About the Julian Jaynes Society

Founded in 1997, the Julian Jaynes Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (tax ID # 85-2704191) focused on advancing, promoting, and fostering discussion of the life, work, and theories of Julian Jaynes (1920-1997), specifically his theory of the origin of consciousness and a previous mentality called the bicameral mind, and its modern-day implications.

The society was formed in 1997 shortly after the death of Julian Jaynes, with the initial goals of bringing together those interested in his ideas and locating Jaynes’s unpublished writings. Over the past two decades, the Julian Jaynes Society has grown tremendously and now helps promote Julian Jaynes’s theory in a variety of ways, including:

  • Publishing books and articles (both print and electronic) relevant to Jaynes’s theory of consciousness and the bicameral mind.
  • Maintaining a Member Area with exclusive Jaynes-related articles, audio & video lectures and interviews, book reviews, member essays, e-books, correspondence, newspaper archives, and more.
  • Publishing a newsletter, The Jaynesian, with relevant essays, book reviews, and announcements.
  • Publishing digital download audio lectures by Julian Jaynes as well as lectures of others discussing his theory.
  • Organizing events, such as the Julian Jaynes Society Conference on Consciousness and Bicameral Studies, the largest conference ever held on Julian Jaynes’s theory.
  • Promoting and clarifying Julian Jaynes’s theory on social media.
  • Maintaining a public Discussion Forum.
  • Organizing Jaynes-related speaker sessions and workshops at consciousness conferences.
  • Encouraging and promoting the publication of books, articles, and dissertations on Julian Jaynes’s theory by scholars and students.
  • Reviewing drafts of articles and manuscripts on Jaynes’s theory for authors to help ensure their accuracy.
  • Promoting the Julian Jaynes Conference on Consciousness organized by Prof. Scott Greer at the University of Prince Edward Island in 2006 and 2008.

About the Executive Director

Marcel Kuijsten

Marcel Kuijsten is Founder and Executive Director of the Julian Jaynes Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. He is editor of four books on Jaynes’s theory: Conversations on Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind, Gods, Voices, and the Bicameral Mind, The Julian Jaynes Collection, and Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness. He is co-editor (with Brian McVeigh) of and regular contributor to The Jaynesian, the newsletter of the Julian Jaynes Society. He co-chaired and helped organize (with Rabbi James Cohn) The Julian Jaynes Society Conference on Consciousness and Bicameral Studies, where he was also a speaker. He had also spoken on Jaynes’s theory at the Julian Jaynes Conference on Consciousness at the University of Prince Edward Island and the Science of Consciousness conference in Tucson, Arizona. Interviews with Marcel Kuijsten on Jaynes’s theory have appeared on the BBC, the Evolution Institute/This View of Life podcast, Red Ice Radio, Astraea Magazine & podcast, among others, and in the book Blood Rites by Jimmy Lee Shreeve and New Therapist magazine.

Senior Researchers/Advisors

Boban Dedović

Boban Dedović, Division of the Humanities Department, University of Chicago
Boban Dedović is an interdisciplinary Croatian-American technologist and researcher. As an undergraduate, he studied Religions of Antiquity and Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park. His senior seminar work won the University’s competitive Library Award for Research, which was focused on a Sumerian afterlife myth named ‘Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld.’ Dedović also worked in the field of software development for over ten years, starting and growing several funded technology companies. He founded and serves as the Executive Director of the OMNIKA Foundation, which is a Nevada based nonprofit focused on indexing and making available the world’s mythological stories. His research at the University of Chicago focuses on better understanding the operational basis of human intelligence via humanity’s oldest written records.

Brian J. McVeigh

Brian J. McVeigh, Ph.D., M.S., Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Brian J. McVeigh attended the State University of New York at Albany, from where he received his B.A., M.A., and M.S. He was awarded his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Princeton University where he was a student of Julian Jaynes. A specialist on Japanese culture, he lived, researched, and worked in Asia for almost 17 years. He has published widely on Jaynesian psychology, including articles: “Elephants in the Psychology Department” (in Gods, Voices, and the Bicameral Mind), “Humility as a Profession: A Memorial to Julian Jaynes” (in The Julian Jaynes Collection), and “The Self as Interiorized Social Relations” (in Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness), and books: A Psychohistory of Metaphors, How Religion Evolved, The “Other” Psychology of Julian Jaynes, The Psychology of the Bible, Discussions With Julian Jaynes, The Psychology of Westworld, and The Self-healing Mind (forthcoming).

