Ed Kelly’s Bio

Staff_ Edward F. Kelly, Ph.D.

Edward Francis Kelly, Ph.D.

Professor of Research

Division of Perceptual Studies


University of Virginia Health System
Division of Perceptual Studies
P. O. Box 800152
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Phone: 434/924-2281
Fax: 434/924-1712

Email: ek8b@virginia.edu


Harvard University     Ph.D.     1970     Psycholinguistics/Cognitive Science

Yale University           B.A.        1962     Psychology

Awards and Honors


NSF Fellowship (1963-1964), SSRC Summer Fellowship (1964), NIH Fellowship (1964-1967), IBM Fellowship (1967-1968), Postdoctoral Fellowships in computational linguistics from Social Science Research Council, National Bureau of Standards, National Institutes of Health


Yale National Scholarship, 4 years, Scholar of the House Program (independent study restricted to 12-15 seniors), Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa


10/02 – Present      Research  Professor, Department of Psychiatric Medicine, University of Virginia at Charlottesville

4/92 – 10/02           Research Associate Professor, Diagnostic Sciences.  My principal role, as a member of the Neuroscience Group, was to develop high-resolution EEG imaging techniques for characterizing normal and abnormal adaptation to natural tactile stimuli in human somatosensory cortex.  In addition, I expanded my involvement in human functional neuroimaging research by participating in various fMRI studies of cortical responses to tactile stimuli.  I also adapted EEG-type spectral analysis methods for application to spike-train data collected from animal subjects, and demonstrated their ability to detect and quantify systematic effects not previously observed using conventional methods.

1/90 – 3/92            Fellow, Dental Research Center.  Implemented hardware and software resources for EEG laboratory, and developed pilot data for NIH grant applications.

10/88 – 12/89        Research Statistician, Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center, Department of Biostatistics, UNC-Chapel Hill.  In this transitional appointment I provided technical and logistic support for ARIC (Atheroscelerosis Risk in Communities), a large multisite cardiovascular epidemiology project supported by NHLBI.

9/83 – 10/88          President and founding member of Spring Creek Institute, a non-profit research institute created to carry forward an interdisciplinary program of physiology research initiated at Duke by its five senior members.  Our goal was to become self-sustaining through commercialization of technical by-products of our research, including various novel biomedical measurement devices and techniques.  My duties included all day-to-day management plus overall coordination of our research and development activities, preparation of research proposals and reports, market research, production engineering, and development of regulatory submissions to FDA.

5/73 – 8/83            Postdoctoral Research Associate and Visiting Scholar, Department of Electrical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC.  Had primary responsibility initially just for my own research activities.  These included design, conduct and analysis of a variety of psychophysiology research studies; theoretical and methodological studies; and development of technical resources for electrophysiological research.  The latter involved a great deal of FORTRAN applications programming and a substantial working knowledge of multivariate statistics and time series analysis.

Beginning in 1976 I also gradually assumed increasing responsibility for overall management of our psychophysiology laboratory.  As acting director 1978-1983, I continued developing my interest in electrophysiological research while also assuming primary responsibility for administration, fund-raising, and overall coordination of the laboratory’s research programs.  During this period I raised almost $350 000 for research and directed teams of 3-5 professional peers including engineering and social-science Ph.D’s and an M.D.

Summers,1976, 1977       Visiting Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.  Primary task was to develop versions of our Duke software compatible with the RSX operating system running on the department’s PDP-11/40 machine.  This software included extensive facilities for collection, processing, and statistical analysis of physiological data, and was written mainly in FORTRAN.

1/72 – 5/73                  Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute for Parapsychology, Durham, NC.  Primary responsibility for my own research studies.  Secondary responsibility for a share of the Institute’s educational functions, in the form of lectures, tours of the facility, responses to public and media inquiries, etc.  Formed conviction of the importance and viability of a psychobiological approach to the study of psi phenomena.

