Reincarnation–Parapsychological Research and Articles

Fifty Years of Research

Our founder, Dr. Ian Stevenson interviewing a subject in Myanmar circa 1975

Over the last 50 years of active research, the UVA DOPS faculty have collected 2500 cases, most of which have been found outside of the United states. Members of the research staff at the Division of Perceptual Studies have published numerous articles and books about these cases. Of these 2500 cases, over 2300 have been coded and entered into our SPSS data base to date. During most summers for the past 15 years, first year UVA medical students research interns, assist us in coding the field notes on 200 variables. They develop research projects based on access to the original research files. These research interns apply various statistical analyses to look into the accumulated data thus far, for patterns and trends.

Publications about the research being done at DOPS into memories of previous lives:

We invite you to view a list of books on reincarnation written by our research faculty. The list includes books written by our director, Dr. Jim Tucker, as well as the long list of books authored by our esteemed founder, Dr. Ian Stevenson. Among the many ground breaking books by Dr. Stevenson is

Patterns in Reincarnation Cases | Psi Encyclopedia

A reincarnation case consists of episodic, semantic, and emotional memories, behaviours, physical traits, and other signs that associate the case subject with a deceased person. The systematic study of reincarnation cases began with Ian Stevenson in the 1960s and continues today. Enough cases have been studied now that universal, near-universal and culture-linked patterns can be discerned in the dataset as a whole.

Early in his field research, Stevenson realized that he was learning about far too many cases to thoroughly investigate all. He chose to concentrate on a few cases and to collect basic data on as many others as possible in order to search for common patterns. In 1986, he compared features of cases from the Igbo of Nigeria to cases from nine other countries or tribal societies, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), Lebanon, Turkey, the United States (nontribal cases), the Tlingit of Alaska, and the Haida of Alaska and British Columbia.1 In 1994, Antonia Mills contributed data from three other first nations in British Columbia, the Gitxsan, Beaver, and Witsuwit’en.2 That same year, Richard Slobodin supplied data for the Kutchin (Gwitchen) of the Canadian Northwest Territories.3 We also have figures on some variables for Brazil.4

In addition to these feature comparisons, studies have been made of the correlates of violent death in the previous life,5 memories of the intermission between lives,6 and of the age of the subject in relation to whether or not the initial past-life memories were cued.7 Jim B Tucker introduced a scale that assessed the strength of cases and validated it on a cross-cultural sample.8 Emily Cook et al compared cases in which the previous person was identified (‘solved cases’) to cases in which a satisfactory identification was impossible (‘unsolved cases’).9 James Matlock used samples of published cases to examine cases of reincarnation across national boundaries (‘international cases’) and cases in which the previous persons took their own lives (‘suicide cases’).10

Children Who Report Memories of Previous Lives

November 10, 2016 by

Dr. Jim Tucker stands with a young subject and his motherDr. Jim Tucker with a young subject and his mother. Read about this case in ‘Return to Life’

Some young children, usually between the ages of 2 and 5, speak about memories of a previous life they claim to have lived. At the same time they often show behaviors, such as phobias or preferences, that are unusual within the context of their particular family and cannot be explained by any current life events. These memories appear to be concordant with the child’s statements about a previous life. In many cases of this type, the child’s statements have been shown to correspond accurately to facts in the life and death of a deceased person. Some of the children have birthmarks and birth defects that correspond to wounds or other marks on the deceased person whose life is being remembered by the child. In numerous cases postmortem reports have confirmed these correspondences. Older children may retain these apparent memories, but generally they seem to fade around the age of 7 . The young subjects of these cases have been found all over the world including Europe and North America.

Dr. Ian Stevenson’s Reincarnation Research

By Kevin Williams


Ian Stevenson (1918-2007) was a psychiatrist who worked for the University of Virginia School of Medicine for 50 years. He was Chair of the Department of Psychiatry from 1957 to 1967, the Carlson Professor of Psychiatry from 1967 to 2001, and a Research Professor of Psychiatry from 2002 until his death. He was also the founder and Director of the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies investigating parapsychological phenomena such as (1) reincarnation, (2) near-death experiences, (3)out-of-body experiences, (4) after-death communications, (5) deathbed visions, (6)altered states of consciousness and psi. He became internationally recognized for his research into reincarnation by discovering evidence suggesting that memories and physical injuries can be transferred from one lifetime to another. He traveled extensively over a period of 40 years, investigating 3,000 cases of children around the world who recalled having past lives. His meticulous research presented evidence that such children had unusual abilities, illnesses, phobias and philias which could not be explained by the environment or heredity.


