In this episode I speak with Norm Farb, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto, and Principal Investigator of the Regulatory and Affective Dynamics Lab.
Dr. Farb studies the neuroscience of the self and emotion with a focus on how cognitive biases shape the emotional reactions that influence well-being, and how these biases and emotional reactions are affected by cognitive training practices such as mindfulness meditation.
He has led several influential studies on the mechanisms of mindfulness training and depression vulnerability, highlighting that resilience against depression stems more from the growth of mindfulness-related skills, such as interoceptive awareness, than the eradication of residual depressive symptoms.
1:30 – How did Norm come to focus on the role of interoception in mindfulness, a practice so often described in cognitive terms (such as quietening the mind).
6:35 – On whether the interoceptive and default mode networks are anti-correlated
10:00 – Does mindfulness enhance your ability to perceive interoceptive signals from the body?
13:15 – How the experiential and narrative modes relate to depression
24:50 – How do people relate to the signals from within their body in a way that supports their wellbeing?
32:00 – How does the interoceptive way of looking at mindfulness relate to the positive effects of mindfulness in healthy populations?
40:00 – Are there any cultural factors that might be shaping our balance between narrative and experiential modes?
46:00 – Is there research on interoception and intuition?
48:20 – What is coming up next for Norm?
53:10 – Advice for students