Previous Events


 May, 2015

John Monterosso participated in the USC Sustainability Conference with a presentation entitled "Environmental decision-making - what we can infer from addiction research."

April 24, 2015 at 7:00 pm                                                   

NORMAN KRIEGER IN RECITAL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Norman Krieger played pieces by Beethoven, Lazarof, Gershwin, and Chopin.  The evening included a conversation with Krieger and Damasio on the reasons behind programming choices.                                                                                                                                                                           












April 9, 2015

The 2015 meeting of the Institute for New Economic Thnking (INET) in Paris, France featured a session on the role of emotions and feeling in economic thinking. Participants included Antonio Damasio, Tania Singer, and Dennis Snower.  George Soros discussed.  Robert Johnson was the moderator.


April 1, 2015

"Creativity: What, Why and How?", a lecture by Antonio Damasio, at the opening of the IPSEN/Harvard Bioscience Grand Opening in Cambridge, MA.

March 27, 2015 at 10:00 am                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

BIG DATA TALK- Olaf Sporns

Recent years have seen significant advances in mapping structural and functional brain connectivity across several species, including humans. Common features of brain networks encountered in numerous studies are network modules (clusters of densely connected network elements) and hubs (nodes that are highly connected, central or vulnerable). The potentially important roles of modules and hubs are highlighted by the consideration of “communication dynamcis” – the ebb and flow of information within the overall network.  This talk will focus on the structural and functional roles of network modules and hubs in brain networks. I will discuss how hubs are defined and detected in structural and functional network data, and what predictions network models make about their contribution to signaling and communication processes. I will review recent work on how brain hubs are linked into “cores” or “rich clubs” and what this type of network architecture can tell us about integrative brain function.  I will end with a discussion of how a better understanding of brain networks may provide new insights into the network basis of human individuality and variation.

March 25, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

IMAGINARY FEASTS - Film and Symposium

A showing of the film "Imaginary Feasts" was followed by a symposium with the director, Anne Georget,

Dr. Stephen Smith of the Shoah Foundation and Dr. Antonio Damasio of the Brain and Creativity Institute.     

For a brief preview of the film, please click here.                                                                                                                                                                    


March 11, 2015  at 6:00 pm                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Conversation and Performance:  Reports from USC Brain and Creativity Institute’s 5-yearLongitudinal Study Involving YOLA at HOLA Students

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   In 2012, the USC Brain and Creativity Institute, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, and Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) embarked upon a long-term research collaboration to investigate the emotional, social, and cognitive effects of musical training on childhood brain development. On March 11, LA Phil CEO and President Deborah Borda and Heart of Los Angeles Executive Director Tony Brown will discuss the study’s implications with USC College Brain and Creativity Institute Director Dr. Antonio Damasio, Dr. Assal Habibi, the lead investigator of the project, and Dr. Hanna Damasio, Director of Dornsife Neuroimaging Center. The investigators will offer insights on the study’s findings to date.

The audience learned about the fascinating intersection of music, the brain, and the development of youth in underserved communities.

March, 2015    

Lisa Aziz-Zadeh made a presentation to Disney Animation entitled "The neural basis of creativity."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

February 25, 2015 at 12Noon                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

BIG DATA TALK - Winter Mason                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Prior research has shown a direct causal link between expressions of gratitude and multiple measures of well-being (Wood, Froh, & Geraghty, 2010).  In this study, we examined expressions of gratitude on Facebook using two sources.  First, we looked at people who indicate they are being thankful using a feature that tags a post with a feeling, in this case “feeling grateful”, “feeling thankful”, and “feeling blessed.”  Second, we looked at a meme in which friends challenged friends to post a list things they were grateful over a series of 5-7 days.  We find that although there are differences in the things for which people feel thankful, there are many more topics in common.  Additionally, we see that the thankfulness meme reached a large number of people through word of mouth.  Finally, we compare how people’s behavior changed after sharing the things for which they were grateful.

