António Damásio (born 25 February 1944) is a Portuguese-born neuroscientist at the University of Southern California and the Salk Institute. He has written several best-selling books which popularize his scientific work.
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- Emotions are triggered by what we like to call emotionally competent stimuli, that is, objects or situations that can be real, like in front of you, or be in your mind when you think and you recall, and they act on brain devices that were designed by evolution.
- When you have an emotion you are recruiting a variety of mechanisms that came in the long history of evolution, long before emotions arose, and those mechanisms all had to do with how an organism manages its life.
- There are three levels of self to consider: the proto, the core, and the autobiographical. The first two are shared with many, many other species, and they are really coming out largely of the brain stem and whatever there is of cortex in those species.