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.
Sources
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 Perception—an 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.