Antonio Damasio

University Professor, David Dornsife Chair in Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology and Neurology
Director of the USC College Brain and Creativity Institute

Contact Information
E-mail: damasio@usc.edu
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 http://www.usc.edu/bci/  and the Dornsife Imaging Center website at http://brainimaging.usc.edu )


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

  • 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-  
    • Ca' Foscari-Bauer Prize from the University Ca' Foscari in Venice, 2012-  
    • Jimenez Prize, 2012-  
    • USC Associates Award For Creativity In Research And Scholarship, USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarhsip, 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  

  • Department of Psychology
  • University of Southern California
  • SGM 501
  • 3620 South McClintock Ave.
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061
  • Phone: (213) 740 - 2203