Antonio R. Damasio is Van Allen Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Neurology at the University of Iowa; and Adjunct Professor at The Salk Institute in La Jolla.
Damasios work has focused on elucidating critical problems in the fundamental neuroscience of mind and behavior, at the level of large-scale systems in humans, although his investigations have also encompassed parkinsonism, and Alzheimers disease. His contributions have had a major influence on our understanding of the neural basis of decision-making, emotion, language, and memory.
In collaboration with Hanna Damasio, a distinguished neurologist who is independently recognized for her achievements in neuroimaging and neuroanatomy, Damasio moved lesion studies away from clinical descriptions and placed them at the service of hypothesis-driven researching. The laboratories that he and Hanna Damasio created at the University of Iowa are a leading center for the investigation of cognition using both the lesion method and functional imaging.
Damasio is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine; a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; a member of the Neurosciences Research Program; a member of the National Advisory Council on Neurological Diseases and Stroke; a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology; a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Belgium; a member of the American Neurological Association, and of the Association of American Physicians, and a board member of leading neuroscience journals. He is a Past President of the Academy of Aphasia and of the Behavioral Neurology Society.
Damasios distinguished lectureships include the Tanner Lecture (Michigan), the Wilson Lecture (Wellesley), the Steubenbord Lectures (Cornell University), the Public Lecture at the Society for Neuroscience, the Aird Lectures (University of California, San Francisco), the Nobel Conference, the Karolinska Research Lecture at the Nobel Forum, and the Presidential Lecture at The University of Iowa. Since 1981 he has delivered an annual series of lectures on the neurology of behavior at Harvard Medical School. Among others, he has received the William Beaumont Prize from the American Medical Association (1990); the Golden Brain Award (1995); the Ipsen Prize (1997); and the Kappers Medal of Neuroscience (1999). In 1992 he and his wife shared the Pessoa Prize.
Antonio Damasios book Descartes Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain (Putnam, 1994) has been published in over 20 countries. His new book The Feeling of What Happens: Body, Emotion, and the Making of Consciousness is published by Harcourt Brace.
Damasio was born in Portugal. He received both his MD and his doctorate from the University of Lisbon, and began his research in cognitive neuroscience with the late Norman Geschwind.