For much of the twentieth century, unusual perceptions and sensations, radical alterations of consciousness, and other extraordinary subjective experiences were ignored as legitimate topics of study in mainstream psychology. Recent years, however, have witnessed a burgeoning interest in the scientific study of anomalous experiences, thanks in no small part to the impact of the first edition of this book, which was published in 2000.
In this revised and thoroughly updated edition of their classic text, the editors have invited experts to provide definitive reviews and analyses of a wide range of anomalous experiences, from commonly documented sensations and perceptions like synesthesia, lucid dreaming, out-of-body experiences, and auditory and visual hallucinations, to rarer and more seemingly inexplicable experiences such as anomalous healing, past-lives, near-death, mystical experiences, and even alien abductions.
While acknowledging the difficulty inherent in studying any subjective experience, the authors nonetheless provide, along with new research in neuroscience, comprehensive scientific coverage of each of these experiences, through its prevalence and etiology, phenomenology, aftereffects, any related psychopathology, theoretical explanations, and related clinical issues.
An integrative summary chapter is a new feature of this edition.
The book makes a compelling case for the inclusion of these marginalized and under-recognized experiences as not merely incidental, but essential to our understanding of human psychology.