The Division of Perceptual Studies
-Thomas Jefferson (1812)
Information about the Division of Perceptual Studies
The Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS), formerly the Division of Personality Studies, is a unit of the Department of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, VA. The Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS) was founded as a research unit of the Department of Psychiatric Medicine at UVA by Dr. Ian Stevenson in 1967. (see History and Description for more information about the founding of DOPS).
Utilizing scientific methods, the researchers within The Division of Perceptual Studies investigate apparent paranormal phenomena, especially:
Children Who Claim to Remember Previous Lives (reincarnation)
Video on the topic of Reincarnation Research:
Radio Interviews on the topic of Reincarnation Research:
Video on the topic of Near Death Experience Research:
Radio Interviews on the topic of Near Death Experiences:
Upcoming Lectures and Presentations by DOPS Researchers
Currently there are no public presentations
scheduled by our reserachers here at DOPS. Events will be posted
as they come up. Please check back frequently.
Recent Lectures and Presentations by DOPS Researchers
July 9th, 2012 at 10:00 a.m., Charlottesville, VA The Rutherford Institute Summer Speaker Series, Guest Speaker: Dr. Jim Tucker, Bonner-Lowry Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, Division of Perceptual Studies, University of Virginia. Dr. Tucker presented the research being done at DOPS regarding cases of the reincarnation type: LIFE BEFORE LIFE: CHILDREN'S REPORTS OF PAST-LIFE MEMORIES.
March 22nd, 2012, Virginia Festival of the Book event at the Jefferson Madison Regional Library, Dr. Bruce Greyson moderated a discussion of the Near Death Experience of Eben Alexander III, MD, author of Love After Death: a Neuroscientist's Odessey through the Afterlife.
February 18-19, 2012, Ligmincha Institute, Serenity Ridge Retreat Center in Nelson County, VA, New Dialogues Between Buddhism and Science This was a one and a half day conference with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and academic presenters associated with the University of Virginia, New York University, University of Texas Medical Center. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche also participated actively in the dialogue, as well and led group meditation practice at various points in the program.
Ed Kelly PhD, of DOPS, opened the discussion with a presentation titled "Framing the Dialogue". His presentation focused on the history of modern scientific research on meditation.
In this weekend event, researchers presented their work on the impact of contemplative meditation practice on behavior and the mind, as well as examined new areas of research to be explored between scientists and contemplatives.
December 16-18, 2011, Dr. Bruce Greyson travelled to Dharamsala, India to present at the conference, " Cosmology and Consciousness: A Dialog Between Buddhist Scholars and Scientists on Mind and Matter". Dr. Greyson's talk was titled, "Is Consciousness Produced by the Brain?" Click here to learn more about the conference and to view photos of Dr. Greyson presenting the DOPS research to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to the monks of Dharamsala.
September 2-4, 2011, Dr. Bruce Greyson was one of the key-note speakers at the 2011 International Association of Near Death Studies. The Conference theme was Lives Changed Forever: Aftereffects of Near Death Experiences, Perspectives from Experiencers, Science, and Spirituality
February 25-27, 2011, Chopra Foundation's Second International Symposium: Sages and Scientisits-The Merging of a New Future Dr. Jim Tucker presented research being conducted at the Division of Personality Studies regarding the investigation of cases in which children claim to remember previous lives. He will present new cases as well as cases he has written about in his book Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives .
December 8th, 2010, 5:00-7:00, Live Teleseminar, Sponsored by the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). Dr. Jim Tucker was the speaker on the teleseminar "Life Before Life" which is also the title of his book Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives . The host of the program is Marylyn Mandala Schlitz, Ph.D.
In the interview, Dr. Tucker challenged the notion that consciousness is only the result of a functioning brain. He suggests that consciousness can be considered separately from the brain, which provides a basis for claims of reincarnation. He also discusses objections to reincarnation: the few persons who actually claim to remember a past life, the fragility of memories, the population explosion, the mind-body problem, fraud, and others. This was a live teleseminar.
October 2nd, 2010, Serenity Ridge Retreat Center in Nelson County, VA, New Directions in the Dialogue between Buddhism and Science This was a one-day workshop with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, founder and spiritual director of the Ligmincha Institute and the DOPS researchers. There was a guided meditations led by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche in addition to presentations by the DOPS researchers.
Topics covered by the DOPS researchers included:
News about the Division
Recent books written by the DOPS research faculty
The Handbook of Near-Death Experience: Thirty Years of Investigation In this book, DOPS researchers Bruce Greyson, Carlos Alvarado, Nancy Zingrone, Edward F. Kelly, and Emily Williams Kelly as well as many other notable researchers in the field of near-death experiences share the history and current state of near-death experience research and knowledge. They explore controversies in the field, offer specific accounts of NDE's from the research, and express their hopes for the future of investigation into this fascinating phenomenon. The book is edited by Janice Miner Holden, Bruce Greyson, and Debbie James.
The late Dr. Ian Stevenson, Founder of the Division of Perceptual Studies
October 31, 1918-February 8, 2007
We invite you to read Dr. Stevenson's obituary,
written by our esteemed colleague, Emily Williams Kelly Ph.D.
Below are some publications reflecting Dr. Ian Stevenson's thoughts regarding his involvement
in the study of paranormal phenomena.
An important autobiographical lecture given by Dr. Ian Stevenson in 1989.
An essay by Dr. Ian Stevenson as it appeared in the