Antonio Damasio

University Professor, Professor of Psychology, Philosophy and Neurology, and David Dornsife Chair in Neuroscience
Email Office DNI 265 Office Phone (213) 740-3462



Antonio Damasio is University Professor, David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Professor of Psychology, Philosophy and Neurology and Director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California.  Trained as both neurologist and neuroscientist, Damasio has made seminal contributions to the understanding of brain processes underlying affect and consciousness. His work on the role of emotions and feelings in decision-making has made a major impact in neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy.  He is the author of numerous scientific articles (his Google Scholar H Index is 162; over 239,498 citations; his Web of Science H Index is 101; over 55,816 citations) and his research has received continuous Federal funding for over 30 years.  He is the recipient of many awards (including the Paul MacLean Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research in Psychosomatic Medicine, 2019; the International Freud Medal, 2017; the Grawemeyer Award, 2014; the Honda Prize, 2010; the Prince of Asturias Prize in Science and Technology, 2005; the Signoret Prize, 2004, which he shared with his wife Hanna Damasio and the Nonino Prize as Master of Our Time, 2003).  Damasio is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of 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, Self Comes to Mind, The Strange Order of Things and recently Feeling & Knowing), which are 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
  • 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, 07/01/2005 –
    • Professor, University of Iowa, 01/01/1980 – 01/01/2005
    • Associate Professor, University of Iowa, 01/01/1976 – 01/01/1980

    Research, Teaching, Practice, and Clinical Appointments

    • Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern California, 2016-03-01-
    • Distinguished Adjunct Professor, University of Iowa, 07/01/2005-
    • Adjunct Professor, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, Ca, 1989-01-01-2005-01-01

    Other Employment

    • Director, Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California, 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
    • Chief, Division of Behavioral Neurology & Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa, 01/01/1977-07/02/2005
    • 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, Lisbon, 01/01/1971-01/01/1975
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Antonio Damasio is an internationally recognized leader in
    neuroscience. His research has helped to elucidate the neural basis for
    feelings and emotions and has shown that affect plays 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.

  • Book

    • Damasio, A. (2021). Feeling & Knowing: Making Minds Conscious. New York City, New York: Knopf/Pantheon.
    • Damasio, A. (2018). The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures. New York City, New York: Pantheon.
    • 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 Chapters

    • Damasio, A., Damasio, H. (2020). How Life Regulation and Feelings Motivate the Cultural Mind: A Neurobiological Account, In: O. Houdé and G. Borst (Eds.). The Cambridge Handbook of Cognitive Development, Cambridge University Press.
    • Damasio, A., Kuhl, P. (2013). Damasio A, Kuhl P. Language. In: Kandel E, editor. Principles of Neural Science. 5th ed. McGraw-Hill. 2013.
    • Damasio, A., LeDoux, J. (2013). Principles of Neural Science.
    • Damasio, A., Power of Photography, a. t. (2013). Damasio, A. On Seeing Things and the Power of Photography. In See the Light, Brit Salvesen, (Ed.), The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 2013.
    • 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.