Science Advisory Board

Michael Carr

Michael Carr, Ph.D., Otaru University of Commerce, Japan (retired)
Michael Carr retired from teaching at Otaru University of Commerce in Japan and works as a freelance translator in Hawaii. He has published extensively on Chinese and Japanese linguistics and lexicography, including the New Japanese-English Character Dictionary. He has also published a series of articles on the evidence for bicameralism in ancient China (available in the Member Area). His article “The Shi ‘Corpse/Personator’ Ceremony in Early China” appears in Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness.

Edoardo Casiglia

Edoardo Casiglia, M.D., Dept. of Medicine, University of Padova, Italy
Prof. Edoardo Casiglia, M.D., is Senior Scientist at the Studium Patavinum (Dept. of Medicine) at University of Padova. He is a specialist in Cardiology, Pharmacology, Anesthesia and intensive care, a European Clinical Hypertension Specialist, an Anthropologist and Forensic Archaeologist, and a Criminologist Criminalist. He is also a trained Hypnotist, Hypnotherapist, hypnosis instructor, and is former Editor in Chief of the Journal Contemporary Hypnosis. He has published 14 books and authored or co-authored over 700 scientific works on a range of diverse subjects such as cardiology, hypertension, hypnosis, hypnotherapy, and consciousness. Prof. Casiglia has a longstanding interest in Julian Jaynes’s theory, and related subjects such as consciousness, anthropology, archeology, hypnosis, volition, and free will. He has published numerous books related to these topics, including L’io e le sue voci: Antropologia e archeo-psicologia della coscienza egoica (The Ego and its Voices: Anthropology and Archeo-Psychology of Egoic Consciousness), Decisione, volizione, libero arbitrio (Decision, volition, free will), and I mondi della coscienza (The Worlds of Consciousness).

Scott Greer

Scott Greer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, Dept. of Psychology, University of Prince Edward Island
Scott Greer is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Prince Edward Island. He is also Editor for the Canadian Psychological Association journal, the and Philosophy of Psychology Bulletin, and is coordinator for the Julian Jaynes Conference on Consciousness. Professor Greer has published over a dozen articles on the history and theory of psychology, with particular emphasis on the history of self research and psychoanalysis. He has published two articles on Jaynes’s theory: “A Knowing Noos and a Slippery Psyche” (in Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness) and “The Last Modern Psychologist: Julian Jaynes’ Search for Consciousness in the Natural World” (in the Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics). He organized the Julian Jaynes Conference of Consciousness in 2006 and 2008 and spoke on Jaynes’s theory at the Toward A Science of Consciousness Conference.

John Hainly

John Hainly, M.A., Instructor of Philosophy, Dept. of English & Philosophy, Southern University
John Hainly is Instructor of Philosophy at Southern University. He specialized in Philosophy of History and is interested in Philosophy of Religion, Culture, Science & Technology, as well as Psychology of Religion. He has spoken on Jaynes’s theory at The Julian Jaynes Society Conference on Consciousness and Bicameral Studies, the Julian Jaynes Conference on Consciousness at the University of Prince Edward Island, and the Toward A Science of Consciousness Conference.

Martin Seligman

Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology and Director of the Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania
Martin E.P. Seligman is the Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology and Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where he focuses on positive psychology, learned helplessness, prospection, optimism and positive education. He is a best-selling author of several books, including Flourish. His most recent book is The Hope Circuit, his autobiography. He received the American Psychological Society’s William James Fellow Award for basic science, the Cattell Award for the application of science, and three Lifetime Distinguished Scientist awards from the American Psychological Association. In 1996, Seligman was elected President of the American Psychological Association by the largest vote in modern history. His mission is the attempt to transform social science to work on the best things in life – strengths, positive emotion, good relationships, meaning, and human flourishing.

