Martha Julia Farah

University of Pennsylvania
Biological Sciences
Member Since

Dr. Martha Julia Farah is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Natural Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, where she directs the Center for Neuroscience and Society. Farah’s early research was devoted to understanding the mechanisms of vision, memory, and executive function in the human brain. Her groundbreaking work helped to bridge the fields of cognitive psychology and neuroscience as well as to establish the cognitive neuropsychology of vision. In recent years, Farah’s research has shifted to focus several issues at the interface of neuroscience and society, including: (1) the ethical, legal and social impact of neuroscience, or neuroethics, (2) the ways in which neuroscience is changing the way we think of ourselves as physical, mental, moral, and spiritual beings, (3) the expanding use of neuropsychiatric medications by healthy people for brain enhancement, and (4) the effects of childhood poverty on brain development. In order to study the latter, Farah uses cutting edge techniques in neuroimaging and neuroendocrinology. Farah has received widespread recognition for her work including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Academy of Science’s Troland Research Award and the Association for Psychological Science’s lifetime achievement award as well as her American Academy of Arts and Sciences membership. She is also a fellow of the Cognitive Science Society, the Society of Experimental Psychologists, the Association for Psychological Science, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has written over two hundred articles in journals such as Brain, Cognition, Neuropharmacology, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, as well as writing and editing several books, including most recently Neuroethics: An Introduction with Readings and, with Anjan Chatterjee, Neuroethics in Practice.

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