University of Southern California

USC Neuroscience

Antonio Damasio

University Professor
David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience
Director, Brain and Creativity Institute

Research Topics

The neurobiology of mind and behavior, with an emphasis on emotion, decision-making, memory, communication, and creativity.

Research Overview

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 )

Contact Information

Web Sites:
Brain and Creativity Institute
Dana and David Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center
Mailing Address:
3420A McClintock Avenue Suite 265
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2921
Office Location:
DNI 265
Office Phone:
(213) 740-3462
Lab Location:
DNI 265
Lab Phone:
(213) 821-2377
(213) 821-3099


  • MD University of Lisbon Medical School, 01/1969
  • Ph.D. University of Lisbon, 01/1974

Research Images

Selected Publications

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Araujo HF, Kaplan J, Damasio A. Cortical Midline Structures and Autobiographical-Self Processes: An Activation-Likelihood Estimation Meta-Analysis.Front Hum Neurosci. 2013 Sep 4;7:548. eCollection 2013. Review. -PubMed

Man K, Kaplan J, Damasio H, Damasio A., Neural convergence and divergence in the mammalian cerebral cortex: from experimental neuroanatomy to functional neuroimaging., J Comp Neurol. 2013 Dec 15;521(18):4097-111. doi: 10.1002/cne.23408. -PubMed

Damasio A, Carvalho GB.The nature of feelings: evolutionary and neurobiological origins.Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013 Feb;14(2):143-52. doi: 10.1038/nrn3403. Review. -PubMed

Man K, Kaplan JT, Damasio A, Meyer K., Sight and sound converge to form modality-invariant representations in temporoparietal cortex., J Neurosci. 2012 Nov 21;32(47):16629-36. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2342-12.2012. -PubMed

Philippi CL, Feinstein JS, Khalsa SS, Damasio A, Tranel D, Landini G, Williford K, Rudrauf D., Preserved self-awareness following extensive bilateral brain damage to the insula, anterior cingulate, and medial prefrontal cortices., PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e38413. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038413. Epub 2012 Aug 22. -PubMed

Damasio A, Damasio H, Tranel D., Persistence of feelings and sentience after bilateral damage of the insula., Cereb Cortex. 2013 Apr;23(4):833-46. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhs077. Epub 2012 Apr 3. -PubMed

Meyer K, Kaplan JT, Essex R, Damasio H, Damasio A., Seeing touch is correlated with content-specific activity in primary somatosensory cortex., Cereb Cortex. 2011 Sep;21(9):2113-21. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhq289. Epub 2011 Feb 17. -PubMed

Meyer K, Damasio A. (2009) Convergence and divergence in a neural architecture for recognition and memory. Trends in Neuroscience. Jul;32(7):376-82. -PubMed

Immordino-Yang MH, McColl A, Damasio H, Damasio A. (2009) Neural correlates of admiration and compassion. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 106(19):8021-6. -PubMed

Damasio A, Meyer K. (2008) Behind the looking-glass. Nature. 454(7201):167-8. -PubMed