Transpersonal Psychology, Parapsychology, and Neurobiology: Clarifying Their Relations

Document Type


Publication Date


Originally Published In

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Volume Number


Issue Number


Page Numbers



Neurobiological advances have resulted in growing interest in many psychological phenomena heretofore resistant to scientific scrutiny, including within transpersonal psychology and parapsychology. These advances perhaps can resolve longstanding tensions between these two psychological subdisciplines, which have generally been treated as disparate. To implement such a rapprochement requires more than just additional empirical findings, as theoretical development is also needed. Consequently, we identify some important theoretical problems, such as conventional assumptions about scientific naturalism and materialism that potentially undermine substantive advances in further understanding such phenomena through neurobiology. We also discuss links between parapsychology and transpersonal psychology that can be forged through neurobiology (e.g., identifying specific brain regions that can serve as candidates for future investigations in parapsychology and transpersonal psychology).