Division of Perceptual Studies

Founded in 1967 by Dr. Ian Stevenson, the Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS) is a long-established and highly productive university-based research group, exclusively devoted to the investigation of phenomena that challenge mainstream scientific paradigms regarding the nature of the mind/brain relationship. The researchers at DOPS are particularly interested in studying phenomena related to consciousness clearly functioning beyond the confines of the physical body, as well as phenomena that are directly suggestive of post-mortem survival of consciousness.

Through their careful study, the DOPS researchers objectively document and analyze the empirical data collected regarding human experiences suggestive of post-mortem survival of consciousness. Rigorous evaluation of considerable empirical evidence collected over fifty years of research, suggests that consciousness may indeed survive bodily death and that mind and brain appear to be distinct and separable.

It is our hope that other opened-minded scientists will join us in taking on new challenges into the serious study of the nature of consciousness and its interaction with the physical world.

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 post bodily 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.

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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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Participate in Our Research

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

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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Media

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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Contact DOPS

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