February, 2015

Lisa Aziz-Zadeh presented two lectures.  One, for the University of California, Riverside's CogLunch Speaker Series, was entitled "Shared circuits, action understanding and motor learning."  The other, for the Dean's  Forum series at USC Annenberg, was entitled "Creativity and the brain."

January 31, 2015 - Discussion with Philosopher Martha Nussbaum and Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio

Antonio Damasio held a dialogue on science, the humanities and education with philosopher Martha Nussbaum.  Stefania Gaini, Italian Minister of Education and Research, participated in the event which was moderated by writer Armando Maserenti.


October 27, 2014 - A 7:00 p.m. concert  featured the Bruce Adolphe-composed Musics of Memory.Musics of Memory, based on writings about how memory works in the brain by Antonio Damasio.

September 27, 2014 - A 6:30 p.m. concert featuring Sophisticated Lady jazz quartet, to celebrate the first album recorded at the USC Brain and Creativity Institute’s Cammilleri Hall.  The album, also called “Sophisticated Lady”, is produced by Yarlung Records and will be released in September, 2014.

The members of the quartet are Misha Adair, JJ Kirkpatrick, Andrew Boyle and Gary Wicks.


Excerpts from the concert, including an improvisation, can be seen here, here, here and here.

June 10, 2014 - Dr. Hanna Damasio presented a keynote lecture entitled "Visualizing Human Brain Anatomy" at
the Organization for Human Brain Mapping meeting in Hamburg, Germany.


 June 3, 2014 - Dr. Antonio Damasio presented the University of Tübingen Unseld Lecture with a talk entitled
"The Neurobiology of Feelings".


May 7, 2014 - It was announced that William Forsythe would be joining USC in 2015.  He will be collaborate with the
BCI.  Read the article here.


April 15, 2014 - On April 15th, 2014, Dr. Antonio Damasio received the 2014  Grawemeyer Award in Psychology. The
award was presented to Damasio in a ceremony at the University of Louisville, KY.


April 4, 2014, Noon - A Colloquium with Photographer Jean-Baptiste Huynh, LACMA's Britt Salvesen, and Antoino
Damasio in Cammilleri Hall.  To watch the video, please click HERE.
Jean-Baptiste Huynh, one of the most brilliant visual artists of his generation, joins LACMA's Britt Salvesen and BCI's
Antonio Damasio in a conversation about photography.  The film features images of his work.  April 4, 2014, Los Angeles.
 April 9, 2014 - Noon Concert in Cammilleri Hall with Pianist Zora Mikhailovich
Another noon concert by this admired artist.
March 25, 2014, Noon - Jazz in the Noon and MR Physics in te AFTERnoon.
Graham Wiggins, composer and pianist, was joinged by two colleagues (on bass and drums) for a concert at BCI's Cammilleri Hall.
At 2:00 p.m., Graham Wiggins talked to the BCI group about his work on MR physics, focusing on the role of 7 Tesla in human brain imaging.
November 9, 2013 - Fred Kavli Public Symposium on Creativity at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting
Creativity is one of the defining traits of humanity. It manifests itself in the organization of social systems (e.g. moral,
political, and economic), in the arts (from music, painting, and theater to literature and film), and in all manner of
inventions (from scientific explanations and technical instruments to complex engineered systems). How does the brain
work to produce such extraordinary results? Do these varied endeavors share brain strategies and structures? Join two
neuroscientists, a composer (and a piano), a visual artist, and an inventor/scientist/engineer for a discussion on
the neuroscience of creativity.
Organized and chaired by Antonio Damasio.  Participants included Bruce Adolphe, Vik Muniz, Danny Hillis 
and Kay Jamison.



