involves studying phenomena that challenge mainstream scientific paradigms regarding the nature of human consciousness.

DOPS also studies the impact of these experiences on people, explores the implications for scientific theory, and disseminates this information broadly to both the public and scientific communities. It is our hope that other scientists join in addressing the serious study of the nature of consciousness and its interaction with the physical world.

Support Our Mission

We appreciate your kind donations and generous support of our research

Get to Know Our Researchers at the Division of Perceptual Studies

Jim Tucker, MD - Director, Bonner-Lowry Professor
Bruce Greyson, MD - Chester Carlson Prof. Emeritus
Kim Penberthy, PhD - Chester Carlson Prof. of Psychiatry
Edward Kelly, PhD - Professor of Research
Marieta Pehlivanova, PhD - Research Assistant Professor

Watch the Video

DOPS Newsletter View Here »

Read the Most Recent Edition

Be a Newsletter Subscriber Subscribe Now »

Keep Up With the Latest DOPS News

Is There Life After Death?

Join millions of viewers and watch this popular panel discussion with DOPS faculty and John Cleese.

Learn about decades of research that suggest the possibility of consciousness surviving death.

Topics: past lives, NDEs, deathbed visions, terminal lucidity, altered states, veridical OBEs, and more!

Watch the Video


BIG THINK presents Dr. Bruce Greyson

Are near-death experiences real? Here’s what science has to say.

Psychiatrist studied 1,000 near-death experiences.

Here’s what he discovered.

Watch the Video

The DOPS staff and researchers

Participate in Our Research

Join our team as a research participant, an academic researcher, or as a volunteer. Discover the opportunities to get involved with DOPS and help us study the nature of consciousness.

Engage More

News and Media

Millions of views on this UVA Medical Center Hour, highlighting decades of DOPS research. "View More" to check out other presentations, radio programs, podcasts, and articles that include our researchers.

View More

books by DOPS faculty

Books by DOPS Faculty

Explore the many books authored and edited by our faculty, including best-sellers and award-winners covering topics such as past-life memories, near-death experiences, and the study of body and mind.

Read More


Children Who Remember Past Lives

Dr. Tucker was invited to give a talk on this phenomenon at the 2019 Vail Symposium.

He presents research from the DOPS database, containing thousands of files from around the world.

Extraordinary cases are discussed, as well as details of recent American cases.

Watch the Video

Contact DOPS

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