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Antonio Damasio

University Professor, David Dornsife Chair in Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology and Neurology

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-3462
Office: DNI 265

Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website

Biographical Sketch


Antonio Damasio is University Professor, David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, and Director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California; he is also an adjunct professor at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California.  Damasio has made seminal contributions to the understanding of brain processes underlying, emotions, feelings, decision-making and consciousness.  He is the author of numerous scientific articles (his Web of Knowledge H Index is 83; over 32,000 citations) and his research has received continuous Federal funding for 30 years.  He is the recipient of many awards (including the Grawemeyer Award, 2014; the Honda Prize, 2010; the Asturias Prize in Science and Technology, 2005; and the Signoret Prize, 2004, which he shared with his wife Hanna Damasio).  Damasio is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He has been named “Highly Cited Researcher” by the Institute for Scientific Information, and also holds Honorary Doctorates from several Universities.

He has described his discoveries in several books (Descartes’ Error, The Feeling of What Happens, Looking for Spinoza. and Self Comes to Mind) translated and taught in universities worldwide.

(For more information go to the Brain and Creativity Institute website at  and the Dornsife Imaging Center website at )



Ph.D. , University of Lisbon, 1/1974
MD , University of Lisbon Medical School, 1/1969

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Tenure Track Appointments

David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, University of Southern California, 04/01/2006-  
Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Neurology, University of Southern California, University of Southern California, 07/01/2005-  
Professor, University of Iowa, 01/01/1980-01/01/1985  
Associate Professor, University of Iowa, 01/01/1976-01/01/1977  

Non-Tenure Track Appointments

Distinguished Adjunct Professor, University of Iowa, 07/01/2005-  
Adjunct Professor, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, Ca, 01/01/1989-  

Other Employment

Director, Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California, 07/02/2005-  
Chief, Division of Behavioral Neurology & Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, 01/01/1977-07/02/2005  
Van Allen Distinguished Professor, University of Iowa, 01/01/1989-07/01/2005  
Head, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, 01/01/1986-01/01/2005  
Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, University of Iowa, 01/01/1985-01/01/2005  
Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Iowa, 01/01/1975-01/01/1976  
Professor Auxiliar in Neurology, University of Lisbon Medical School, 01/01/1974-01/01/1975  
Chief, Language Research Laboratory, Center de Estudos Egas Moniz, 01/01/1971-01/01/1974  

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Antonio Damasio is an internationally recognized leader in neuroscience. His research has helped to elucidate the neural basis for the emotions and has shown that emotions play a central role in social cognition and decision-making. His work has also had a major influence on current understanding of the neural systems, which underlie memory, language and consciousness. Damasio directs the USC Brain and Creativity Institute.



Damasio, A. (2010). Self Comes to Mind. New York, New York: Pantheon.
Damasio, A. (2005). Descartes' Error. 10th Anniversary edition, with a new author preface. New York, New York: Penguin Books.
Damasio, A. (2003). Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow and the Feeling Brain. New York, New York: Harcourt.
Damasio, A. (1999). The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness. New York, New York: Harcourt.
Damasio, A. (1994). Descartes' Error. New York, New York: Grosset/Putnam.

Book Chapter

Damasio, A., Anderson, S. W., Tranel, D. (2012). The frontal lobes. Clinica neuropsychology (Vol. Fifth Edition). pp. 417-465. Oxford Universtiy Press.
Damasio, A. (2011). Pessoa's Case. Pessoa at Gulbenkian, 2012 by Richard Zenith
Damasio, A. (2011). Thinking About Brain and Consciousness. Characterizing Consciousness: From Cognition to th pp. 47-54. Foundation Ipsen.
Damasio, A. (2008). Neuroscience and the Emergence of Neuroeconomics, in Neuroeconomics. Academic Press, Elsevier.
Damasio, A., Meyer, K. (2008). Consciousness: An Overview of the Phenomenon and of its Possible Neural Basis, in "The Neurology of Consciousness". pp. 3-14. Elsevier.
Damasio, A. (2008). Soul Says, Preface to Sinto Muito by Nuno Lobo Antunes. Verso de Kapa.