November 19, 2013 - Scott Atran "The Devoted Actor: An Alternative Framework for Existential Conflict and Decision Making"
Professor Scott Atran is tenured as Research Director in Anthropology at France’s National Center for Scientific
Research, Institut Jean Nicod-Ecole Normale Supérieure, in Paris. He also holds positions as Presidential
Scholar, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York; Adjunct Professor Psychology and Public Policy, 
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor;and Director of Research, ARTIS Research and Risk Modeling. He is currently
also a Fellow at: Northwestern University, Stanford University, University of Maryland and University of
Oxford (Harris Manchester College).

He received his B.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University (and an M.A. in social relations 
from Johns Hopkins). His research interests include the ways scientists and ordinary people categorize and
reason about nature, on the cognitive and evolutionary psychology of religion, and on the limits ofrational
choice in political and cultural conflict.His publications include Cognitive Foundations of Natural History: Towards
an Anthropology of Science
 (Cambridge Univ. Press), In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion 
(Oxford Univ. Press), The Native Mind and the Cultural Construction of Nature (MIT Press), and Talking to the
Enemy: Violent Extremism,
Sacred Values, and What It Means to Be Human (Penguin)

November 1,2 and 3, 2013 - Thornton Chamber Opera - "Brigadoon" and
"Sunday in the Park with George"
October 30, 2013 - "Jazz in the Afternoon" with Andrew Gordon and Marco Agrisani  
October 16, 2013 - Jean-Guihen Queyras Master Class (with Midori).
October 9, 2013 - COPENHAGEN by Michael Frayn.
A Staged Reading Directed by Jack Row  
A USC Visions and Voices presentation.  In a 1941 encounter in
Copenhagen, physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg exchanged heated words and profound ideas relating
to the moral questions of scientists working on nuclear weapons. MichaelFrayn’s Tony Award–winning play
Copenhagen is a fictional account of that exchange. Ben Brantley of the New York Times called Copenhagen “endlessly fascinating...the most invigorating and ingenious play of ideas in many a year and a work of art that humanizes
physics in a way no other has done.”  The production will be directed by Jack Rowe, director of the BFA program in acting and associate dean of the USC School of Dramatic Art
August 26, 2013 - An intimate group inside the Brain and Creativity Institute’s Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall are privy to
a tête-à-tête between world renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and University Professor and neuroscientist Antonio Damasio on August 26, 2013.

July 22,2013 - Performance by the Students of YOLA at HOLA and CONVERSATION About a
Longtudinal Study on the Influence of Music on Brain Development

     July 20 and 21, 2013 - Master Classes on Classica Persian Instruments
Setar and Tar with Hossein Alizadeh

   July 19, 2013 -  An Evening of Persian Music with Hossein Alizadeh 
and Pehman Hadadi

June 19, 2013 - Cloud Tectonics by Jose Rivera - A Staged Reading Directed by Jonathan Munoz-Proulx


June 8, 2013 - TV Globo News (Brazil) aired an interview with Antonio Damasio on June 8, 2013, taped during the World Congress on Brain, Behavior and Emotion in São Paulo, Brazil.  Antonio and Hanna Damasio gave the inaugural lectures at the Congress.  USC’s Antoine Bechara also lectured at the Congress.


April 24, 2013 - A Noon Screening of "The Mayor" by BCI Alum Jared Scheib 


April 23, 2013 - A Noon Concert with Pianist Zora Mihailovich


April 19, 2013 - Free Classical Improvisations by the Analogue Ensemble


  March 27, 2013 marked two celebrations - the first evening event at the Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall which was also the 30th anniversary of virtuoso violinist Midori’s  debut.  A video of her performance may be viewed here.


February 4, 2013 - Antonio Damasio received a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Leuven, in Belgium, on February 4, 2013.


January 9, 2013 - the ESCOLA SECUNDARIA ANTONIO DAMASIO in Lisbon, Portugal, was dedicated in the presence of  Antonio Damasio, the Portuguese Minister of Education and Science(Nuno Crato) , and the Mayor of Lisbon (António Costa).  This modern school’s curriculum emphasizes the sciences and the arts.  The Damasio School’s Director is António Rodrigo Pinto da Cruz.


