Dr Fiona Kumfor

Senior Research Fellow
NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow
Clinical Neuropsychologist

A19 - Griffith Taylor Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone (02)91144181

Biographical details

Dr Fiona Kumfor holds a Masters of Clinical Neuropsychology (Macquarie University) and a PhD in Neuroscience (University of New South Wales). She is currently an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow (2016-2019), Senior Research Fellow in the School of Psychology and registered Clinical Neuropsychologist with AHPRA. Combining her clinical training in neuropsychology and research expertise in cognitive neuroscience her work investigates social cognition in clinical syndromes with a focus on dementia, and aims to improve diagnosis and prognosis of dementia, while also informing neurobiological models of complex human behaviours.

Research interests

My research focuses on understanding how abilities we usually take for granted, such as recognising someone you know, understanding how they feel and being able to empathise with others, can be affected in dementia. My research combines novel experimental paradigms with advanced neuroimaging to inform theoretical models of social cognition and improve diagnosis and prognosis of people with dementia.

Current research students

Project title Research student
Cerebellar contributions to cognitive changes in frontotemporal dementia Sherry CHEN
Face processing in frontotemporal dementia Rosalind HUTCHINGS

Awards and honours

Arc Postgraduate Council Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision, University of New South Wales, 2016

Paxinos Prize for best paper published by a NeuRA Postdoctoral Fellow, Neuroscience Research Australia, 2015

Dean's Rising Star, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, 2014

Excellent PhD Thesis in Psychology Award, The Division of Psychological Research, Education and Training of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), 2014

Dean's List for Outstanding Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, 2012

Vice Chancellor's Award for Academic Excellence, Macquarie University, 2012

In the media

ABC News Online. Why do we forget our family members' and close friends' names?http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-28/why-we-forget-family-members-names/745584428 May 2016.

ABC Melbourne (May 2016) Radio interview about “Why we forget family members’ names” with Jon Faine https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pe4L7xlR9D?play=true

ABC Radio National Interview (2015)“How brains forget to remember” http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rnafternoons/brain-memory/6522190

Article – Fairfax (Sydney Morning Herald, The Age) (2015)“The information our brains forget so they don’t become too ‘full’” http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/the-information-our-brains-forget-so-they-dont-become-too-full-20150608-ghj8y7

ABC Radio National AM Program "Emotional memories in dementia"http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2013/s3797787.htm,

Selected grants

2017

  • Apathy in dementia: Identifying mechanisms for targeted interventions; Kumfor F, Irish M, Irish M; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.

2016

  • Identifying novel markers to differentiate frontotemporal dementia from Alzheimer's disease; Kumfor F; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellowships.

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Kumfor, F., Halliday, G., Piguet, O. (2017). Clinical aspects of Alzheimer�s disease. In P Beart, M Robinson, M Rattray, N J Maragakis (Eds.), Neurodegenerative Diseases: Pathology, Mechanisms, and Potential Therapeutic Targets, (pp. 31-53). Cham: Springer. [More Information]

