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Hanna Damasio

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

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 821-0731
Office: DNI 265

Curriculum Vitae
Dornsife Neuroscience Imaging Center
Brain and Creativity Institute

Biographical Sketch


Hanna Damasio M.D. is University Professor, Dana Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Dana and David Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center at the University of Southern California.  Using computerized tomography and magnetic resonance scanning, she has developed methods of investigating human brain structure and studied functions such as language, memory and emotion, using both the lesion method and functional neuroimaging.  Besides numerous scientific articles (her Web of Knowledge H Index is 74; over 25,000 citations) she is the author of the award-winning Lesion Analysis in Neuropsychology (Oxford University Press), and of Human Brain Anatomy in Computerized Images (also Oxford University Press), the first brain atlas based on computerized imaging data, now in its second edition.  Hanna Damasio is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Neurological Association.  She shared the Signoret Prize and the Pessoa Prize with Antonio Damasio, and, among others, holds honorary doctorates from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Universities of Aachen and Lisbon, and the Open University of Catalonia. In January 2011, she was named USC University Professor.

          The Center she directs works closely with the Brain and Creativity Institute.


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



MD , University of Lisbon Medical School, 1/1969
Honorary Doctorate , University of Aachen
Honorary Doctorate , University of Lisbon

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Tenure Track Appointments

University Professor, Dana Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience; Director, Dana and David Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center; Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Neurology, University of Southern California, 07/01/2005-  
Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, 01/01/1985-  
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, 01/01/1977-  
Distinguished Professor, University of Iowa, 01/01/1998-07/01/2005  
Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, 01/01/1981-01/01/1985  

Non-Tenure Track Appointments

Distinguished Adjunct Professor, University of Iowa, 07/01/2005-  
Adjunct Professor, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, Ca, 01/01/1994-  
Instructor, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, 01/01/1976-01/01/1977  

Other Employment

Co-Director, Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, 01/01/1985-01/01/2004  
Director, Laboratory for Neuroimaging and Human Neuroanatomy, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, 01/01/1982-01/01/2004  
Director, The Migraine Clinic, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, 01/01/1977-01/01/1988  
Fellow-Associate, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, 06/01/1976-10/01/1975  

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Hanna Damasio pioneered the use of brain imaging methods in the study of brain lesions, such as computerized tomography and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, which can be used for diagnosing all of the diseases that affect the brain. She is director of the USC Dana and David Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center. The second edition of Damasio's detailed atlas of the human brain based on computerized images Human Brain Anatomy in Computerized Images, which is a a standard reference in the field, was published in 2005. Her award-winning book Lesion Analysis in Neuropsychology is widely used by neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, psychiatrists, and neuroscientists, as well as, medical and neuroscience students. She is the author of numerous papers on the neuroanatomical substrates of higher brain function.


Book Chapter

Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2007). Social Conduct, Neurobiology, and Education in "Learning in the Global Era". pp. 104-117. University of California Press.
Damasio, H. (2007). Neural Basis of Language Disorder, in "Language Intervention Strategies in Aphasia". Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins.