6/70 – 12/71                 Postdoctoral Research Fellow in computational linguistics at Harvard, with Professor Susumu Kuno.  Studied methods and models of computational linguistics for their relevance to problems in psycholinguistics and cognitive science.  Developed book manuscript based upon doctoral dissertation, subsequently published by Elsevier/North Holland under the title Computer Recognition of English Word Senses.  During this period I also formed an interest in experimental parapsychology, and arranged to work with Dr. J.B. Rhine in Durham.

9/67 – 6/70                   Acting Director of “Disambiguation Project” for Harvard General Inquirer System.  Primary task was to endow the computer with a useful degree of ability to discriminate senses of ambiguous high-frequency English words, in order to improve the power and precision of computer-aided content analysis.  Directed a team of 10-15 Harvard undergraduate and graduate students plus staff support, in creating a “dictionary” of empirically-derived computer routines that remove suffixes, scan the content for critical syntactic and semantic features, and assign senses to words accounting for over 90% of an average running text.  Resulting doctoral dissertation, “A Dictionary-Based Approach to Lexical Disambiguation,” summarized the results of this exercise and explored its implications for semantic theory and computer models of human linguistic function.

6/63 – 9/67                    Consultant to Laboratory of Social Relation, Harvard University.  In this position I responded to needs ranging from brief and specific questions to long-term consultation on planning conduct and analysis of large research studies.  The problems spanned just about the full range of conventional social-science data-analysis problems, from true experiments to post-hoc correlational and survey-type designs.  My contributions included statistical and experimental-design advice, some special-purpose FORTRAN programming and extensive use of the statistical packages (especially Data-Text and BMD) and were locally available on the IBM mainframes of that period.

Major Research Interests

Broadly, mind/brain issues and cognitive neuroscience, emphasizing (a) phenomena that challenge current neuroscientific dogma (mind-brain “identity” theory in all its forms) (b) neurobiologically realistic models of human cognitive function, and (c) research technologies that permit direct visualization of the activity of the working human brain.

Psychophysiological and electrophysiological research methods, with special emphasis on development of novel high-resolution EEG techniques for non-invasive visualization of localized patterns of neocortical activity, and comparison of neuroelectric responses with the hemodynamic responses revealed by concurrent FMRI.

Research methods in general, including statistics, computer programming, and applications of computers in research.


Books and Book Chapters:

Beyond Physicalism: Toward Reconciliation of Science and Spirituality edited by Edward F. Kelly, Adam Crabtree, and Paul Marshal. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015. 602 pages. ISBN 978-1-4422-3238-9.

Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century by Edward F. Kelly, Emily Williams Kelly, Adam Crabtree, Alan Gauld, Michael Grosso, and Bruce Greyson.  Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, November, 2006. 800 pages. ISBN 0-7425-4792-2.  Included with the volume is a CD of F.W.H. Myers’s two-volume 1903 classic Human Personality.

Stone, P.J., Kelly, E.F., et al.  Improved quality of content analysis categories:  Computerized disambiguation rules for high-frequency English words. In Gerbner, G., et al. (eds.), The Analysis of Communication Content, New York: Wiley, 1969.

Kelly, E.F. and Stone, P.J. Computer Recognition of English Word Senses, Amsterdam: Elsevier-North Holland, 1975.

Kelly, E.F. and Locke, R.G. Altered states of consciousness and psi: An historical survey and research prospectus. Parapsychology Foundation Monograph, New York. Parapsychology Foundation, 1981, 91 PP.

Burdick, D.S. and Kelly, E.F. Statistical methods in parapsychology research. In Wolman, B. (ed.), The Handbook of Parapsychology, New York: Van Nostrand, Reinhold, 1977, 81-130.

Kelly, E.F. Converging lines of evidence on mind/brain relations. In B. Shapin and L. Coly (eds.), Brain/Mind and Parapsychology, New York: Parapsychology Foundation, 1979, 1-34.

Ogilvie, D.M., Stone, P.J. and Kelly, E.F. Computer-aided content analysis. In Smith, R.B. and Manning, P.K., Handbook of Social Science Methods, Vol. 2, Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1982, 219- 246.