Journals

  • Kumfor, F., Honan, C., McDonald, S., Hazelton, J., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2017). Assessing the "social brain" in dementia: Applying TASIT-S. Cortex, 93, 166-177. [More Information]
  • Van den Stock, J., Kumfor, F. (2017). Behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia: At the interface of interoception, emotion and social cognition? Cortex. [More Information]
  • Midorikawa, A., Kumfor, F., Leyton, C., Foxe, D., Landin-Romero, R., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2017). Characterisation of "Positive" Behaviours in Primary Progressive Aphasias. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 44(3-4), 119-128. [More Information]
  • Hazelton, J., Irish, M., Hodges, J., Piguet, O., Kumfor, F. (2017). Cognitive and Affective Empathy Disruption in Non-Fluent Primary Progressive Aphasia Syndromes. Brain Impairment, 18(1), 117-129. [More Information]
  • Piguet, O., Kumfor, F., Hodges, J. (2017). Diagnosing, monitoring and managing behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia. The Medical Journal of Australia, 207(7), 303-308. [More Information]
  • Landin-Romero, R., Kumfor, F., Leyton, C., Irish, M., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2017). Disease-specific patterns of cortical and subcortical degeneration in a longitudinal study of Alzheimer's disease and behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia. NeuroImage, 151, 72-80. [More Information]
  • Hutchings, R., Palermo, R., Piguet, O., Kumfor, F. (2017). Disrupted Face Processing in Frontotemporal Dementia: A Review of the Clinical and Neuroanatomical Evidence. Neuropsychology Review, 27, 18-30. [More Information]
  • McDonald, S., Honan, C., Allen, S., El-Helou, R., Kelly, M., Kumfor, F., Piguet, O., Hazelton, J., Padgett, C., Keage, H. (2017). Normal adult and adolescent performance on TASIT-S, a short version of The Assessment of Social Inference Test. The Clinical Neuropsychologist. [More Information]
  • Wong, S., Irish, M., O'Callaghan, C., Kumfor, F., Savage, G., Hodges, J., Piguet, O., Hornberger, M. (2017). Should I trust you? Learning and memory of social interactions in dementia. Neuropsychologia, 104, 157-167. [More Information]
  • Landin-Romero, R., Canales-Rodriguez, E., Kumfor, F., Moreno-Alcazar, A., Madre, M., Maristany, T., Pomarol-Clotet, E., Amann, B. (2017). Surface-based brain morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging in schizoaffective disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 51(1), 42-54. [More Information]
  • Sedeno, L., Piguet, O., Abrevaya, S., Desmaras, H., Garcia-Cordero, I., Baez, S., Alethia de la Fuente, L., Reyes, P., Tu, S., Moguilner, S., Landin-Romero, R., Kumfor, F., Hodges, J., et al (2017). Tackling variability: A multicenter study to provide a gold-standard network approach for frontotemporal dementia. Human Brain Mapping, 38, 3804-3822. [More Information]
  • Landin-Romero, R., Tan, R., Hodges, J., Kumfor, F. (2016). An update on semantic dementia: genetics, imaging and pathology. Alzheimers Research & Therapy, 8(1), 52. [More Information]
  • Hazelton, J., Irish, M., Hodges, J., Piguet, O., Kumfor, F. (2016). Cognitive and Affective Empathy Disruption in Non- Fluent Primary Progressive Aphasia Syndromes. Brain Impairment, 18(1), 117-129. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Teo, D., Miller, L., Lah, S., Mioshi, E., Hodges, J., Piguet, O., Irish, M. (2016). Examining the Relationship Between Autobiographical Memory Impairment and Carer Burden in Dementia Syndromes. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 51(1), 237-248. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Landin-Romero, R., Devenney, E., Hutchings, R., Grasso, R., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2016). On the right side? A longitudinal study of left-versus right-lateralized semantic dementia. Brain, 139(3), 986-998. [More Information]
  • Honan, C., McDonald, S., Sufani, C., Hine, D., Kumfor, F. (2016). The awareness of social inference test: Development of a shortened version for use in adults with acquired brain injury. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 30(2), 243-264. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Dermody, N., Irish, M. (2015). Considering the impact of large-scale network interactions on cognitive control. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35(1), 1-3. [More Information]
  • Kamminga, J., Kumfor, F., Burrell, J., Piguet, O., Hodges, J., Irish, M. (2015). Differentiating between right-lateralised semantic dementia and behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia: An examination of clinical characteristics and emotion processing. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 86(10), 1082-1088. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Hutchings, R., Irish, M., Hodges, J., Rhodes, G., Palermo, R., Piguet, O. (2015). Do I know you? Examining face and object memory in frontotemporal dementia. Neuropsychologia, 71, 101-111. [More Information]
  • Devenney, E., Bartley, L., Hoon, C., O'Callaghan, C., Kumfor, F., Hornberger, M., Kwok, J., Halliday, G., Kiernan, M., Piguet, O., et al (2015). Progression in Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia: A Longitudinal Study. JAMA Neurology, 72(12), 1501-1509. [More Information]
  • Hutchings, R., Hodges, J., Piguet, O., Kumfor, F. (2015). Why should I care? Dimensions of socio-emotional cognition in younger-onset dementia. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 48(1), 135-147. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Sapey-Triomphe, L., Leyton, C., Burrell, J., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2014). Degradation of emotion processing ability in corticobasal syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. Brain, 137, 3061-3072. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2014). Ecological Assessment of Emotional Enhancement of Memory in Progressive Nonfluent Aphasia and Alzheimer's Disease. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 42(1), 201-210. [More Information]
  • Savage, S., Lillo, P., Kumfor, F., Kiernan, M., Piguet, O., Hodges, J. (2014). Emotion processing deficits distinguish pure amyotrophic lateral sclerosis from frontotemporal dementia. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 15(1-2), 39-46. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Irish, M., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2014). Frontal and temporal lobe contributions to emotional enhancement of memory in behavioral-variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8, 1-13. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Irish, M., Leyton, C., Miller, L., Lah, S., Devenney, E., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2014). Tracking the progression of social cognition in neurodegenerative disorders. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 85(10), 1076-1083. [More Information]
  • Irish, M., Kumfor, F., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2013). A tale of two hemispheres: Contrasting socioemotional dysfunction in right- versus left-lateralised semantic dementia [Um Conto Sobre Dois Hemisferios: Contrastando A Disfuncao Socioemocional Na Demencia Semantica Com Atrofia Lateralizada A Direita Versus Esquerda]. Dementia e Neuropsychologia, 7(1), 88-95.
  • Kumfor, F., Irish, M., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2013). Discrete Neural Correlates for the Recognition of Negative Emotions: Insights from Frontotemporal Dementia. PloS One, 8(6), 1-11. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Irish, M., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2013). The orbitofrontal cortex is involved in emotional enhancement of memory: Evidence from the dementias. Brain, 136(10), 2992-3003. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Piguet, O. (2012). Disturbance of emotion processing in frontotemporal dementia: A synthesis of cognitive and neuroimaging findings. Neuropsychology Review, 22(3), 280-297. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Miller, L., Lah, S., Hsieh, S., Savage, S., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2011). Are you really angry? The effect of intensity on facial emotion recognition in frontotemporal dementia. Social Neuroscience, 6(5-6), 502-514. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Kumfor, F., Irish, M., Leyton, C., Devenney, E., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2013). Social functioning decline distinguishes behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 8th Annual Brain Sciences University of New South Wales (UNSW) Symposium: "The Interactive Brain: Translational Neuroscience".
  • Kumfor, F., Irish, M., Leyton, C., Devenney, E., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2013). Tracking the progression of emotional disturbance in neurodegenerative disorders. 19th Annual Australian Psychological Society (APS) College of Clinical Neuropsychologists Conference.

