Antonio Damasio

Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Philosophy; Director, Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California; Chair of the Prize Jury

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 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 several hundred scientific articles and is considered 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. [Google Scholar H Index is 162; with 235,497 citations and Web of Science H Index is 101; with 55,170 citations.]

Damasio’s recent work addresses the biology of consciousness and the role of life regulation in the generation of cultures.

Damasio’s books include Descartes’ Error, The Feeling of What Happens, Looking for Spinoza, Self Comes to Mind, The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures, and Feeling and Knowing: Making Minds Conscious, which are all translated worldwide and taught in major universities.

Recent articles include Feelings are the Source of Consciousness, (Damasio, A. and Damasio, H.) (2023). Neural Computation, Vol. 35;3, Homeostatic Feelings and the Biology of Consciousness, (Damasio, A. and Damasio, H. (2022). BRAIN, Oxford Academic, Vol. 145; 2231-2235), Interoception and The Origin of Feelings: A New Synthesis, (Carvalho, G. and Damasio, A. (2021) BioEssays,, Bittersweet: The Neuroscience of Ambivalent Affect, (Vaccaro, A.G., Kaplan, J.T. and Damasio, A. (2020) Perspectives of Psychological Science, 15(5), 1187-1199), Introduction to the Journal of Consciousness Studies Special Issue on Sentience, Volume 28, July/August 2021 (Damasio, A. and Damasio, H.) and Homeostasis and Soft Robotics in the Design of Feeling Machines (Man, K. and Damasio, A. (2019) Nature Machine Intelligence, 1, 446–452).

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], the International Freud Medal [2017], the Grawemeyer Award [2014], the Honda Prize [2010], the Prince of Asturias Prize in Science and Technology [2005], the Nonino Prize as Master of Our Time [2003], and the Pessoa Prize [1992].

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. In 2023, he was elected to the Academia das Ciências de Lisboa.

For more information, go to the Brain and Creativity Institute website at

By Antonio Damasio

Robots that Think, Feel, and Die

Berggruen Prize Juror Antonio Damasio on His Latest Book, The Strange Order of Things