Norman Farb

Dr. Norman Farb

Research Focus

My current research focuses on changes in brain connectivity found in normal aging and in patients with dementia. I am interested in the interplay between two distinct ways of looking at the world, and the neural systems supporting these “modes” of awareness. On one hand there is a conceptual world which most of us inhabit throughout the day, full of descriptions of events, memories, attitudes, and evaluations of people and things. On the other hand there is an experiential world, tracking how our bodies, thoughts and feelings change from moment to moment, a judgment-free awareness of current experiences and intentions. Developing techniques for measuring bias in how people see the world is important for understanding the brain in everyday life, but also for appreciating the different brain systems that may be compromised in cases of dementia.

My past research projects include: the neural predictors of relapse in depression, how mindfulness training reduces the relapse risk by changing access to these two modes of awareness, and more generally how biases in self-regulation are created and altered, predicting reactions in both body and mind.

I am excited to be working as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Tiffany Chow in the Frontotemporal Dementia Workgroup, and am dedicated to advancing both public understanding of the disorder and developing new techniques for the assessment and care of patients with dementia and their caregivers.


Title Source (Journal/Book/Conference) Authors/Presenters Published On Type
Intrinsic medial temporal lobe connectivity relates to differences in episodic autobiographical remembering Cortex Sheldon S, Farb N, Palombo DJ, Levine B 1453438800 Journal Article
Resting state connectivity is related to individual differences in subjectively-rated memory ability. 21st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Boston, MA. Sheldon S, Farb N, Levine B 1396843200 Presentation
Abnormal network connectivity in frontotemporal dementia: Evidence for prefrontal isolation Cortex Farb NA, Grady CL, Strother S, Tang-Wai DF, Masellis M, Black S, Freedman M, Pollock BG, Campbell KL, Hasher L, Chow TW 1348459200 Journal Article
The Impact of the Right Insula on Behavior and Cognition in Frontotemporal Dementia Neurology Farb N, Chow TW, Tang-Wai D, Masellis M 1302580800 Presentation
The Impact of the Right Insula on Behavior and Cognition in Frontotemporal Dementia Neurology American Academy of Neurology Farb N, Chow TW, Tang-Wai D, Masellis M 1302580800 Abstract
The Role of Overt Attention in Emotion-Modulated Memory Emotion Riggs L, McQuiggan DA, Farb N, Anderson AK, Ryan JD 1301976000 Journal Article
Minding one's emotions: mindfulness training alters the neural expression of sadness Emotion Farb NA, Anderson AK, Mayberg H, Bean J, McKeon D, Segal ZV 1262322000 Journal Article
Memory for general and specific value information in younger and older adults: measuring the limits of strategic control Memory & Cognition Castel AD, Farb NA, Craik FI 1180670400 Journal Article
Attending to the present: mindfulness meditation reveals distinct neural modes of self-reference Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Farb NA, Segal ZV, Mayberg H, Bean J, McKeon D, Fatima Z, Anderson AK 1167627600 Journal Article
The influence of self-regulatory focus on encoding of, and memory for, emotional words Social Neuroscience Touryan SR, Johnson MK, Mitchell KJ, Farb N, Cunningham WA, Raye CL 1167627600 Journal Article


  • 2003: Joint Honours B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy, Cognitive Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • 2005: M.A. in Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Academic Appointments

Professional Affiliations



Distinctions and Awards

Research Projects


  • 2009–2011: Varela Award
    Supervisor: Adam K. Anderson
    Collaborators: Adam K. Anderson, Zindel V. Segal
    Institutions: Dept. Psychology, University of Toronto; Dept. Psychiatry, University of Toronto; Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

    Sponsors: Mind and Life Foundation Research Grant


  • 2010–2012: Postdoctoral Fellow
    Supervisor: Tiffany Chow
    Institutions: Rotman Research Institute

    Sponsors: Women of Baycrest Fellowship


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