2017

  • Kumfor, F., Honan, C., McDonald, S., Hazelton, J., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2017). Assessing the "social brain" in dementia: Applying TASIT-S. Cortex, 93, 166-177. [More Information]
  • Van den Stock, J., Kumfor, F. (2017). Behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia: At the interface of interoception, emotion and social cognition? Cortex. [More Information]
  • Midorikawa, A., Kumfor, F., Leyton, C., Foxe, D., Landin-Romero, R., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2017). Characterisation of "Positive" Behaviours in Primary Progressive Aphasias. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 44(3-4), 119-128. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Halliday, G., Piguet, O. (2017). Clinical aspects of Alzheimer�s disease. In P Beart, M Robinson, M Rattray, N J Maragakis (Eds.), Neurodegenerative Diseases: Pathology, Mechanisms, and Potential Therapeutic Targets, (pp. 31-53). Cham: Springer. [More Information]
  • Hazelton, J., Irish, M., Hodges, J., Piguet, O., Kumfor, F. (2017). Cognitive and Affective Empathy Disruption in Non-Fluent Primary Progressive Aphasia Syndromes. Brain Impairment, 18(1), 117-129. [More Information]
  • Piguet, O., Kumfor, F., Hodges, J. (2017). Diagnosing, monitoring and managing behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia. The Medical Journal of Australia, 207(7), 303-308. [More Information]
  • Landin-Romero, R., Kumfor, F., Leyton, C., Irish, M., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2017). Disease-specific patterns of cortical and subcortical degeneration in a longitudinal study of Alzheimer's disease and behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia. NeuroImage, 151, 72-80. [More Information]
  • Hutchings, R., Palermo, R., Piguet, O., Kumfor, F. (2017). Disrupted Face Processing in Frontotemporal Dementia: A Review of the Clinical and Neuroanatomical Evidence. Neuropsychology Review, 27, 18-30. [More Information]
  • McDonald, S., Honan, C., Allen, S., El-Helou, R., Kelly, M., Kumfor, F., Piguet, O., Hazelton, J., Padgett, C., Keage, H. (2017). Normal adult and adolescent performance on TASIT-S, a short version of The Assessment of Social Inference Test. The Clinical Neuropsychologist. [More Information]
  • Wong, S., Irish, M., O'Callaghan, C., Kumfor, F., Savage, G., Hodges, J., Piguet, O., Hornberger, M. (2017). Should I trust you? Learning and memory of social interactions in dementia. Neuropsychologia, 104, 157-167. [More Information]
  • Landin-Romero, R., Canales-Rodriguez, E., Kumfor, F., Moreno-Alcazar, A., Madre, M., Maristany, T., Pomarol-Clotet, E., Amann, B. (2017). Surface-based brain morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging in schizoaffective disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 51(1), 42-54. [More Information]
  • Sedeno, L., Piguet, O., Abrevaya, S., Desmaras, H., Garcia-Cordero, I., Baez, S., Alethia de la Fuente, L., Reyes, P., Tu, S., Moguilner, S., Landin-Romero, R., Kumfor, F., Hodges, J., et al (2017). Tackling variability: A multicenter study to provide a gold-standard network approach for frontotemporal dementia. Human Brain Mapping, 38, 3804-3822. [More Information]

