I am currently a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and a Research Fellow at the Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. My research interests include second sight and other types of psychic, religious, and transpersonal experiences in Scotland and other cultures. I am also interested in the possible relationship of second sight to other exceptional mental and artistic abilities.
Originally wanting to become a bassoonist, I studied music at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA, where my academic interests extended to the fields of psychology, philosophy and human genetics. There I completed my BA and MA degrees in psychology. My Masters thesis showed that female carriers of colourblindness do have impaired vision when coloured stimuli are presented briefly before eye movements can be made.
My interest in colour vision extended to the study of different forms of perception and consciousness. I completed my PhD in Psychology in affiliation with the School of Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh. My thesis, ``The Scottish Tradition of Second Sight and Other Psychic Experiences in Families'', is a multidisciplinary study of second sight, applying methods from the fields of ethnology, psychology and human genetics. Drawing from interviews with people in different parts of Scotland, questionnaires, survey data and family histories, my research examined the different types of psychic experiences people report today and explores in more depth the belief that second sight is hereditary. My doctoral research was funded by The Perrott-Warrick Studentship for Psychical Research, the Eileen Garrett Scholarship, the Society for Psychical Research, and the Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene.
My postdoctoral research focuses on the possible inheritance of musical, artistic, poetic and mathematical abilities in themselves and also their possible relationship to second sight. This work has been funded by a grant from the Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene, the Frances P. Bolton Fellowship from the Parapsychology Foundation, and, currently a grant from the Bial Foundation.
Cohn, S. A. (1999a) A Historical Review of Second Sight: the Collectors, their Accounts and Ideas, Scottish Studies, 33, 146-185.
Cohn, S. A. (1999b) Second Sight and Family History: Pedigree and Segregation Analyses, Journal of Scientific Exploration, 13 (3), 351-372.
Cohn, S. A. (1999c) A Questionnaire Study of Second Sight Experiences, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 63 (855): 129-157.
Cohn, S.A. (1998) Second Sight: Fact or Fiction? In A. McKelvie (Ed.) Edit(The University of Edinburgh Magazine), Issue 14, Summer.
Cohn, S.A. (1996). The Scottish Tradition of Second Sight and Other Psychic Experiences in Families, an unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Cohn, S.A. (1994) A Survey on Scottish Second Sight, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 59 (835), 385-400.
Cohn, S. A., Emmerich, D. S., and Carlson, E.A. (1989) Differences in the Responses of Heterozygous Carriers of Color-Blindness and Normal Controls to Briefly Presented Stimuli, Vision Research, 29 (2), 255-262.