Halleh Seddighzadeh

Halleh Seddighzadeh, Ph.D., Counter-Trafficking Advisor and Trauma Specialist
Dr. Halleh (Ha-lay) Seddighzadeh (Sah-dig-zah-day) is an international counter-trafficking expert and forensic traumatologist specializing in the psychological treatment of torture, complex traumatic stress, and dissociative conditions. With a focus on victims of cross-cultural, coercive, predatory trauma—including survivors of sex and labor trafficking, war, terrorism, gender-based violence, and youth who are vulnerable to indoctrination by violent extremist groups or cults—Dr. Halleh takes a holistic, evidence-based approach to healing. This approach also governs her work as a consultant and advisor to systems from corporations, government agencies, law enforcement, tribal governments, medical practitioners, and social service providers who face the complex challenges of addressing and preventing human rights violations and providing treatment for survivors. Through her social impact consultancy, New Paradigm Labs, Dr. Halleh collaborates with the corporate sector on training, risk assessment, strategy, and impact analysis with a focus on sex and labor trafficking and ensuring ethical sourcing at all levels of the supply chain.

Jan Sleutels

Jan Sleutels, Ph.D., Senior University Lecturer, Philosophy of Mind and Media Philosophy, Institute for Philosophy, Leiden University (Netherlands)
Jan Sleutels is Senior University Lecturer, Philosophy of Mind and Media Philosophy at Leiden University. His teaching and research interests include metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and media philosophy. His article “Greek Zombies” appears in Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness, and he has spoken on Jaynes’s theory at The Julian Jaynes Society Conference on Consciousness and Bicameral Studies, Julian Jaynes Conference on Consciousness at the University of Prince Edward Island in 2006, and the Toward A Science of Consciousness Conference in 2008 and 2009. He authored the book Real Knowledge: The Problem of Content in Neural Epistemics.

Laurence Sugarman

Laurence I. Sugarman, M.D., FAAP, ABMH, Research Professor & Director, Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation, Rochester Institute of Technology
Laurence I. Sugarman is Research Professor and Director of the Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation in the College of Health Sciences and Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT); a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at the Easter Seals Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Rochester, New York; and Clinical Professor in Pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Over two decades of primary care pediatric practice, Professor Sugarman refined clinical biofeedback and hypnosis strategies that effectively increase resilience and coping skills for young people and families. Based on this experience, he produced an internationally acclaimed video-documentary, Hypnosis in Pediatric Practice: Imaginative Medicine in Action. At RIT, he has focused on (1) how best to evoke the abilities of young people with autism spectrum disorder and other chronic health problems, (2) innovative interactive media for health, and (3) pedagogy for professional development in psychobiological care. With Dr. William Wester, Dr. Sugarman has co-authored and co-edited the text, Therapeutic Hypnosis with Children and Adolescents. His latest book, coauthored with Julie Linden and Lee Brooks, is Changing Minds with Clinical Hypnosis.

Ulrich Schädler

Ulrich Schädler, Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of Art History and Archaeology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and Director of the Swiss Museum of Games, La Tour-de-Peilz
Ulrich Schädler teaches Greek and Roman Archaeology. He published mainly about Greek architecture and Graeco-Roman sculpture. For more than thirty years his research interests and publications have concentrated on the history of games, including ancient Greek and Roman games, Chess, Backgammon, and the culture of play and games in the Middle Ages and 18th and 19th centuries. He is co-founder of the International Society for Board Game Studies (see the Board Game Studies Journal and the annual BGS colloquium), co-editor of the publication series “Ludographie” (with Rainer Buland), co-editor (with Véronique Dasen) of the newly founded series “Locus Ludi,” and member of the scientific council of “Game in Lab” (Paris). From 2017 to 2022, he collaborated as senior researcher with Véronique Dasen in the research project “Locus Ludi: The Cultural Fabric of Play and Games in Classical Antiquity” (see https://locusludi.ch), financed by a grant from the European Research Council. His interest in Julian Jaynes was stimulated by Jaynes’s investigations into the behavior of the Homeric heroes. He is currently working on a study of the relationship of early board games to Jaynes’s theory.

Clive Svendsen

Clive Svendsen, Ph.D., Executive Director, Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Dr. Clive Svendsen is a neuroscientist and stem cell biologist. He did his predoctoral training at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in England, where he subsequently became a Welcome Fellow and established a laboratory focusing on stem cell research. He then moved to the University of Wisconsin in 2000 as Professor of Neurology and Anatomy and founded their Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center. In 2010, he moved to Los Angeles and founded the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute (RMI), which currently has 23 faculty members and over 120 staff. Dr. Svendsen has a long-standing interest in Julian Jaynes and began his career looking at post-mortem schizophrenic brain tissue and determining how the left and right hemispheres may drive aspects of the disease. Currently he is transplanting stem cells into the brain and spinal cord of patients with ALS in order to establish how neural transplants may be able to modify neuronal functioning and survival.