Academic Publications by Division of Perceptual Studies Faculty

Reincarnation Experience – 4 Year Old Edward Austrian – YouTube

2 days ago
BBC Documentary: Reincarnation Experience – 4 Year Old Edward Austrian

Video: Reincarnation research by Ian Stevenson Children’s past life memories

Children can have verifiable past life memories that can be independently corroborated. They can present specific names, places and events that they never can had a chance to know about. These specifics can be confirmed by going back years in the public records. Birth marks and birth defects can show up in situ of weapons wounds that caused their often violent or traumatic death.

Signs of Reincarnation: Bibliogrophy of Online Resources

A great deal of serious reincarnation research has been posted online. This bibliography lists full-text articles and books on reincarnation which are available for free viewing and/or downloading. Most are PDF files, but a few are in HTML or TXT formats. The majority were originally published in journals or books, but a few original online reports are included.
The focus of the bibliography is on field-based studies of cases of apparent reincarnation by psychical researchers, but includes related contributions from other academic disciplines and perspectives. With occasional exceptions, entries are in English, but foreign-language sections are planned for the future.

Patterns in Reincarnation Cases | Psi Encyclopedia

A reincarnation case consists of episodic, semantic, and emotional memories, behaviours, physical traits, and other signs that associate the case subject with a deceased person. The systematic study of reincarnation cases began with Ian Stevenson in the 1960s and continues today. Enough cases have been studied now that universal, near-universal and culture-linked patterns can be discerned in the dataset as a whole.

Science and the Afterlife Experience: Evidence for the Immortality of Consciousness |

Reveals the evidence of life beyond death; examines 125 years of scientific research into reincarnation
Focusing on three key phenomena–reincarnation, apparitions, and communications from the dead–Carter reveals 125 years of documented scientific studies by independent researchers and the British and American Societies for Psychical Research that rule out hoaxes, fraud, and hallucinations and prove these afterlife phenomena are real.

Memories of Life Before Birth

Did you know that many people have spontaneous memories of their lives before birth, and of coming into the womb? Elizabeth and Neil Carman didn’t know that either, until they began meeting such people. Join them as they tell Whitley Strieber the wonderful story of before-life memory, and describe some cases with surprising validation. For example, there are people who have accurately described where their parents were during the moment of conception.

Others, like Whitley Strieber, have memories of entering the womb, and in the second half of the show, he asks the Carmans about what such memories may mean, and whether or not those who don’t have them could recover them.

This interview with two deeply spiritual and yet rigorous researchers opens a door into an almost unknown aspect of human experience: memories of the mysterious world from which we came.

Reincarnation: Evidence for the Afterlife

The evidence for reincarnation cannot be explained by inadvertent mediumship or other forms of psychic perception.

  • Birthmarks are often located on the body at the same place injuries occurred in a previous life.
  • Past life regression has been shown to have immense therapeutic value.
  • During hypnotic regression, subjects recognize people they knew in past lives as incarnating again as people they recognize in their current life.

For more information on reincarnation see the Reincarnation section in the Short Topicschapter.

Many people who have had Near Death Experiences believe in reincarnation:

Many people who have had Near Death Experiences believe in reincarnation:

Sandra Rogers:

I was given the choice of remaining with the light, provided I return later to the physical world and experience all that brought me to the point of shooting myself, or I could return now and pick up my life where it was

Karen Brannon:

All of my being wanted to stay there in bliss, but ever since I was six, I knew that reincarnation is the natural fact of life, and now, I had the knowingness that if I chose to stay, I would have to reincarnate to Earth again later.