Encyclopedia Article

Damasio, A. (2011). Neural basis of emotion. Scholarpedia.
Damasio, A. (2010). Emotion. McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology.


Damasio, A. (2010). Does moral action depend on reasoning? Yes and no. Templeton Foundation, Big Question Series.

Journal Article

Habibi, A., Damasio, A. (2014). Music, Feellings, and the Human Brain. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind and Brain. Vol. 24 (1), pp. 92-102.
Damasio, A., Carvalho, G. B. (2013). The nature of feelings: evolutionary and neurobiological origins. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. pp. 143-152.
Meyer, K., Kaplan, J., Essex, R., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2011). Seeing touch is correlated with content-specific activity in primary sensory cortex. Cerebral Cortex. Vol. 21, pp. 2113--2121. 10.1093/cercor/bhq289
Feinstein, J., Adolphs, R., Damasio, A., Tranel, D. (2011). The Human Amygdala and the Induction and Experience of Fear. Current Biology. Vol. 21, pp. 1-5.
Meyer, K., Kaplan, J. T., Essex, R., Webber, C., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2010). Predicting Visual Stimuli based on activity in auditory cortices. Nature Neuroscience. Vol. 13 (6), pp. 667-668.
Young, L., Bechara, A., Tranel, D., Damasio, H., Hauser, M., Damasio, A. (2010). Damage to ventromedial prefrontal cortex impairs judgment of harmful intent. Neuron. Vol. 65, pp. 1-7.
Meyer, K., Damasio, A. (2009). Convergence and divergence in a neural architecture for recognition and memory. Trends in Neuroscience. Vol. 32 (7), pp. 376-382.
Immordino-Yang, M. H., McColl, A., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2009). Neural correlates of admiration and compassion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol. 106 (19), pp. 8021-8026.
Rudrauf, D., Lachaux, J., Damasio, A., Baillet, S., Hugueville, L., Martinerie, J., Damasio, H., Renaut, B. (2009). Enter Feelings: somatosensory responses following early stages of visual induction of emotion. International Journal of Psychophysiology. Vol. 72 (1), pp. 13-23.
Damasio, A., Meyer, K. Behind the looking-glass. Nature Vol. 454. 2008: 167-168
Rudrauf, D., David, O., Lachaux, J., Kovach, C., Martinerie, J., Renault, B., Damasio, A. Rapid Interactions between the Ventral Visual Stream and Emotion-Related Structures Rely on a Two-Pathway Architecture. Journal of Neuroscience Vol. 28. 11 2008: 2793-2803
Aziz-Zadeh, L., Damasio, A. Embodied semantics for actions: Findings from functional brain imaging., Journal of Physiology 2008; Vol. 102: 35-39.
Koenigs, M., Young, L., Adolphs, R., Tranel, D., Hauser, M., Cushman, F., Damasio, A. Damage to the prefrontal cortex increases utilitarian moral judgments., Nature 2007; Vol. 446: 908-911.
Damasio, A. Neuroscience and ethics: intersections., American Journal of Bioethics 2007; Vol. 7 (1): 3-7.
Immordino-Yang, M., Damasio, A. We feel, therefore we learn: the relevance of affective and social neuroscience to education., Journal of Mind 2007; Vol. 1 (1): 3-10.
Preston, S., Bechara, A., Damasio, H., Grabowski, T., Stansfield, B., Mehta, S., Damasio, A. The neural substrates of cognitive empathy., Social Neuroscience 2007; Vol. 2: 3-4.
Parvizi, J. |. (2006). Neural connections of the posteromedial cortex in the macaque: Implications for the understanding of the neural basis of consciousness. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. pp. p.vol. 103.
Bechara, A., Hiroyuki, O. n., Adolphs, R. n., Kawasaki, H. n., Damasio, A., Howard, M. I. (2005). Electrophysiological correlates of reward prediction error recorded in the human prefrontal cortex. National Academy of Science. Vol. 102 (23), pp. p. 8351-8356..
Bechara, A., Damasio, H. C., Tranel, D., Damasio, A. (2005). The Iowa gambling task (IGT) and the somatic marker hypothesis (SMH): Some questions and answers. Cognitive Sciences. Vol. 9, pp. p. 159-162.

Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

Self Comes to Mind Musical piece with text and film authored by A. Damasio, H. Damasio, B. Adolphe, performed by Yo-Yo Ma at the American Museum of Natural History, 05/2009  

Honors and Awards

Grawemeyer Award in Psychology, 2014-  
Dedication of Escola Secundaria Antonio Damasio, Lisbon, Portugal, 2013-  
Doctor Honoris Causa, Pontifica Universidade Catolica Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, 2013-  
Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Leuven, Belgium, 2013-  
USC Associates Award For Creativity In Research And Scholarship, USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarhsip, 2012-  
Ca' Foscari-Bauer Prize from the University Ca' Foscari in Venice, 2012-  
Jimenez Prize, 2012-  
USC University Professor, University Professor, 2011-  
Appointed, Member, Library of Congress Scholars Council , 2009-  
USC Endowed Chair, David Dornsife Chair in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, 2/1/2006-  
Corine International Book Prize, Germany, 11/2011  
Doctor Honoris Causa, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne , 10/2011  
Doctor, Honoris Causa, University of Coimbra, 9/2011  
Financial Times selected Self Comes to Mind as one of the best books of the year., Fall 2010   
Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Leiden, 2010  
Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Ramon Llull, 2010  
Honda Prize, Honda Foundation, 11/2010  
Doctor Honoris Causa, Copenhagen Business School, 2009  
Doctor Honoris Causa, Univeristy of Copenhagen, 2009  
Elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Sciences, 2009  
Richard Wollheim Prize, British Psychoanalytic Council, London, 2009  
Elected to the Academy of Sciences, Lisbon, 2006  
Presidential Medal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 2006  
Best Doctors in America (Neurology), 1992-2006  
Awarded Honorary Professorship by Southeast University, Nanjing, China, 2005  
Prince of Asturias Award for Scientific and Technical Research, 2005  
Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award, International Psychoanalytical Association, 2004  
Signoret Prize in Cognitive Neuroscience, 2004  
Nonino Prize, 2003  
Doctor Honoris Causa (D. Phil. Hc.), University of Aachen, 2002  
Listed in Best Doctors in America under Neurology, 2002  
Medal from the Queen Sofia Center for the Study of Violence, Spain, 2002  
Named a "Highly Cited Researcher" in neuroscience by the Institute for Scientific Information, 2002  
The Arnold Pfeffer Prize, 2002  
Premier Prix du Livre Scientifique 2000, from "Science et Vie", 2000  
The Reenpää Prize, Finland, 2000  
The Ariëns Kappers Medal, from the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, 1999  
Elected to Association of American Physicians, 1998  
Elected to Permanent Membership, Belgium’s Royal Society of Medicine, 1998  
American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow, Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1997  
Elected to Neurosciences Research Program, 1997  
Prix Plasticité Neuronale, Ipsen Foundation, 1997  
Elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, 1995  
Golden Brain Award, 1995  
Order of Santiago da Espada (Grand Oficial), 1995  
Elected to the European Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1993  
Pessoa Prize, 1992  
Elected Correspondent to the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium, 1991  
Nelson Urban Research Award from The Mental Health Association of Iowa, 1990  
William Beaumont Prize from the American Medical Association, 1990  
Distinguished Lecturer, University of Southern California, 1985  
First Pfizer Prize to the best research paper in the Clinical Sciences given by the Sociedade de Ciencias Medicas, 1974  
British Council Research and Training Award, 1970  
Boheringer Prize (best student in Medical Pharmacology), 1966  
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