November 6, 2012 - New BCI Building opens.

BCI New Building Entry


November 2, 2012 - The Open University of Catalonia presented USC Dornsife’s Hanna Damasio with a Doctorate Honoris Causa degree for her brain imaging research.

Hanna Damasio receiving the Honoris Causa in Barcelona


October 9, 2012 - The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (LA Phil), the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) and the Brain and Creativity Institute announced a research collaboration to investigate the emotional, social and cognitive effects of musical training on childhood brain development.


July 29, 2012 - Associate Professor of Psychology at the BCI, John Monterosso, co-authored an opinion piece in the New York Times on Sunday July 29, 2012, entitled: Did Your Brain Make You Do It?

Did your brain make you do it? New York Times July 29, 2012


March 8, 2012 - The BCI and USC Visions and Voices presented Do You Dream In Coloon Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 7:00 PM the AT&T Center Theatre, 1150 S. Olive Street, Los Angeles.

Laurie Rubin Do You Dream in Color

Los Angeles Times Review : Do You Dream in Color?


March 1, 2011 - Antonio Damasio spoke at the TED conference on 


TED logo


January 12, 2011 - Antonio and Hanna Damasio have been appointed USC University Professors


Self Comes to Mind in Science Humaines - February 16, 2011

Sciences Humaines Masthead


Self Comes to Mind selected as Book of the Week by The Guardian - February 12, 2011

The Guardian Masthead Logo


Financial Times review of Self Comes to Mind - January 14, 2011

Antonio Damasio's Self Comes to Mind has been selected by the Financial Times as one of the best books of the year - November 27, 2010

Financial Times Book of the Year


Hanna Damasio and Antonio Damasio awarded

Doctor Honoris Causa, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Swiss Institute of Technology), 2011

Antonio and Hanna Damasio receive honorary doctorates in Lausanne











February 7, 2012 - Los Angeles Review of Books "The Symphony of Self" 

LA Review of Books


Corine International Book Prize (for Self Comes to Mind), Germany, 2011


Dallas Morning News Review of Self Comes to Mind -November 14, 2010

Dallas Morning News Header - SCTM Review


November 5, 2010 -  NPR Airtalk Interview with Antonio Damasio on Self Comes to Mind

NPR Airtalk 5 November 2010



November 8, 2010 - - Interview with Jonah Lehrer

Wired Header from 8 November 2010



Antonio Damasio scanner September 21, 2010 - Antonio Damasio Wins International Honda Prize, Announced 






Self Comes to Mind front cover


Fall, 2010 - Antonio Damasio's new book, Self Comes to Mind, was published by Pantheon.






The Institute's New Building Has Been Completely Funded - The new building of USC's Brain and Creativity Institute has now been completed.

The lead gift for the building is from Dana and David Dornsife. Other important gifts are from Joyce Cammilleri and Warren Cross.


The architectual firm of Perkins + Will has finalized the project based on conceptual plans previously prepared by Michael Maltzan Architecture:

New York Times article on Michael Maltzan 

DornsifesUSC News: David and Dana Dornsife

cammilleriUSC News: Joyce J. Cammilleri 


Pepe Romero Master Class Nov 5 & 6 2012 sponsorred by BCI & Thornton School of MusicNovember 5 & 6, 2012-  Pepe Romero Master Class co-sponsored by the USC Thornton School of Music and the Brain and Creativity Institute 


Jaron Lanier 9/14/2010September 14, 2010

Brain and Creativity Institute Lab Meeting with Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget







 Viola, Sellars, and Damasio REDCAT Wagner Event May 30, 2010May 30, 2010

REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) and the Brain and Creativity Institute presented "Myth, Wagner and the Human Brain", a colloquium featuring theater and opera director Peter Sellars, visual artist Bill Viola, and Antonio Damasio as part of the city-wide Ring Festival LA, which involved collaborations with a number of Los Angeles institutions in conjunction with LA Opera's performance of Richard Wagner's four-part Der Ring des Nibelungen.