Journal Articles (* = peer reviewed):

* Kelly, E.F. and Kanthamani, B.K.  A subject’s effort toward voluntary control.  Journal of Parapsychology, 36, 185-197, 1972.

* Child, I.L. and Kelly, E.F. ESP with unbalanced decks: A study of the process in an exceptional subject. Journal of Parapsychology, 37, 278-297, 1973.

* Kanthamani, H. and Kelly, E.F. Card experiments with a special subject. 1. Single card clairvoyance. Journal of Parapsychology, 38, 16-26, 1974.

* Kanthamani, H. and Kelly, E.F. Awareness of success in an exceptional subject. Journal of Parapsychology, 38, 355-382, 1974.

* Kanthamani. H. and Kelly, E.F. Card experiments with a special subject. II. The shuffle method. Journal of Parapsychology, 39, 206-221, 1975.

* Kelly, E.F., Kanthamani, H., Child, I.L., and Young, F.W. On the relation between visual and ESP confusion structures in an exceptional ESP subject. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 69, 1-31, 1975.

* Solfvin, G.F., Kelly, E.F., and Burdick, D.S. Some new methods of analysis for preferential-ranking data. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 72, 93-109, 1977.

Solfvin, G.F., Roll, W.G., and Kelly, E.F. A psychophysiological study of mediumistic communicators. Parapsychology Review, 8.3, 21-22, 1977.

Kelly, E.F. Physiological correlates of psi processes. Parapsychology Review, 8.4, 1-9, 1977.

* Schouten, S.A. and Kelly, E.F. On the experiment of Brugmans, Heymans and Weinberg. European Journal of Parapsychology, 4, 247-290, 1978.

Kelly, E.F. Reply to Persi Diaconis. Zetetic Scholar, 5, 20-28,1979.

Child, I.L., Honorton, C., Kelly, E.F., Morris, R.L., and Stanford, R.G. Merging of humanistic and laboratory traditions in parapsychology. Parapsychology Review, 11.2, 1-13, 1980.

*Kelly, E.F. Further notes on consistent missing. Journal of Parapsychology, 44, 57-61, 1980.

Kelly, E.F. Further reply to Persi Diaconis. Zetetic Scholar, 6, 121-127, 1980.

Kelly, E.F. Major needs of parapsychology – A report of the Quail Roost meeting. Parapsychology Review, 11.5, 3-8, 1980.

* Lenz, J.E., Kelly, E.F., and Artley, J.L.  A computer-based laboratory facility for the psychophysiological study of psi. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 74, 149-170, 1980.

* Lenz, J.E. and Kelly, E.F. A potential difficulty in A/D conversion using microcomputer systems. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Engrg., BME-27, 668-669, 1980.

* Lenz, J.E. and Kelly, E.F. Computer-based calibration and measurement of an EEG data-acquisition system. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Engrg., BME-28, 396-402, 1981.

* Dunseath, W.J.R., Klein, F.F., and Kelly, E.F. A portable facility for physiological recording in field settings. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 75, 311-320, 1981.

* Kelly, E.F. and Locke, R.G. A note on scrying. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 75, 221-227, 1981.

* Kelly, E. F. On grouping of hits in some exceptional psi performers. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 76, 101-142, 1982.

* Locke, R.G. and Kelly, E.F. A preliminary model for the cross-cultural analysis of altered states of consciousness. Ethos, 13, 3-55, 1985.

* Kelly, E.F. Contra George Hansen’s flawed critique of the work with BD. Journal of Parapsychology, 56, 335-344, 1992.

*McLaughlin, D.M. and Kelly, E.F. SEP’s as indices of adaptation in the somatosensory system: A review and prospectus. Brain Research Reviews, 18, 151-206, 1993.

* Boyle, J.P. and Kelly, E.F. Combined MRI-EEG techniques for correlation of anatomy and function in human somatosensory cortex. Proc. Soc. Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers, 2168, 225- 232, 1994.

