Sheffield Institute for
Translational Neuroscience

Dr Tom Farrow BSc (Hons) PhD

Senior Lecturer in Neuroimaging / Senior University Teacher / Honorary NHS Clinical Scientist

Research Interests

My methodological research interests are structural (voxel-based morphometry [VBM]) and functional MR brain imaging, electrophysiological recording (skin conductance response [SCR]) and neuromodulation (transcranial direct current stimulation [tDCS], transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation [tVNS] and transcranial magnetic stimulation [TMS]).
I have applied these methodologies in psychiatric (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD]) and neurologic (Alzheimer’s Disease, tinnitus, epilepsy, non-epileptic attack disorder [NEAD]) patients and healthy subjects.
The aspects of cognition in which I am interested include empathy, theory of mind, social cognition, deception, emotional salience, emotion regulation, ego depletion and ‘resting-state’

Current Projects

  • Do personal beliefs impact on the ego-depletion effect (via PhD student, Ahmad Assinnari)
  • Using EEG resting state parameters as biomarkers of cognitive decline in ageing
  • Modulation of cognitive function via transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation (tVNS)


  1. Blackburn D., Sarrigiannis P.G., De Marco M., Zhao Y., Venneri A., Lawrence, S., Unwin, Z., Blythe M., Angel J., Baster K., Wilkinson I.D., Bell S., He F., Wei H.L., Billings S.A., Farrow T.F.D. A Pilot study investigating a novel non-linear measure of Eyes Open versus Eyes Closed EEG synchronization in people with Alzheimer’s disease and healthy controls. Brain Sciences. 8(7), 134 (2018).
  2. Wise T. , …, Farrow T.F.D., …, Arnone D. Common and distinct patterns of grey matter volume alteration in major depression and bipolar disorder: Evidence from voxel-based meta-analysis. Molecular Psychiatry 22, 1455-1463. (2016).
  3. Hallam G.P., Webb T.L., Sheeran P., Miles E., Wilkinson I.D., Hunter M.D., Barker A.T., Woodruff P.W.R., Totterdell P., Lindquist K.A., Farrow T.F.D. The neural correlates of emotion regulation by implementation intentions. PLoS ONE. 10(3): e0119500 (2015).
  4. Farrow T.F.D., Burgess J., Wilkinson I.D., Hunter M.D. Neural correlates of self-deception and impression management. Neuropsychologia. 67, 159-174 (2015).
  5. Farrow T.F.D., Jones S.C., Kaylor-Hughes C.J., Wilkinson I.D., Woodruff P.W.R., Hunter M.D., Spence S.A. Higher or lower? The functional anatomy of perceived allocentric social hierarchies. NeuroImage. 57(4), 1552-1560 (2011).
  6. Farrow T.F.D., Whitford T.J., Williams L.M., Gomes L., Harris A.W.F. Diagnosis-related regional grey matter loss over two years in first episode schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Biological Psychiatry. 58(9), 713-723 (2005).
  7. Farrow T.F.D., Hunter M.D., Wilkinson I.D., Green R.D.J., Spence S.A. Structural brain correlates of unconstrained motor activity in people with schizophrenia. British Journal of Psychiatry. 187(5), 481-482 (2005).
  8. Hunter M.D., Farrow T.F.D., Papadakis N.G., Wilkinson I.D., Woodruff P.W.R., Spence S.A. Approaching an ecologically valid functional anatomy of spontaneous ‘willed’ action. NeuroImage. 20, 1264-1269 (2003).
  9. Farrow T.F.D., Zheng Y., Wilkinson I.D., Spence S.A., Deakin J.F.W., Tarrier N., Griffiths P.D., Woodruff P.W.R. Investigating the functional anatomy of empathy and forgiveness. NeuroReport. 12(11), 2433-2438 (2001).
  10. Spence S.A., Farrow T.F.D., Herford A.E., Wilkinson I.D., Zheng Y., Woodruff P.W.R. Behavioural and functional anatomical correlates of deception in humans. NeuroReport. 12(13), 2849-2853 (2001).
  11. Grünewald R.A., Farrow T.F.D., Vaughan P., Rittey C.D.C., Mundy J.V.B. A magnetic resonance study of complicated early childhood convulsion. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. 71(5), 638-642 (2001).
  12. Farrow T.F.D., Woodruff P.W.R. (Eds.) Empathy in Mental Illness. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. ISBN:9780521847346. (2007).

Professional Activities

  • Honorary NHS Clinical Scientist, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

  • Member, Department of Neuroscience, Executive Committee

  • Editorial board member, The Open Neuroimaging Journal, Bentham Science, USA.

  • Member, Association for Psychological Science (APA)


  • Member, Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM)


  • Member, Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE)


Following an undergraduate degree (1991-1995, BSc.[Hons.] Neuroscience; 2:i) and PhD (1995-1998, “Structural MRI study on the aetiology and cognitive effects of hippocampal sclerosis”, supervised by Dr Richard Grünewald, and Professor Andrew Mayes) at the University of Sheffield, I took up a post-doctoral position at the Neuroscience and Psychiatry Unit, University of Manchester. In 1999, I returned to the University of Sheffield to help found and develop the Sheffield Cognition and Neuroimaging Laboratory (SCANLab) within Academic Clinical Psychiatry. In 2001 I was lead author on the first fMRI study to be conducted in Sheffield and began a tenured lectureship position. In 2002 I was awarded a 12-month Royal Society Overseas Fellowship, which was hosted by the Brain Dynamics Centre, University of Sydney, Australia. Returning to SCANLab in 2003, I continued to conduct structural- and functional MRI-based research and attract grant-funding, most notably as co-investigator on a multi-centre Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Large Grant (2008-2013; “Emotion regulation of others and self (EROS): A collaborative research network”; £2.7M). I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2009.

In 2013 I moved to Academic Clinical Neurology (Department of Neuroscience), to establish new collaborations and apply my research and methodological expertise to a range of new disorders and cognitive questions. In 2016 I appointed as Associate Director of Student Affairs (previously known as Undergraduate Dean) for the MBChB course. In 2017, I was appointed as Director of first-year Medicine (MBChB, Phase 1) and in 2018 as Director of Undergraduate Learning and Teaching for Department of Neuroscience. In 2018 I was appointed as Senior University Teacher. I continue to supervise MSc and PhD research students, but now devote most of my time to Medical education.

Teaching Interests

  • Director of Studies, MBChB Phase 1
  • Head of Neuroscience, MBChB Phase 1
  • MBChB, Associate Director of Student Affairs
  • Department of Neuroscience, Director of Undergraduate Learning and Teaching
  • Module lead for ‘Neuroimaging, Neurophysiology & Neuropsychiatry’ (MED624)
  • Module lead for ‘Neuroanatomy’ (practical human brain dissection) courses, MBChB Phase 1 and various Masters courses (MED661)
  • ILA facilitator, MBChB Phase 1
  • Lecturer, MRCPsych course
  • Have supervised 7 PhD, 9 BMedSci, 17 MSc, 1 DClinPsy and numerous undergraduate medical student research projects.

Contact Details

Department of Neuroscience
University of Sheffield
Room N129, N-Floor
Royal Hallamshire Hospital
Glossop Road
S10 2JF

T: +44 (0)114 271 3128
F: +44 (0)114 271 3158


Bev Carter
T: +44 (0)114 22 22295