Antonio Damasio on Charley Rose Brain Series Episode 8 May 26, 2010May 26, 2010

Charley Rose Brain Series Episode Eight




cozarelliApril 25, 2010

BCI Article Receives Prize from the National Academy of Sciences

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Andrea McColl, Hanna Damasio, and Antonio Damasio have been been named recipients of the 2009 Cozzarelli Prize, given annually to one paper from each of the six categories published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, for their paper "Neural correlates of admiration and compassion".

The awardees were recognized during the National Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland.



JP ChangeuxMarch 8, 2010

The Brain and Creativity Insitute presented a lecture by Dr. Jean-Pierre Changeux, entitled "Neuronal Architectures for Conscious Processing and the Global Neuronal Workspace Model".






publicoMarch 6, 2010

Antonio Damasio's work (including the collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma and Bruce Adolphe) was featured in the Portuguese magazine Publico.






leiden-logoFebruary 8, 2010

Antonio Damasio received an Honorary Doctorate (honoris causa) from Leiden University, the Netherlands' oldest university (founded in 1575). Also receiving honorary degrees were novelist and essayist Dame Antonia S. Byatt (A.S. Byatt) and astrophysicist Prof. Reinhard Genzel (Max Planck Institute and UC Berkeley). See pictures from the ceremony here.




Gary Rydstrom and Antonio DamasioJanuary 22, 2010

The USC School of Cinematic Arts presented "The Brain and Creativity", a conversation with Dr. Antonio Damasio and
7-time Academy Award-winner (and USC Cinema alumnus) Gary Rydstrom, as part of the 2010 Sloan Science Seminar.




scienes-humainesJanuary 2010

In the January issue of Sciences Humaines, Antonio Damasio's Descartes' Error is named as one of the 20 books published between 1989 and 2009 that have changed our vision of the world.






Aspen Ideas FestivalJuly 2009

Antonio Damasio was interviewed by David Brooks at the Aspen Institute's Aspen Ideas Festival.

See the full interview here





Yo-Yo Ma performs Self Comes to MindSunday, May 4, 2009

Yo-Yo Ma performs composer Bruce Adolphe's "Self Comes to Mind", a 30-minute work for cello and two percussionists, based on texts by Antonio Damasio. Accompanied by video imagery by Ioana Uricaru and Diego Miralles, based on images from Hannah Damasio, the piece premiered at the American Museum of Natural History.

Reviewed by the New York Times

Advertised in The New Yorker

Discussed on NPR's All Things Considered




Damasio and Adolphe

Friday, March 6, 2009

Of Mind, Medicine, and Music. Visions and Voices event. Antonio Damasio and composer Bruce Adolphe present their neuroscience-inspired musical work Memories of a Possible Future. USC, Health Sciences Campus, Mayer Auditorim.

Bruce Adolphe's Learning Maestros




Monday, November 24, 2008

Challenges in Neuroimaging Workshop, with Dr. Marcus Raichle, Arthur Toga, and Van Wedeen.








Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Musical Mind

The Tokyo String Quartet and Drs. Antonio and Hanna Damasio discuss the neurological aspects of music making, particularly memory and the unique qualities of a "creative Brain." This event was sponsored by USC's Visions and Voices.






Thursday, October 2, 2008

Professor Olaf Sporns gives a talk entitled "Mapping and Network Analysis of the Human Cerebral Cortex".







Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Philosophy Professor Patricia Churchland gives a lecture entitled "How Do Brains Navigate Teir Social/Moral Worlds?"







Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel gives a talk entitled: "Mechanisms for the Initiation and Persistence of Long Term Memory Storage".