* Dunseath, W.J.R. and Kelly, E.F. Multichannel PC-based data-acquisition system for high-resolution EEG. IEEE Trans Biomed. Eng., 42, 1212-1217, 1995.

*Kelly, E.F., McLaughlin, D.F., Dunseath, W.J.R., Folger, S., Jones, F. And Hudnell, H.K. Frequency- domain measurement of vibrotactile driving responses in first-order afferent populations. Experimental Brain Research, 10, 500-506, 1996.

* Kelly, E.F. Invited discussion of “Non-invasive somatosensory monitoring of the injured inferior alveolar nerve using magnetic source imaging. Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, 54, 1072-1074, 1996.

*Kelly, E.F., Lenz, J.E., Franaszczuk, P.J. and Truong, Y.K. A general statistical framework for frequency-domain analysis of EEG topographic structure. Computers and Biomedical Research, 30, 129-164, 1997.

* Kelly, E.F., Trulsson, M., and Folger, S.E. Periodic microstimulation of single mechanoreceptive afferents produces frequency-following responses in human EEG. Journal of Neurophysiology, 77, 137-144, 1997.

* Zygierewicz, J., Kelly, E.F., Blinowska, K.J., Durka, P.J., and Folger, S.E. Time-frequency analysis of vibrotactile driving responses by Matching Pursuit. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 81, 121-129, 1998.

*Kelly, E.F., and Folger, S.E.  EEG evidence of stimulus-directed response dynamics in human somatoensory cortex. Brain Research, 815, 326-336, 1999.

* Whitsel, B.L., Kelly, E.F., Delemos, K.A., Xu, M., and Quibrera, M. Stability of rapidly adapting  afferent entrainment vs. responsivity. Somatosensory and Motor Research, 17, 13-31, 2000.

* Francis, S.T., Kelly, E.F., Bowtell, R.W., Dunseath, W.J.R., Folger, S.E., and McGlone, F. FMRI of the responses to vibratory stimulation of digit tips. NeuroImage, 11, 188-202, 2000.

*Trulsson, M., Francis, S.T., Kelly, E.F., Westling, G., Bowtell, R.W., and McGlone, F. Cortical responses to single mechanoreceptive afferent microstimulation revealed with FMRI. Neuroimage, 13, 613-622, 2001.

*Whitsel, B.L., Kelly, E.F., Xu, M., Tommerdahl, M., and Quibrera, M. Frequency-dependent response of SI RA-class neurons to vibrotactile stimulation of the receptive field. Somatosensory and Motor Research, 18, 263-285, 2001.

*McGlone, F., Kelly, E.F., Trulsson, M., Francis, S.T., Westling, G., and Bowtell, R.  Functional neuroimaging studies of human somatosensory cortex.  Behavioral Brain Research, 135, 147-158, 2002.

*Whitsel, B.L., Kelly, E.F., Quibrera, M., Tommerdahl, M., Li, Y., Xu, M., and Metz, C.B. Time- dependence of SI RA neuron responses to cutaneous flutter stimulation. Somatosensory and Motor Research, 20, 45-69, 2003.

*Butterworth, S., Francis, S., Kelly, E., McGlone, F., Bowtell, R., and Sawle, G.V. Abnormal cortical sensory activation in dystonia: An fMRI study. In press, Annals of Neurology.

* Folger, S. and Kelly, E.F. Effects of NMDA receptor block on vibrotactile driving responses of human SI cortex. Submitted to Brain Research, Dec. 2003.

Abstracts and Book Reviews

Kelly, E.F. and Kanthamani, B.K. A note on a high-scoring subject, Research in Parapsychology 1972, 84-86.

Kelly, E.F., Kanthamani, H., and Child, L.  Consistent missing in ESP and SP.  Research in Parapsychology 1973, 90-94.

Kelly, E.F., Kanthamani, H., and Child, I.L. Some cognitive and personality factors in an exceptional ESP subject. APA Symposium Paper, August 1973.

