Anatomical Substrates of Complex Behavior

PI Name: Hanna Damasio
Institution: University of Southern California


The purposes of the Program are: (1) to contribute to the understanding, diagnosis, and management of brain disease; (2) to elucidate, in hypothesis-driven research, the relation between large-scale human neural systems and functions such as emotion, decision-making, memory, and language; and (3) to maintain and expand a neurological Patient Registry, which constitutes a unique resource for cognitive neuroscience. The research relies on neurological lesions used as probes to test hypotheses regarding the role of cortical and subcortical systems involved in complex functions. The lesions are defined by in vivo neuroimaging techniques, and the functional impairments are characterized by neuropsychological and psychophysiological techniques. The approach is now strengthened by studies aimed at elucidating the pattern of interconnecting pathways in neural systems and by the development of powerful new imaging and lesion analysis tools.