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António C. R. Damásio (IPA: /ɐ̃.'tɔ.ni.u dɐ.'ma.zi.u/) (b. 1944, Lisbon, Portugal) is a physician and neurologist. He is Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Neurology at the University of Southern California, where he heads USC's Brain & Creativity Institute (BCI). Prior to taking up his posts at USC, in 2005, Damasio was M.W. Van Allen Professor and Head of Neurology at the University of Iowa Medical Center. Iowa City, Iowa, United States. His career at Iowa lasted from 1976-2005. Besides being a well-known researcher in several areas of the neurosciences, he is a best-seller author of science books for the general public.

Damasio studied medicine at the University of Lisbon Medical School in Portugal, where he also did his medical residency rotation and completed his doctorate. Later, he moved to the United States as a research fellow for 6 months at the Aphasia Research Center in Boston. His work there on behavioral neurology was done under the supervision of Norman Geschwind.

As a researcher, Dr. Damasio's main interest is the neurobiology of the mind, especially neural systems which subserve memory, language, emotion, and decision-making. His research has helped to elucidate the neural basis for the emotions and has shown that emotions play a central role in social cognition and decision-making.

As a clinician, he and his collaborators study and treat the disorders of behavior and cognition, and movement disorders.

As a science writer, Damasio's books deal with the relationship between emotions and feelings, and what are their bases in the brain. His 1994 book, "Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain," was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. His second book, "The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness," was named as one of the ten best books of 2001 by New York Times Book Review, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, a Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and has eighteen foreign editions. Damasio's most recent book, "Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain," was published in 2003. In it, Damasio explores philosophy and its relations to neurobiology, suggesting that it might provide guidelines for human ethics.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Institute of Medicine, and European Academy of Arts and Sciences. Damasio has received many awards including the Prince of Asturias Award, Kappers Neuroscience Medal, the Beaumont Medal from the American Medical Association and the Reenpaa Prize in Neuroscience. He is also in the editorial board of many of the most important journals in the field, Learning and Memory (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory); Journal of Neuroscience; Transactions of the Royal Society; Consciousness and Cognition; Neuroscience News; The Neuroscientist; Learning and Memory; Human Brain Mapping; European Neurology; Cognitive Brain Research; Cerebral Cortex; Brain and Cognition and Brain and Behavioral Sciences.

Recent interests of Prof. Damasio include Neuro-psychoanalysis. He is also a contributor to the Journal of Neuro-Psychoanalysis.

Prof. Damasio is married to Dr. Hanna Damasio, his colleague and co-author of several works.


  • Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, Harper Perennial, 1995, ISBN 0380726475
  • The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness, Harvest Books, 2000 ISBN 0156010755
  • Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain, Harcourt, 2003, ISBN 0151005575

See also

External links

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