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

    Encyclopedia Article

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

    Journal Article

    • Damasio, A., Damasio, H. (2022). Homeostatic Feelings and the Biology of Consciousness. BRAIN.
    • Vaccaro, A., Heydari, P., Christov-Moore, L., Damasio, A., Kaplan, J. (2022). Perspective-taking is associated with increased discriminability of affective states in ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
    • Man, K., Antonio, D., Hartmut, N. (2022). Need is All You Need: Homeostatic Neural Networks Adapt to Concept Shift. ArXiv.
    • Carvalho, G., Damasio, A. (2021). Interoception and the Origin of Feelings: A New Synthesis. BioEssays.
    • Damasio, A., Damasio, H. (2021). Are There Two Kinds of Consciousness or Will One Kind Suffice?. Journal of Consciousness Studies Special Edition on Sentience.
    • Damasio, A., Damasio, H. (2021). Feeling & Knowing: Making Minds Conscious. Cognitive Neuroscience.
    • Damasio, A. (2020). The Case for Impure Vision. The Brooklyn Rail.
    • Habibi, A., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2020). The Benefits of Early Music Education. Music Education and Child Development.
    • Vaccaro, A., Kaplan, J., Damasio, A. (2020). Bittersweet: The Neuroscience of Ambivalent Affect. Perspectives of Psychological Science.
    • Man, K., Melo, G., Damasio, A., Kaplan, J. (2020). Seeing objects improves our hearing of the sounds they make. Neuroscience of Consciousness. Vol. 2020 (1)
    • Sachs, M., Damasio, A., Habibi, A. (2020). Unique personality profiles predict when and why sad music is enjoyed. Psychology of Music.
    • Carvalho, G. B., Damasio, A. (2019). Non-Synaptic Transmission and the Foundations of Affect. Preprints. Vol. www (preprints), pp. rg.
    • Damasio, A. (2019). Natural Consciousness. Charaktery Magazyn Psychologlczny.
    • Carvalho, G., Yatendra, M., Damasio, A., Spigelman, I. (2019). A Role for the P2Y1 Receptor in Nonsynaptic Cross-depolarization in the Rat Dorsal Root Ganglia. Neuroscience.
    • Man, K., Damasio, A. (2019). Homeostasis and Soft Robotics in the Design of Feeling Machines. Nature Machine Intelligence. Vol. 1, pp. 446–452.
    • Sachs, M., Habibi, A., Damasio, A., Jonas, K. (2019). Dynamic inter-subject neural synchronization reflects affective responses to sad music. Neuroimage.
    • Verweij, M., Damasio, A. (2019). The somatic marker hypothesis and political life. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics.
    • Damasio, A., Habibi, A., A., D. A., Ilari, B., Veiga, R., Joshi, A. A., Leahy, R. M., Haldar, J. P., Varadarajan, D., Bhushan, C., Damasio, H. (2018). Childhood Music Training Induces Change in Micro and Macroscopic Brain Structure; Results from a Longitudinal Study. Cerebral Cortex.
    • Habibi, A., Damasio, A., Ilari, B., Sachs, M. E., Damasio, H. (2018). Music training and child development: a review of recent findings from a longitudinal study. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Vol. doi (10), pp. 111/nyas.13606.
    • Sachs, M. E., Habibi, A., Damasio, A., Kaplan, J. T. (2018). Decoding the neural signatures of emotions expressed through sound. Neuroimage. Vol. 2018.02.058 (Link to Publication)
    • Damasio, A., Dehghani, M., Boghrati, R., Man, K., Hoover, J., Zevin, J., Gimbel, S., Vaswani, A., Immordino-Yang, M. H., Gordon, A. (2017). Decoding the Neural Representation of Story Meanings across Languages. Human Brain Mapping. Vol. 10 (17605/OSF), pp. O/QRPP3.
    • Henning, M., Fox, G., Kaplan, J., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2017). A Potential Role for mu-Opioids in Mediating the Positive Effects of Gratitude. Frontiers in Psychology.
    • Kaplan, J., Gimbel, S. I., Dehghani, M., Immordino-Yang, M. H., Sagae, K., Wong, J. D., Tipper, C., Damasio, H., Gordon, A. S., Damasio, A. (2016). Processing narratives concerning protected values: A cross-cultural investigation of neural correlates. Cerebral Cortex. Vol. 1-11 (doi), pp. 0.1093/cercor/bhv325.
    • Damasio, A., Damasio, H. (2016). Exploring the Concept of Homeostasis and Considering Its Application to Economics. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. Vol. 126 (125-129), pp. doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2015.12.003.
    • Damasio, A., Damasio, H. (2016). Pain and Other Feelings in Humans and Animals. Animal Sentience. Vol. An (Interdisciplinary), pp. ournal on Animal Feeling, 1(3), 33.
    • Habibi, A., Cahn, R., Damasio, A., Damasio, H. (2016). Neural Correlates of Accelerated Auditory Processing in Children Engaged in Music Training. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.
    • Man, K., Damasio, A., Meyer, K., Kaplan, J. T. (2015). Convergent and invariant object representations for sight, sound, and touch. Human Brain Mapping. Vol. 36(9 (3629-3640), pp. doi:10.1002/hbm.22867.
    • Fox, G. R., Kaplan, J., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2015). Neural correlates of gratitude. Frontiers in Psychology. Vol. 6(1491 (http), pp. /
    • Araujo, H., Kaplan, J., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2015). Neural correlates of different self domains. Brain and Behavior. Vol. 0(0 (e00409), pp. doi: 10.1002/brb3.409.
    • Fox, G., Araujo, H., Metke, M., Shafer, C., Damasio, A. (2015). How does the effort spent to hold a door affect verbal thanks and reciprocal help?. Frontiers in Psychology.
    • Habibi, A., Damasio, A. (2014). Music, Feellings, and the Human Brain. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind and Brain. Vol. 24 (1), pp. 92-102.
    • Habibi, A., Ilari, B., Crimi, K., Metke, M., Kaplan, J., Joshi, A., Leahy, R. M., Shattuck, D. W., Choi, S. Y., Haldar, J. P., Ficek, B., Damasio, A., Damasio, H. (2014). An equal start: absence of group differences in cognitive, social and neural measures prior to music or sports training in children. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Vol. 8 (690), pp. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00690.
    • Cook, N. D., Carvalho, G. B., Damasio, A. (2014). From membrane excitability to metazoan psychology. Trends in Neurosciences. Vol. 37(12 (698-705), pp. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2014.07.011.
    • Araujo, H. F., Kaplan, J., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2014). Involvement of cortical midline structures in the processing of autobiographical information. PeerJ. Vol. 2 (e481), pp.
    • 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. Embodied semantics for actions: Findings from functional brain imaging. , Journal of Physiology2008; 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. Damage to the prefrontal cortex increases utilitarian moral judgments. , Nature2007; Vol. 446: 908-911.
    • Damasio, A. Neuroscience and ethics: intersections. Neuroscience and ethics: intersections. , American Journal of Bioethics2007; Vol. 7(1): 3-7.
    • Immordino-Yang, M., Damasio, A. We feel, therefore we learn: the relevance of affective and social neuroscience to education. We feel, therefore we learn: the relevance of affective and social neuroscience to education. , Journal of Mind2007; 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. The neural substrates of cognitive empathy. , Social Neuroscience2007; 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.
    • 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
    • Paul MacLean Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research in Psychosomatic Medicine, 2019
    • Hemingway Prize “Adventures of Thinking”, 2018
    • Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores Life and Work Prize, 2018
    • International Freud Medal, 2017
    • Mind and Brain Prize 2016, 2016
    • Appointed to the Council of State, Portugal, 2016
    • Doctor Honoris Causa, Universite Paris Descartes, 2015
    • 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, 2006/02/01
    • Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Aveiro, 2003
    • Elected to the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, 2002
    • Corine International Book Prize, Germany, 2011/11
    • Doctor Honoris Causa, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne , 2011/10
    • Doctor, Honoris Causa, University of Coimbra, 2011/09
    • 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, 2010/11
    • 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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