Journal Article

Aziz-Zadeh, L., Sheng, T., Liew, S. L., Damasio, H. (2011). Understanding otherness: the neural bases of action comprehension and Pain empathy in a congenital amputee. Cerebral Cortex.
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. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhq289
Cavaco, S., Anderson, S. W., Correia, M., Magalhaes, M., Pereira, C., Tuna, A., Taipa, R., Pinto, P., Cruz, R., Lima, A. B., Castro-Caldas, A., da Silva, A. M., Damasio, H. (2011). Task-specific contribution of the human striatum to perceptual-motor skill learning. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. Vol. 33 (1), pp. 51-62.
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.
Gläscher, J., Rudrauf, D., Colom, R., Paul, L. K., Tranel, D., Damasio, H., Adolphs, R. (2010). Distributed neural system for general intelligence revealed by lesion mapping. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol. 107 (10), pp. 4705-4709.
Joshi, A. A., Pantazis, D., Li, Q., Damasio, H., Shattuck, D. W., Toga, A. W., Leahy, R. M. (2010). Sulcal set optimization for cortical surface registration. NeuroImage. Vol. 50 (3,15), pp. 950-959.
Pantazis, D., Joshi, A., Jintao, J., Shattuck, D., Bernstein, L., Damasio, H., Leahy, R. (2010). Comparison of landmark-based and automatic methods for cortical surface registration. NeuroImage. Vol. 49 (3), pp. 2479-2493.
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.
Gläscher, J., Tranel, D., Paul, L. K., Rudrauf, D., Rorden, C., Hornaday, A., Grabowsky, T., Damasio, H., Adolphs, R. (2009). Lesion Mapping of Cognitive Abilities Linked to Intelligence. Neuron. Vol. 61, pp. 681-691.
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. Int J Psychophysiology. Vol. 72 (1), pp. 13-23. 50.
Tranel, D., Vianna, E., Manzel, K., Damasio, H., Grabowski, T. Neuroanatomical correlates of the Benton Facial Recognition Test and Judgment of Line Orientation Test., Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 2009; Vol. 31 (2): 219-233.
Allen, J. S., Emmorey, K., Bruss, J., Damasio, H. (2009). Morphology of the insula in relation to hearing status and sign language experience. Journal of Neuroscience. Vol. 28 (46), pp. 11900-5. 53.
Anderson, S., Wisnowski, J., Barrash, J., Damasio, H., Tranel, D. Consistency of neuropsychological outcome following damage to prefrontal cortex in the first years of life., Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 2008.
Allen, J., Bruss, J., Mehta, S., Grabowski, T., Damasio, H. Effects of spatial transformation on regional brain volume estimates., Neuroimage 2008; Vol. 42: 535-547.
Rudrauf, D., Mehta, S., Bruss, J., Tranel, D., Damasio, H., Grabowski, T. Thresholding lesion overlap difference maps: Application to naming and recognition deficits in various categories of concrete entities., Neuroimage 2008; Vol. 41: 970-984.
Tranel, D., Rudrauf, D., Vianna, E., Damasio, H. Does the Clock Drawing Test have focal neuroanatomical correlates? Neuropsychology 22: 5:553 – 562, 2008., Neuropsychology 2008; Vol. 22 (5): 553-562.
Clark, L., Bechara, A., Damasio, H., Aitken, M. R., Sahakian, B. J., Robbins, T. W. (2008). Differential effects of insular and ventromedial prefrontal cortex lesions on risky decision-making. Brain. Vol. 131 (Pt 5), pp. 1311-22. 65.
Anderson, S., Aksan, N., Kochanska, G., Damasio, H., Wisnowski, J., Afifi, A. The earliest behavioral expression of focal damage to human prefrontal cortex., Cortex 2007; Vol. 43: 801-816.
Naqvi, N., Rudrauf, D., Damasio, H., Bechara, A. Damage to the insula disrupts addiction to cigarette smoking., Science 2007; Vol. 315: 531-534.
Anderson, S., Rizzo, M., Skaar, N., Stierman, L., Cavaco, S., Damasio, H., Dawson, J. Amnesia and driving., Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 2007; Vol. 29: 1-12.
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): 254-275.
Bechara, A., Damasio, H. C., Tranel, D. n., Damasio, A. R. (2005). The Iowa gambling task (IGT) and the somatic marker hypothesis (SMH): Some questions and answers. Cognitive Sciences. Vol. 9, pp. p. 159-162.

Honors and Awards

USC Endowed Chair, Dana Dornsife Chair in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, 2/1/2006-  
Doctor Honoris Causa, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Swiss Institute of Technology), 10/2011  
USC University Professor, 1/2011  
Honorary Citizen of Porto, City of Science, Porto, 2005  
Jean-Louis Signoret Prize in Cognitive Neuroscience, 2004  
Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Aachen, 2002  
Listed in Best Doctors in America under Neurology, 2002  
Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Lisbon, 2001  
Named Distinguished Professor, University of Iowa Foundation, 1998  
Prize for Outstanding Book in Bio and Medical Sciences, 1989, from the Professional and Scholarly Book Division of the Association of American Publishers for "Lesion Analysis in Neuropsychology", 1998  
Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1997  
Alexander von Humbolt Fellowship Recipient, Order of Santiago da Espada (Grand Oficial), 1995  
Elected to the American Neurological Association, 1995  
Pessoa Prize, 1992  
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