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 endeavors.

Announcing Dr. Bruce Greyson's Forthcoming 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, he shares the transformative lessons he has learned over four decades of research.

In this book, Dr. 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. Pre-order the book.

“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. Greyson’s Website

Announcing Dr. Jim Tucker's Forthcoming 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. Pre-order the book.

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

In this video, Dr. Tucker describes cases from our collection of this worldwide phenomenon, as well as details of recent American cases.

Jim Tucker describes common features of the cases such as: children talking about a past life at a very early age; behaviors that appear connected to that life; phobias related to the mode of death; and sometimes birthmarks or birth defects that correspond to wounds suffered in the previous life.

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

Watch the Video


Dr. Bruce Greyson: Near-Death Experiences, Consciousness of Science & Scientists

We invite you to watch this inspiring and informative presentation on Near-Death Experiences.

In this video, Dr. Bruce Greyson shares many moving NDE accounts. He describes how these accounts have propelled and impacted the progress of his own research into the nature of life changing NDE events.

Dr. Bruce Greyson: Near-Death Experiences, Consciousness of Science & Scientists, 2019 IANDS Conference Keynote Address.

Watch the Video

The DOPS staff and researchers

Participate in Our Research

Join our team as a subject, an academic researcher, or as a volunteer.
Current Opportunities

Recently Published books by the DOPS researchers

Books by DOPS Faculty

Explore the many books authored by DOPS faculty in subjects such as past life memories, near death experiences and the study of mind and body.
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In this Medical Center Hour, faculty from the Division of Perceptual Studies highlight the unit's work since its founding. As the division enters its second half-century, what are its research priorities and partnerships?
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Is There Life After Death?

At the 2018 Tom Tom Founders Festival, John Cleese moderated a discussion amongst the UVA DOPS research faculty 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 into the nature of consciousness. Mr. Cleese has a long history of personal interest in this important area of inquiry.
( Video Transcript )

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John Cleese Interviews Dr. Jim Tucker re: DOPS Research into Children's Past Life Memories

John Cleese interviews pediatric psychiatrist and director of UVA DOPS, Dr. Jim Tucker regarding his research into the memories of young children who appear to recall specific facts of a previous life. In this interview, Dr. Tucker presents some details in the case of 'Ryan' who made statements that were discovered to match people, places and events in the life of a man name 'Marty Martin'.
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Ed Kelly interviewed by John Cleese @ Science, Skeptics and the Study of Consciousness

John Cleese interviews UVA DOPS research faculty member and author Dr. Edward F. Kelly, about current issues regarding scientific inquiry into the nature of consciousness. They discuss science, skeptics and the study of consciousness. Ed Kelly writes about these ideas in his books "Irreducible Mind" and "Beyond Physicalism". Please find these on our "Books" page, found under "Publications".
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John Cleese and Ed Kelly discuss survival of consciousness beyond death

John Cleese and DOPS research faculty member Dr. Edward F. Kelly exchange ideas about current issues regarding scientific inquiry into the nature of consciousness. They discuss ideas and concepts related to survival of consciousness beyond the physical.
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Contact DOPS

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

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