Thomas Sawyer:

Reincarnation is not a linear thing. One of the problems in defining it is that there is no analogy to it. It is outside of time, yet we can’t help but think of it in terms of the past and the future, and this incarnation. The whole story is so big and so involved.

Christian Andréason:

Heaven, I undeniably saw that I had lived an innumerable amount of lives. Yet, what I saw went way beyond our comprehension of what we think reincarnation is. So, I am not exactly speaking of being born again and again on this planet alone.

Arthur Yensen:

Between lives, with the great knowledge of our oversouls, we choose the next life we are going to live and how much karma we are going to meet and settle. For example, if you abused animals, or people, in one life your oversoul would probably cause you to reincarnate into a situation where you’d get abused to make you realize the misery you’ve caused others.

Amber Wells’ research:

Her paper was published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies in the fall of 1993. In her study, 70 percent of the group of near-death experiencers demonstrated belief in reincarnation. In contrast, a Gallup Poll found that only 23 percent of the general population endorse this belief.

Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives– Dr. J. B. Tucker

“In Return to Life, Jim Tucker painstakingly and meticulously documents the recycling of memories from beyond the barrier of physical death. He then rigorously offers a scientific theory to explain how our consciousness transcends space/time and is, hence, eternal. This book is an important milestone of an emerging scientific paradigm that suggests that consciousness conceives governs constructs and becomes the universe or perhaps multiple universes.” —DEEPAK CHOPRA, Co-Author of Super Brain

“Jim Tucker is a worthy successor to Dr. Ian Stevenson. He approaches these fascinating cases of children who appear to remember previous lives with an intelligent curiosity, sober judgment, and a real knack for telling a story, which is a good thing, because these are great stories.” —TOM SHRODER, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and author of Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives“These incredible cases are not simply solid grounds for accepting some form of reincarnation into our Western worldview. These are heart-rending, poignant reminders that many of us do not quite ‘fit’ into the cultural and religious worlds into which we are born. Obviously, we are more than these worlds. Way, way more.” —JEFFREY J. KRIPAL, author of Authors of the Impossible: The Sacred and the Paranormal “With Return to Life, Dr. Jim B. Tucker has driven a very large nail in the coffin of materialism. This is an important contribution to the growing body of evidence that consciousness survives the death of the brain and body. The fear of death and annihilation has caused more suffering in human history than all the physical diseases combined. This book is a powerful antidote to that dread.” —LARRY DOSSEY, MD, Author of One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Great Consciousness and Why It Matters

“Jim Tucker’s latest book, Return to Life, comes as a resounding wake-up call regarding human existence. For decades, materialists have insisted that consciousness is nothing more than a function or emergent property of the brain. But the fact is that scientifically, the origins and nature of consciousness and its role in nature remain a mystery. The greatest obstacle to illuminating these issues through scientific discovery is not ignorance, but the illusion that we already have the answers. The empirical evidence that Dr. Tucker presents in this book challenges the reductionistic, metaphysical beliefs of scientific materialism. If his research methods are flawed, the scientific community should bring this to his and the public’s attention. If they are irreproachable, then the empirical facts he reveals compel us to reassess even our most fundamental assumptions about consciousness, human nature, and the universe at large.” —B. ALAN WALLACE, Ph.D., President of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies

Chidren who Remember Past Lives Academic Publications

Title Author Title of Journal Date of Publication Link to Article The Case of James Leininger: An American Case of The Reincarnation TypeJim B. Tucker

EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing 2016 Full Article Psychological Evaluation of American Children Who Report Memories of Previous LivesJim B. Tucker

Don Nidiffer

Journal of Scientific Exploration 2014 Full Article Experimental Birthmarks: New Cases of an Asian PracticeJim B. Tucker

Jürgen Keil

Journal of Scientific Exploration 2013 Full Article Response to “How To Improve the Study and Documentation of Cases of the Reincarnation Type? A Reappraisal of the Case of Kemal AtasoyJim B. Tucker

Jürgen Keil

Journal of Scientific Exploration 2010 Full Article

Review by Dr. Jim B. Tucker of “Can the Mind Survive beyond Death? In Pursuit of Scientific EvidenceJim B. Tucker