Other BCI Visitors




Giacomo Rizzolati 2007APR3Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Renowned Neuroscientist Giacomo Rizzolatti from Parma spoke on "Mirror Neurons"





brendelMonday, March 12, 2007

Acclaimed Pianist Alfred Brendel read his Poetry and engaged in a conversation on creativity with Antonio Damasio.

See article about Brendel Event in the USC Chronicle: "Pianist with a Penchant for Poetry" (March 23, 2007)





hubelFriday, March 2, 2007

Nobel Laureate David Hubel (Enders Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard University) discussed his pioneering work on brain and vision. The title of the lecture was:

"The crystalline organization of the visual cortex




piotrThursday, March 1, 2007

Star pianist Piotr Anderszewski talked with Antonio Damasio about brain and music and played out his ideas at 4:00 PM at Alfred Newman Hall, University Park Campus, USC.

Co-sponsored with the Thornton School of Music




jhonThursday, October 26, 2006

The Brain and Creativity Institute hosted a conversation between John Burnham Schwartz and Antonio Damasio.

Acclaimed novelist John Burnham Schwartz read from his novel "Reservation Road" and discussed his writing of the screenplay with neuroscientist Antonio Damasio.





house of sandTuesday, June, 22, 2006,


The Brain and Creativity Institute hosted a screening of "House of Sand", directed by Andrucha Waddington.





De Groene Amsterdammer (January 1, 2012)


Big Think: Consciousness is How We Know We Exist. (September 1, 2010)


National Public Radio:Our Storied Lives: The Quest for 'Something More' (August 31, 2010) Science Blog: "Can I hear the sound of silence? (2010)


Discover presents The Brain: "Speed Freaks" Dr. Antonio Damasio ( 2009)


The Washington Diplomat: "Arts Smart" Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang is profiled discussing "the Mozart effect".(2008)


The National: "Mirror, mirror in the brain" (2008)


Boston Globe: "The Next Decider" (2008)


Newsweek: "Heard Any Good Stories Lately?" (2008 page 2)


International Herald Tribune: "Portugal among world's scientific elite?" (2008)


Wired Science: "What Does it Mean to be Human", World Science Festival (2008)


New York Times: "The Neural Buddhists", Op Ed by David Brooks (2008)


Times Higher Education: "More Than a Feeling" (2008)


Sunday Independent (South Africa): "In Search of Spinoza and Adebayor: Jeremy Gordin recalls a family pilgrimage that rekindled his faith in philosophy, football and the study of Hebrew" (2008)


New York Times: "Counseling Democrats to Go for the Gut" (2007)


Boston Globe: "Hearts and Minds" (April 29, 2007)


USC Chronicle:"Moral Judgment Fails Without Feelings"(2007)


Publico (Portugal): (2007)


New Scientist: "Impaired Emotional Processing Affects Moral Judgement" (2007)


London Telegraph: "Feelings Guide You Round the Moral Maze" (2007)


LA Times: "Empathy is hard-wired into the mind, study finds" (2007)


NY Times: "Brain Injury Said to Affect Moral Choice" (2007)


Reuters: "Brain Damaged People Give Insights into Morality" (2007)


ScienceNow: "How the Heart Can Rule the Head" (2007)


Open Source Interview with Antonio Damasio on Spinoza (2007)


USC Chronicle: Brain injury and smoking (2007)




International Herald Tribune: "Brain injury can break smoking habit, study says" (2007)


NY Times: "In Clue to Addiction, Brain Injury Halts Smoking" (2007) 


Goose Bumps: The Science of Fear was at the California Science Center. The work of the Damasio lab was featured prominently in this

popular exhibition which travelled to the Museum of Science, Boston, MA; Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, OR; Science

Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN; COSI, Columbus, OH; Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, fort Worth, TX; and Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA.



movies on mindMovies on the Mind: Psychology and Film Since Sigmund Freud was at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sci

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