University of Southern California

USC Neuroscience

Hanna Damasio

University Professor
Dana Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience and Director, Dana and David Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center

Research Overview

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 )

Contact Information

Web Sites:
Dana and David Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center
Brain and Creativity Institute
Mailing Address:
3620A McClintock Avenue
Suite 265 Mail Code 2921
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Office Location:
DNI 265
Office Phone:
(213) 821-0731
(213) 740-5372


  • MD University of Lisbon Medical School, 01/1969

Research Images

Selected Publications

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Rogalsky C, Raphel K, Tomkovicz V, O'Grady L, Damasio H, Bellugi U, Hickok G.Neural Basis of Action Understanding: Evidence from Sign Language Aphasia. Aphasiology. 2013;27(9):1147-1158. -PubMed

Allen JS, Emmorey K, Bruss J, Damasio H. Neuroanatomical differences in visual, motor, and language cortices between congenitally deaf signers, hearing signers, and hearing non-signers. Front Neuroanat. 2013 Aug 2;7:26. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2013.00026. eCollection 2013. -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. Review. -PubMed

Wisnowski JL, BlĂźml S, Paquette L, Zelinski E, Nelson MD Jr, Painter MJ, Damasio H, Gilles F, Panigrahy A. Altered glutamatergic metabolism associated with punctate white matter lesions in preterm infants. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56880. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056880. Epub 2013 Feb 26. -PubMed

Joshi AA, Ashrafulla S, Shattuck DW, Damasio H, Leahy RM. An invariant shape representation using the anisotropic Helmholtz equation. Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2012;15(Pt 3):607-14. -PubMed

Shi R, Zeng W, Su Z, Wang Y, Damasio H, Lu Z, Yau ST, Gu X.  Hyperbolic harmonic brain surface registration with curvature-based landmark matching. Inf Process Med Imaging. 2013;23:159-70. -PubMed

Gläscher J, Adolphs R, Damasio H, Bechara A, Rudrauf D, Calamia M, Paul LK, Tranel D. Lesion mapping of cognitive control and value-based decision making in the prefrontal cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Sep 4;109(36):14681-6. doi: -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

Aziz-Zadeh L, Sheng T, Liew SL, Damasio H.  Understanding otherness: the neural bases of action comprehension and pain empathy in a congenital amputee.  Cereb Cortex. 2012 Apr;22(4):811-9. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhr139. Epub 2011 Jul 6. -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