Staff Profile


Dr David Vernon

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 922501

Profile summary

My three main research interests are:

1. Anomalous cognition and consciousness 

I am especially interested in identifying how/why anomalous cognitive effects such as precall, precognition, psychokinesis, effects of staring etc. occur. In addition, I am interested in what the implications are of such effects for models/theories of consciousness.  

2. Enhancing human performance 

Here the focus of my research has been to examine the various techniques that have been used over time to aid or enhance some aspect of human performance. I have a special interest in the use of electroencephalographic biofeedback and cortical entrainment techniques to enhance cognition.

3. Creative problem solving 

I am currently exploring issues related to creative problem solving and the various techniques and tools used to enhance creative problem solving. More specifically I am interested in exploring the various ways in which creativity, and creative problem solving in particular, can be improved.

Research and knowledge exchange

My current research interests are focused on the field of psi and consciousness. These tend to be lab-based research projects but I am also very interested in the 'lived experience' of those that report unusual or anomalous experiences. I tend to take a quantitative approach but I would be happy to adopt both quantitative and qualitative methods. Current research project areas incude the following:


  • Using immersive virtual reality to explore telepathy 


  • Exploring precognitive priming using various cognitive tasks  

Fields of consciousness 

  • Testing morphic resonance theory using Chinese characters 

Energy healing 

  • The effect of energy healing techniques on cultured cell samples
  • Comparing different energy healing techniques 


  • Comparing different aspects of intention when staring at someone
  • Using immersive virtual reality to explore the feeling of being stared at


Teaching and subject expertise

Undergraduate Teaching

  • MPSMD1BMB Brain, Mind & Behaviour (Convenor)
  • MPSMD2BCP Biological & Cognitive Psychology
  • MPSMD3R20 Psychology Research Project (Convenor)
  • MPSMD3PRR Psychology Research Project (Convenor)
  • MPSMD3ACC Anomalous Cognition (Convenor)

 Postgraduate Teaching

  • MPSTH4CBP Brain and Cognition
  • MPSTH4RSP Research Project 

PhD Supervision 

  • S. Reeves: Effects of subliminal priming on mood and cognition. Awarded 2015
  • T. Dempster: Exploring the methodology of alpha neurofeedback: Awarded 2012 


  • Professional member of the Parapsychology Association
  • Professional member of the Society for Psychical Research
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

External activities

Conference Presentations 

  • Vernon, D. (2019). Measuring precognitive effects using a fast implicit and fast explicit task. 43rd International SPR Annual Conference, 20th – 22nd Sept, Leicester, UK.
  • Vernon, D., Sandford, T., & Moyo, E. (2019). A test of telepathy using immersive virtual reality. Paper presented at the 62nd Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association, Paris, France.
  • Vernon, D., & Ivencevic, L. (2018). Testing precognition usng a novel computer driving game. 42nd International SPR Annual Conference, Sept 21st -23rd, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.
  • Vernon, D. (2018). Precognitive priming of compound remote associates: Using an implicit creative insight task to elicit precognition. Parapsychological Association 61st Annual Convention, August 2nd – 5th, Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, California, USA.
  • Vernon, D. (2017). Testing precall using emotive images and participants with high levels of belief. 41st Society for Psychical Research International Annual Conference, Horsely Estate, UK, Sept 2-4th.
  • Vernon, D. (2017). Exploring the effect of a contingent cash based reward on the precall of arousing images. Parapsychological Association 60th Annual Convention, July 20th – 23rd, Athens, Greece.
  • Dempster, T., Hocking, I. M., Vernon, D., & Snyder, H. (2017). Enhancing creative problem solving and creative self-efficacy: A preliminary study. Psychology of Creativity: Building Impact, Skills, and Collaborations, 17th May 2017, Edinburgh, UK.
  • Hocking, I. M., & Vernon, D. (2017). The golden path: First steps in establishing order for two creative problem solving techniques. Psychology of Creativity: Building Impact, Skills, and Collaborations, 17th May 2017, Edinburgh, UK.
  • Hocking, I., & Vernon, D. (2016). A matter of perspective: The impact of near and far conceptual distance on creative problem solving. BPS Cognitive Psychology Section conference, 31st Aug – 2nd Sept. 2016, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Hocking, I., Vernon, D., Rehal, N., & Valkova, M. (2016). Which cues work best? An examination of the components of two structured thinking tools using eye tracking analysis. BPS Cognitive Psychology Section conference, 31st Aug – 2nd Sept. 2016, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Vernon, D. (2016). Exploring precall using arousing images and utilising a memory recall practise task on-line. 40th Society for Psychical Research International Annual Conference, Leeds, UK, Sept 2-4th.
  • Vernon, D., & Hocking, I. (2016).  Either here or there: Exploring conceptual distance using a novel clock-face paradigm in a creative problem solving task. American Psychological Association, DIV10, Denver, COL, USA, August 4-7th.

Publications and research outputs


  • Vernon, D. (2018). A test of reward contingent precall. Journal of Parapsychology, 82(1), 8-23. 
  • Hocking, I., & Vernon, D. (2017). A Bridge Too Far: Conceptual Distance and Creative Ideation. Creativity: Theories, Research – Applications, 4(2), 333-352.
  • Vernon, D. (2017). Attempting to elicit a precall effect using emotive images and participants with high levels of belief in psi. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 24(11-12), 216-237.
  • Hocking, I., & Vernon, D. (2017). The right tool for the right task: Structured techniques prove less effective on an ill-defined problem finding task. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 26, 84-91.
  • Vernon, D. (2017). Exploring precognition using arousing images and utilising an on-line memory recall practise task. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 81, 65-79.
  • Vernon, D., & Hocking, I. (2016). Beyond belief: Structured techniques prove more effective than a placebo intervention in a problem construction task. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 19, 153-159.
  • Vernon, D., Hocking, I., & Tyler, T. C. (2016). An evidence-based review of creative problem solving tools: A practitioner's resource. Human Resource Development Review, 1-30.
  • Vernon, D. (2015). Exploring precognition using a repetition priming paradigm. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 79(2), 65-79.
  • Vernon, D., & Hocking, I. (2014). Comparing six thinking hats and six good men on a problem finding task. Thinking Skills and Creativity.14, 41-46.
  • Pike, C., Vernon, D., & Hald, L. (2014). Asymmetric activation of the anterior cerebral cortex in recipients of IRECA: preliminary evidence for the energetic effects of an intention-based treatment modality on human neurophysiology. Journal of Complimentary Medicine, 1-17.
  • Bazanova, O., & Vernon, D. (2014). Interpreting alpha EEG activity. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 44, 94-110. 


  • Vernon, D. (2009). Human Potential: Exploring Techniques Used to Enhance Human Performance. London, Routledge.

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Last edited: 05/12/2017 03:57:00