The More We Understand, The Less We Understand

Key Note September 11, 2009

Dr. Martha Farah is currently Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Natural Sciences and Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, where she has been teaching since 1992. Farah has undergraduate degrees in Metallurgy and Philosophy from MIT, and a doctorate in Psychology from Harvard University. She is the recipient of a 2008-2009 William James Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science, recognizing her significant intellectual contributions to the field.

Professor Farah has devoted most of her career to understanding the mechanisms of vision, memory, and executive function in the human brain. In her classic book Visual Agnosia: Disorders of Object Recognition and What They Tell Us about Normal Vision, Farah identified key questions about high-level vision that set the agenda for that field over the next twenty years. She is also the co-editor of Patient-Based Approaches to Cognitive Neuroscience. In recent years she has shifted her research focus to a new set of issues, including the effects of socioeconomic adversity on children’s brain development and emerging social and ethical issues in neuroscience (“neuroethics”).


  • Martha J. Farah


  • Friday, September 11, 2009