Kelly, E.F. Book review: The Challenge of Chance-Experiments and Speculations, by A. Hardy, R. Harvie, and A. Koestler. Parapsychology Review, 5, 16-19, 1974.

Kelly, E.F., Child, I.L., and Kanthamani, H.  Explorations in consistent missing.  Journal of Parapsychology, 38,  230-231, 1974.

Lenz, J.E. and Kelly, E.F.  A computer-based laboratory for psychophysiological studies of psi processes, Research in Parapsychology 1975, 15-18.

Kelly, E.F. and Lenz, J.E. Pilot studies in the psychophysiology of psi. Journal of Parapsychology, 39, 25, 1975.

Kelly, E.F. and Lenz, J.E. EEG correlates of trial-by-trial performance in a two-choice clairvoyance task: A preliminary study. Research in Parapsychology 1975, 22-25.

Kelly, E.F. and Lenz, J.E. EEG changes correlated with a remote stroboscopic stimulus: A preliminary study. Research in Parapsychology 1975, 58-63.

Schacter, D.L. and Kelly, E.F. ESP in the twilight zone. Journal of Parapsychology, 39, 27-28, 1975 (abs.).

Schacter, D.L. and Kelly, E.F. ESP in the twilight zone II. Journal of Parapsychology, 40, 52-53, 1976  (abs.).

Solfvin, G.F., Roll, W.G., and Kelly, E.F. A psychophysiological study of mediumistic communicators. Research in Parapsychology 1976, 61-63.

Kelly, E.F., Hartwell, J.W., and Artley, J.L. A second two-choice clairvoyance EEG study with Lalsingh Harribance. Journal of Parapsychology, 42, 54-55, 1978.

Kelly, E.F. and Schouten, S.A. The experimentof Brugmans, Heymans, and Weinberg, 1920-1922, Research in Parapsychology 1978, 151-153.

Kelly, E.F. Sources, goals, and progress of a program of research on physiological correlates of psi processes. APA Symposium Paper, September, 1979.

Kelly, E.F. Book review. The Psychobiology of Consciousness by J.M. Davidson and R.J. Davidson (eds.), Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 75, 177-186, 1981.

Kelly, E.F. Book review. Windows on the Mind: Reflections on the Physical Basis of Consciousness by Erich Harth, Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 76, 283-286, 1982.

Kelly, E.F. A psychobiological framework for study of psi: Sources, progress, and prospects. Paper delivered to Kaman Tempo Conference on applications of psi, Xerox Park Center, Leesburg, Virginia, December 1983.

McLaughlin, D.F. and Kelly, E.F.  Unadapted, single-trial responses to brief vibrotactile stimuli in humans. IEEE Conf. Eng. Med. Biol., October 1993.

McLaughlin, D.F. and Kelly, E.F. Peripheral vs. cortical driving responses evoked by brief vibrotactile stimuli in humans. Soc. Neurosci., November 1993.

Boyle, J.P. and Kelly, E.F. Combined MRI-EEG techniques for correlation of anatomy and function in human somatosensory cortex. Proc. SPIE, February 1994.

Folger, S.E. and Kelly, E.F. EEG evidence of short-term plasticity in human SI cortex. 4th International Brain Mapping Meeting, Montreal, June, 1998.

Butterworth, S., Francis, S.T., Kelly, E.F., Dunseath, W.J.R., Bowtell, R.W., McGlone, F. and Sawle, G. Abnormal digital sensory representation in writer’s cramp. 7th Annual Meeting, Int. Soc. for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 1999.

Xu, M., Kelly, E.F. and Whitsel, B.L. Measurement of frequency-following (“entrainment”) in neural spike-train responses to cutaneous vibration. Biomedical Engineering Research in Review, March, 1999.

Zhang, T., Cichocki, A., Kelly, E.F., Folger, S.E. and Durka, P.J. Independent component analysis (ICA) of vibrotactile driving responses. British Physiological Society annual meeting, University College, London, April, 1999.