Emeritus Advisors

Rabbi James Cohn

Rabbi James Cohn, Biblical Scholar (1952-2018)
Rabbi Cohn was a longtime advisor and friend of the Julian Jaynes Society. An expert on Biblical history and ancient languages, he was passionate about Jaynes’s theory, and his book The Minds of the Bible applies Jaynes’s theory to the study of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). He spoke on Jaynes’s theory at the Julian Jaynes Conference on Consciousness at the University of Prince Edward Island in 2008. In the fall of 2012, he taught a course at Marshall University titled “The Brain, the Self, the Voice of God,” that centered on Jaynes’s theory and used The Julian Jaynes Collection as the course text. In 2013, he co-chaired and helped organize (with Marcel Kuijsten) the Julian Jaynes Society Conference on Consciousness and Bicameral Studies, where he was also a speaker.

John W. Hamilton

John W. Hamilton, Director of Psychology, Gracewood Hospital (1930 – 2021)
John Hamilton grew up in Manhasset, New York, and attended Central College in Missouri. After college he served with the U.S. Army in Korea. He then continued his graduate education at Emory University, and received a PhD in psychology from Florida State University. Dr. Hamilton spent most of his career at Gracewood Hospital, the original Georgia facility for the mentally and physically handicapped, retiring as Director of Psychology. He was also involved in pioneering research at Harvard University, helping people with developmental disabilities. He later worked with Katherine Sturm, therapist, in a research and education project specializing in interpersonal relationships. Inspired by Julian Jaynes’s theory, Dr. Hamilton published the article “Auditory Hallucinations in Nonverbal Quadriplegics” in the journal Psychiatry in 1985. This was later published as a chapter in Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness, along with an updated commentary that he wrote for the book in 2005. Another article by Dr. Hamilton and John Sappington, “On Listening to Voices,” was reprinted in Gods, Voices, and the Bicameral Mind in 2016.

John E. Limber

John E. Limber, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of New Hampshire (1940 – 2017)
John Limber was Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Hampshire, where he taught and investigated topics relating to language, consciousness, and the evolution of primates from 1971 until his retirement in 2009. Born in Chicago, John earned his undergraduate and honors graduate degrees at the University of Illinois. He did post-doctoral work in psycholinguistics at Wesleyan University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining the faculty at the University of New Hampshire. Professor Limber had a long-standing interest in Julian Jaynes’s theory, having first heard Jaynes speak on his theory at the University of New Hampshire in 1983. For many years, he incorporated Jaynes’s theory in his teaching. Professor Limber contributed the chapter “Language and Consciousness” to Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness and spoke on Julian Jaynes’s theory at the Julian Jaynes Symposium on Consciousness in Prince Edward Island in 2005 and the Jaynes session at the Toward A Science of Consciousness conference in Tucson, Arizona in 2008.

Michael A. Persinger

Michael A. Persinger, Professor of Psychology, Laurentian University (1945-2018)
Professor Michael Persinger was an early advisor and friend of the Julian Jaynes Society. A professor of psychology at Laurentian University for nearly 40 years, Professor Persinger did research highly relevant to Jaynes’s theory on neurotheology and the neurology of sensed presences, citing Jaynes’s bicameral mind theory in articles such as “The Feeling of a Presence and Verbal Meaningfulness in Context of Temporal Lobe Function: Factor Analytic Verification of the Muses?”, “Vectorial Cerebral Hemisphericity as Differential Sources for the Sensed Presence, Mystical Experiences and Religious Conversions,” “Relative Right Temporal-Lobe Theta Activity Correlates with Vingiano’s Hemispheric Quotient and the ‘Sensed Presence’,” and “Experimental Facilitation of the Sensed Presence: Possible Intercalation between the Hemispheres Induced by Complex Magnetic Fields.” He is perhaps best known for his “god helmet,” a device he designed to stimulate the right temporal lobe with a weak electromagnetic field in order to produce the feeling of a sensed presence or imagined “other.” In 2006, he wrote a wonderful Foreword to Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness: Julian Jaynes’s Bicameral Mind Theory Revisited that was highly supportive of Jaynes’s theory. In it he states that “Julian Jaynes’s theories for the nature of self-awareness, introspection, and consciousness have replaced the assumption of their almost ethereal uniqueness with explanations that could initiate the next change in paradigm for human thought.”