Journal of Scientific Exploration 2010 Full Article Children’s Reports of Past-life Memories: A ReviewJim B. Tucker

EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing 2008 Full Article Ian Stevenson and Cases of The Reincarnation TypeJim B. Tucker

Journal of Scientific Exploration 2008 Full Article Children Who Claim to Remember Previous Lives: Past, Present, and Future ResearchJim B. Tucker

Journal of Scientific Exploration 2007 Full Article Some Bodily Malformations Attributed to Previous LivesSatwant Pasricha

Jürgen Keil

Jim B. Tucker

Ian Stevenson

Journal of Scientific Exploration 2005 Full Article Children of Myanmar Who Behave like Japanese Soldiers: A Possible Third Element in PersonalityIan Stevenson

Jürgen Keil

Journal of Scientific Exploration 2005 Full

Paranormal Aspects of Pre-Existence Memories in Young Children (PDF Download Available)

The authors present both unconfirmed and externally confirmed cases of Pre-Existence Memories with paranormal aspects that cannot be explained by childish fantasy. The anomalous phenomena mostly comprise Extra-Sensory Perception, but there is also one case involving Psychokinesis. Such aspects are similar to and convergent with paranormal aspects of Near-Death Experiences and point to a common, non-physical origin of both types of experiences.

Relevance of para-psychology in psychiatric practice

A considerable number of cases of paranormal experiences have been carefully investigated, found authentic by independent investigators, and published in the scientific books and journals of high standards. These publications include different aspects of paranormal experiences such as telepathy,[14]near-death experiences (NDE)s and out-of-body experiences (OOBE),[513]apparitions,[14,15]poltergeist[16] and reincarnation.[1727]I am referring here mostly to the work of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.
I shall not go into the amount of evidence available on paranormal phenomena; it is beyond the scope of the present article. Suffice it to say that enough evidence is available on the authenticity of the phenomena to understand its relevance to psychiatry. Independent surveys of general populations have shown that between 10% and 15% of persons reported having had communications from persons not in contact with them; perception of such communications generally occurs in visual or auditory modalities. Such visions usually occur during an altered state of consciousness (dozing or daydreaming) and the person perceived is usually a close relative or a friend in a crisis or stressful situation, often in a life-threatening situation. Some of the persons having such experiences may be confused or perplexed. A psychiatrist who is not at least open-minded about the possibility of paranormal experiences will almost certainly be unable to distinguish psychopathological from paranormal and equally unable to assist the occasional person who is perplexed about unusual experiences that he would like to report and discuss with someone outside his family.

Discussion Group: Signs of Reincarnation

Noteworthy for its extensive collection of research documents available for free download: see Files section.
Over the last 50 years there has been a good deal of research with people, mainly children, who remember previous lives without the aid of hypnosis, but it is has been published primarily in scientific journals and scholarly books. The purpose of this group is to make this research more widely available and to facilitate interaction among the global community of reincarnation researchers, other academics, and the general public.

Searching For The Science Behind Reincarnation

Say a child has memories of being a Hollywood extra in the 1930s. Is it just an active imagination, or actual evidence of reincarnation? Jim Tucker, a psychologist at the University of Virginia studies hundreds of cases like this and joins NPR’s Rachel Martin to share his research on the science behind reincarnation.
TUCKER: Well, I think it’s very difficult to just map these cases onto a materialist understanding of reality. I mean, if physical matter, if the physical world is all there is, then I don’t know how you can accept these cases and believe in them. But I think there are good reasons to think that consciousness can be considered a separate entity from physical reality. And in fact, some leading scientists in the past, like Max Planck, who’s the father of quantum theory, said that he viewed consciousness as fundamental and that matter was derived from it. So in that case, it would mean that consciousness would not necessarily be dependent on a physical brain in order to survive, and could continue after the physical brain and after the body dies. In these cases, it seems – at least, on the face of it – that a consciousness has then become attached to a new brain, and has shown up as past life memories.
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A scholarly review, especially noteworthy for its extensive bibliography of sources.
Past Life Memory Case Studies
James G. Matlock

Morphing with Light

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