Dr. Antonio Damasio

Antonio Damasio is Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology and Philosophy, and Director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Trained as both neurologist and neuroscientist, Damasio has made seminal contributions to the understanding of brain processes underlying emotions, feelings, and consciousness. His work on the role of affect in decision-making has made a major impact in neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy. He is the author of several hundred scientific articles and is one of the most eminent psychologists of the modern era (see Damasio, A. Feelings and Decisions. In: R. Sternberg, S. Fiske, D. Foss (Eds.), Scientists Making a Difference: One Hundred Eminent Behavioral and Brain Scientists Talk about Their Most Important Contributions, 2016).  He is one of the most cited scientists worldwide. [Web of Science H Index is 99; with 50,089 citations and Google Scholar H Index is 159; with 204,296 citations.]

Damasio’s recent work addresses the evolutionary development of mind and the role of life regulation in the generation of cultures. His book on the subject is The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures (2018-2019). His most recent articles are Bittersweet: The Neuroscience of Ambivalent Affect (Vacarro, A.G., Kaplan, J.T. and Damasio, A. (2020) Perspectives of Psychological Science, 15(5), 1187-1199) and Homeostasis and Soft Robotics in the Design of Feeling Machines (Man, K. and Damasio, A. (2019) Nature Machine Intelligence, 1, 446–452).  His new book Feeling and Knowing will appear in early 2021 (Pantheon/Knopf).

Damasio is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received numerous prizes, among them the Paul MacLean Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research in Psychosomatic Medicine [2019], International Freud Medal [2017], the Grawemeyer Award [2014], the Honda Prize [2010], and the Asturias Prize in Science and Technology [2005]. In 2003 he received the Nonino Prize as Master of Our Time.

He holds Honorary Doctorates from several leading Universities, some shared with his wife Hanna, e.g. the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne [EPFL], 2011 and the Sorbonne [Université Paris Descartes], 2015.

In 2013 the Escola Secundária Antonio Damasio was dedicated in his native Lisbon. In 2016 Damasio was appointed to the Council of State of Portugal, to the seat vacated by Antonio Guterres, now Secretary General of the United Nations. 

Damasio is the author of Descartes’ Error, The Feeling of What Happens, Looking for Spinoza and Self Comes to Mind, which are translated and taught in universities worldwide.

For more information go to the Brain and Creativity Institute website at https://dornsife.usc.edu/bci/ and to https://www.antoniodamasio.com/.

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