Fortean Careers - Out of Body Experiences

With the obvious exception of Ghostbuster, Cthulhu wrangler and exorcist there are very few jobs specifically in the Fortean world, more's the pity.  So how about this one for those suitably qualified?

Research Fellow in Cognitive Psychology / Neuroscience

Cortical Hyperexcitability and its Association with Out-of-Body Experiences (OBEs) in the Non-clinical Population

Working at the University of Birmingham this is a position for someone with a Phd in Psychology and an obvious interest in OBE's.

To quote the job advert:-


Full Time for 3 years.  Fixed term from 1st September 2012 - 31st August 2015

Starting salary is normally in the range £27,578 to £35,938.  With potential progression once in post to £38,140 a year.

A Research Fellowship is available in the School of Psychology,
University of Birmingham (UK), studying the role of cortical
hyperexcitability underlying susceptibility to visual hallucinations -
specifically out-of-body experiences in the non-clinical population. 
The project will involve taking psychophysiological measurements
(Electrodermal activity), will employ TDCS procedures of
brain-stimulation and is under the supervision of Dr Jason Braithwaite,
Lecturer, in the School of Psychology.  The project is funded by The
Leverhulme Trust.

The School of Psychology at Birmingham is one of the most successful
Psychology departments in the UK, ranking third among all UK Psychology
departments in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008).
The School boasts outstanding access to the latest Psychophysiological
and Neurophysiological equipment (including, Electrodermal activity,
Facial EMG, to ERP, fMRI, TMS, TDCS, and computational resources).  An
excellent program of seminars and colloquia creates a vibrant research
atmosphere. Birmingham is the UK's second largest city and provides a
vibrant cultural environment and excellent transport links to London and
the rest of Europe.

The successful applicant, in addition to having obtained a PhD in
Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, Psychology or a related discipline,
will have a strong background in the areas of visual attention, visual
awareness, and visual emotional processes. Expertise with programming
behavioural experiments in E-prime presentation software for both
stimulus presentation and event-related procedures is highly desirable. 
A background in psychophysiology (such as electrodermal activity) is
also desirable, though not essential as full training will be given
during the project.  However, a capacity to acquire skills in
contemporary psychophysiological measurements / analyses is essential.

Closing date:   13 July 2012                          Reference: 47479

To download the details and submit an electronic application online visit:

The project supervisor, Jason Braithwaite, has an interest in instances of Anomalous Cognition, hallucinations and delusions in the pathological, clinical and normal populations.  Current research is directed at investigating (i) neurocognitive correlates of Out-of-Body Experiences (OBEs); (ii) Near-Death Experiences; (iii) perspective-taking mechanisms, (iv) embodiment and theories of 'self'; (v) the rubber-arm illusion and (vi) neurocognitive correlates of consciousness including altered states; and (vii) sensed-presence experiences (as stated on hiswork web site).  So definitely a researcher with interests to attract the average Fortean.

So, perhaps someone reading this is suitably qualified and may go for it, if so good luck.  But even if not - this should hopefully lead to some publishable results and a step towards solving the mystery of OBE's.

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