Francis, S., Kelly, E., Dunseath, R., Folger, S., Bowtell, R. and McClone, F. Somatotopic mapping of the human postcentral gyrus. 7th Annual Meeting, Int. Soc. for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 1999.

Francis, S., Trulsson, M., Kelly, E.F., Westling, G., Bowtell, R., and McGlone, F. Responses to intraneural microstimulation of single mechanoreceptive afferents can be measured using fMRI. 6th Annual Meeting, Int. Soc. for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2000.

McGlone, F., Francis, S., Trulsson, M., Kelly, E.F., Westling, G., and Bowtell, R. Cortical responses to single mechanoreceptive afferent microstimulation revealed with fMRI at 3.0 Tesla.  Annual Meeting, Organization for Human Brain Mapping, 2000.

Kelly, E.F., Trulsson, M., Dunseath, W.J.R., Folger, S.E., Francis, S.T., Westling, G., Bowtell, R., and McGlone, F. Neuroelectric and hemodynamic responses produced by periodic microstimulation of single mechanoreceptive afferents in human median nerve, Workshop on functional neuroimaging and theories of cognitive dynamics, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University, March 2000.

Xu, M, Dunseath, W.J.R. and Kelly, E.F. Toward single-trial measurement of EEG driving responses- new approaches based on adaptive filtering. Presentation to Neuroscience Program Scientific Advisory Committee, 2000.

Xu, M., Kelly, E.F., and Whitsel, B.L. Measurement of entrainment in neural spike-trains; new findings. Presentation to Neuroscience Program Scientific Advisory Committee, 2000.

Sleigh, A., Francis, S., McGlone, F., Kelly, E., Gowland, P., and Bowtell, R. Effect of frequency of vibrotactile stimulation on the brain response measured using fMRI. Proc. Int’l. Soc. Mag. Reson. Med. 9, 661, 2001.

Kelly, E.F.  Book review.  The Illusion of Conscious Will by Daniel M. Wegner, Journal of Scientific Exploration, 17, 166-171, 2003.

Unpublished Working Papers on Foundations of Electrophysiology:

Systemic psychophysiology, April 1982, 10 pp.

The work of the EEG systems group at Langley-Porter, August 1982, 32 pp.

Somatosensory stimulation experiments: A framework for resolution of critical EEG measurement problems, September 1982, 53 pp.

The EEG reference problem, October 1982, 20 pp.


“Current structure and dimensions of the market for disposable EKG electrodes,” Market survey prepared under auspices of Spring Creek Institute for Hiltrode, Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., September 1985.

“In-Situ Spectrographic Analysis of Human Sweat,” Limited Partnership offered under auspices of SCI Development Corporation, December 1985.

“Hiltrode Diagnostic ECG Electrode System,” 510(K) Notification to Food and Drug Administration, October 1988.

Principal Grants and Contracts:

1978            Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, $90,000, Physiological    Correlates of Psi Processes.

1979-1981 McDonnell Foundation, $123,000, Physiological Correlates of Psi Processes.

1982-1983 McDonnell Foundation, $93,000, Physiological Correlates of Psi Processes.

1984           NHLBI SBIR Award, $50,000, In-Situ Spectroscopic Analysis of Human Sweat.

1984            N.C. Technology Development Authority, $50,000, In-Situ Spectroscopic Analysis of Human Sweat.

1991            U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, $386,282, with B. Whitsel, P.D. (competing renewal for NIDR Program Project DE07509 – Role of CNS Adaptive Mechanisms in Orofacial Sensation).  PI of Project Five – Dynamic Central Processing of Somatosensory Information.

1993            Fogarty International Center, NIH, $60,000 (supplemental grant for Project 5 of DE07509) New Methods of Analysis for stimulus-Driven EEG Activity.  Collaborative project with Laboratory of Medical Physics, Warsaw University.

1995           NINDS, $371,413, with B. Whitsel, P.I. SI Cortical Response to Cutaneous Flutter-Vibration.

1997          NIDR, $2,561,509 (direct costs) with W. Maixner, P.D. (second competing renewal for NIDR Program Project DE07509).