Neppe, Vernon M

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Neppe, Vernon M.

Vernon M. Neppe, founder of the Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute in Seattle, Washington, is a prominent neuropsychiatrist who has also engaged in significant parapsychological research. He attended the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he completed his medical degree in 1973. He later served as a specialist for post-graduate training and as a senior consultant at the school. In 1982 he was named the Witwatersrand University Overseas Traveling Fellow for 1982-83. He developed a specialization in psychopharmacology, forensic psychiatry, and geriatric psychiatry.

In 1986, Neppe established and was named director of the first division of neuropsychiatry in a department of psychiatry in the United States, at the University of Washington. In 1992 he founded the Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute, a facility that conducts both clinical and forensic consultations for patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders and conducts research in a variety of related fields.

Over the years, one area that attracted Neppe's interest was paranormal experience, the subject of his master's thesis in 1979. He later came to refer to such experiences as anomalous experiences, those events humans perceive as paranormal, psychic, or bizarre and not easily explained by the conventional laws of science. Such events would include ESP and psychokinesis. He has advocated the use of a new set of terms in describing such experiences that are less prejudicial than many commonly employed in discussions of psychic phenomena. For example, ESP seems to carry with it the idea of contradicting well-known laws of physics. Neppe has argued that if, in fact, such events occur they should link with natural laws. Through the institute he conducts research in anomalous experiences in the attempt to understand them, especially in relation to his own fields of specialization.


Neppe, V. M. "Anomalous Experience and Psychopathology." In Betty Shapin and Lisette Cody, eds. Spontaneous Psi, Depth Psychology and Parapsychology. New York: Parapsychology Foundation, 1992.

. "Extrasensory Perceptionan Anachronism and Anathema." Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 52, no. 789 (October 1984): 365-70.

. An Investigation of the Relationship Between Temporal Lobe Symptomatology and Subjective Paranormal Experience. Johannesburg, South Africa: University of Witwatersrand, Med Psych thesis, 1979.

. "The Relevance of the Temporal Lobe to Anomalous Subjective Experience." In Rhea A. White and R. S. Broughton, eds. Research in Parapsychology 1983. Methuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1984.