Artists, philosophers, and scientists have long sought to explain human nature. Fresh insights from biology and from the functioning of the human brain provide new opportunities for uncovering the basis for a large array of mental functions — from feeling, consciousness, and decision-making to the creativity expressed in the arts, sciences and technology.
Under the direction of Antonio Damasio and Hanna Damasio, current research at the Brain and Creativity Institute includes, among others, projects on (1) the effects of music processing on the developing brain, (2) studies on how the brain organizes narratives, and (3) the investigation of feeling and consciousness in humans and machines. Results from the Institute’s ongoing work have applications in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders, child development, and education. They are all relevant to the elucidation of the human condition.
The design of the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) reflects its mission. It sits next to the modern laboratories of the Dornsife Neuroimaging Center (DNI), which are dedicated to the scientific investigation of mind and brain, and to one of the oldest instruments dedicated to the exploration of the human mind: a classical auditorium devoted to music and theater performances, literary readings, and scientific presentations.