2016

  • Landin-Romero, R., Tan, R., Hodges, J., Kumfor, F. (2016). An update on semantic dementia: genetics, imaging and pathology. Alzheimers Research & Therapy, 8(1), 52. [More Information]
  • Hazelton, J., Irish, M., Hodges, J., Piguet, O., Kumfor, F. (2016). Cognitive and Affective Empathy Disruption in Non- Fluent Primary Progressive Aphasia Syndromes. Brain Impairment, 18(1), 117-129. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Teo, D., Miller, L., Lah, S., Mioshi, E., Hodges, J., Piguet, O., Irish, M. (2016). Examining the Relationship Between Autobiographical Memory Impairment and Carer Burden in Dementia Syndromes. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 51(1), 237-248. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Landin-Romero, R., Devenney, E., Hutchings, R., Grasso, R., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2016). On the right side? A longitudinal study of left-versus right-lateralized semantic dementia. Brain, 139(3), 986-998. [More Information]
  • Honan, C., McDonald, S., Sufani, C., Hine, D., Kumfor, F. (2016). The awareness of social inference test: Development of a shortened version for use in adults with acquired brain injury. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 30(2), 243-264. [More Information]

2015

  • Kumfor, F., Dermody, N., Irish, M. (2015). Considering the impact of large-scale network interactions on cognitive control. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35(1), 1-3. [More Information]
  • Kamminga, J., Kumfor, F., Burrell, J., Piguet, O., Hodges, J., Irish, M. (2015). Differentiating between right-lateralised semantic dementia and behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia: An examination of clinical characteristics and emotion processing. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 86(10), 1082-1088. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Hutchings, R., Irish, M., Hodges, J., Rhodes, G., Palermo, R., Piguet, O. (2015). Do I know you? Examining face and object memory in frontotemporal dementia. Neuropsychologia, 71, 101-111. [More Information]
  • Devenney, E., Bartley, L., Hoon, C., O'Callaghan, C., Kumfor, F., Hornberger, M., Kwok, J., Halliday, G., Kiernan, M., Piguet, O., et al (2015). Progression in Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia: A Longitudinal Study. JAMA Neurology, 72(12), 1501-1509. [More Information]
  • Hutchings, R., Hodges, J., Piguet, O., Kumfor, F. (2015). Why should I care? Dimensions of socio-emotional cognition in younger-onset dementia. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 48(1), 135-147. [More Information]

2014

  • Kumfor, F., Sapey-Triomphe, L., Leyton, C., Burrell, J., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2014). Degradation of emotion processing ability in corticobasal syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. Brain, 137, 3061-3072. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2014). Ecological Assessment of Emotional Enhancement of Memory in Progressive Nonfluent Aphasia and Alzheimer's Disease. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 42(1), 201-210. [More Information]
  • Savage, S., Lillo, P., Kumfor, F., Kiernan, M., Piguet, O., Hodges, J. (2014). Emotion processing deficits distinguish pure amyotrophic lateral sclerosis from frontotemporal dementia. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 15(1-2), 39-46. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Irish, M., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2014). Frontal and temporal lobe contributions to emotional enhancement of memory in behavioral-variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8, 1-13. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Irish, M., Leyton, C., Miller, L., Lah, S., Devenney, E., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2014). Tracking the progression of social cognition in neurodegenerative disorders. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 85(10), 1076-1083. [More Information]

2013

  • Irish, M., Kumfor, F., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2013). A tale of two hemispheres: Contrasting socioemotional dysfunction in right- versus left-lateralised semantic dementia [Um Conto Sobre Dois Hemisferios: Contrastando A Disfuncao Socioemocional Na Demencia Semantica Com Atrofia Lateralizada A Direita Versus Esquerda]. Dementia e Neuropsychologia, 7(1), 88-95.
  • Kumfor, F., Irish, M., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2013). Discrete Neural Correlates for the Recognition of Negative Emotions: Insights from Frontotemporal Dementia. PloS One, 8(6), 1-11. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Irish, M., Leyton, C., Devenney, E., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2013). Social functioning decline distinguishes behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 8th Annual Brain Sciences University of New South Wales (UNSW) Symposium: "The Interactive Brain: Translational Neuroscience".
  • Kumfor, F., Irish, M., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2013). The orbitofrontal cortex is involved in emotional enhancement of memory: Evidence from the dementias. Brain, 136(10), 2992-3003. [More Information]
  • Kumfor, F., Irish, M., Leyton, C., Devenney, E., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2013). Tracking the progression of emotional disturbance in neurodegenerative disorders. 19th Annual Australian Psychological Society (APS) College of Clinical Neuropsychologists Conference.

2012

  • Kumfor, F., Piguet, O. (2012). Disturbance of emotion processing in frontotemporal dementia: A synthesis of cognitive and neuroimaging findings. Neuropsychology Review, 22(3), 280-297. [More Information]

2011

  • Kumfor, F., Miller, L., Lah, S., Hsieh, S., Savage, S., Hodges, J., Piguet, O. (2011). Are you really angry? The effect of intensity on facial emotion recognition in frontotemporal dementia. Social Neuroscience, 6(5-6), 502-514. [More Information]

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