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Robert Clark, PhD

Robert Clark, PhD

Department of Psychiatry

Contact Information

Phone: 858.534.7396
Lab Phone: 858.534.4499

Biomedical Sciences Building, Room 2086

Mailing Address:
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive #0603
La Jolla, CA 92093

Dr. Robert E. Clark is Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the University of California School of Medicine, San Diego. He is a Research Scientist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Diego and a fellow at the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, at the University of California, Irvine. He was born in Denver Colorado. He received his B.S. in Psychology from Regis University in Denver Colorado in 1988 and his Ph.D. degree in Psychology / Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles California in 1994.

Dr. Clark’s investigates the organization and neurological foundations of learning and memory.

Our memories adorn our mental life. They are the psychological accoutrements of a lifetime of experience. They allow us to reconstruct our past, appreciate our present, and to an extent, predict and control our future. Our memories provide us with a sense of self. They are our connection to others and to our environment. Memories are stored representations of the world and of our self and as such, they greatly influence how we perceive and interpret our inner and external environments.

Appreciating how fundamental memory is to our daily existence is perhaps best illustrated by observing the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease--where memory is slowly yet inevitably striped away until there are no memories left. The body remains while the individual simply fades away.

My work involves the study of rodents and combines the traditions of cognitive science and neuroscience. We have developed a model of human amnesia in the rat that involves the use of numerous behavioral tasks designed to measure memory in the rat and permanent lesions and sustained reversible lesions of various brain structures. We also use immediate early gene expression and radioactive isotopes to characterize the activity of brain structures.

Clark, R.E. and Squire, L.R. (1998). Classical conditioning and brain systems: A key role for awareness. Science. 280: 77-81.

Clark, R.E., Zola, S.M. and Squire, L.R. (2000). Impaired Recognition Memory in Rats after Damage to the Hippocampus. Journal of Neuroscience, 20: 8853-8860.

Clark, R.E., West, A.N., Zola, S.M., and Squire, L.R. (2001). Rats with lesions of the hippocampus are impaired on the delayed nonmatching-to-sample task. Hippocampus, 11: 176-186.

Clark, R.E., Broadbent, N.J., Zola, S., and Squire, L.R. (2002). Anterograde amnesia and temporally-graded retrograde amnesia for a nonspatial memory task following lesions of hippocampus and subiculu

Clark, R.E., Manns, J.R., and Squire, L.R. (2002). Classical conditioning, awareness, and brain systems. Trends in Cognitive Science, 6(12): 524-531.

Broadbent, N.J., Squire L.R., and Clark, R.E. (2004). Spatial memory, recognition memory, and the hippocampus. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 101(40): 14515-14520.

Clark, R.E., Broadbent, N.J., and Squire L.R. (2005a). Hippocampus and remote spatial memory in rats. Hippocampus, 15(2): 260-272.

Clark, R.E. (2004). The Classical Origins of Pavlov’s Conditioning. Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science, 39(4): 279-294.

Clark, R.E., Broadbent, N.J., and Squire L.R. (2005b). Impaired remote spatial memory after hippocampal lesions despite extensive training beginning early in life. Hippocampus, 15: 340-346.

Broadbent, N.J., Squire L.R., and Clark, R.E. (2006). Reversible hippocampal lesions disrupt water maze performance during both recent and remote memory tests. Learning and Memory, 13: 187-191.

Clark, R.E. and Martin, S.J. (2005). Interrogating rodents regarding their object and spatial memory. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 15(5): 593-8.

Jessberger S, *Clark RE, Broadbent NJ, Clemenson GD Jr, Consiglio A, Lie DC, Squire LR, Gage FH. (2009). Dentate gyrus-specific knockdown of adult neurogenesis impairs spatial and object recognition memory in adult rats. Learning and Memory, 16(2):147-54. *Co-first author.

Broadbent NJ, Squire LR, Clark RE. (2010). Sustained dorsal hippocampal activity is not obligatory for either the maintenance or retrieval of long-term spatial memory. Hippocampus. 20:1366–1375.

Broadbent NJ, Gaskin, S., Squire LR, Clark RE. (2010). Object recognition memory and the rodent hippocampus. Learning and Memory 17: 5-11.

Clark RE, Squire LR (2010). An animal model of recognition memory and medial temporal lobe amnesia: History and current issues. Neuropsychologia 48 2234–2244.

Clark, RE (2011). Eyeblink Conditioning and Systems Consolidation: An Ironic Yet Powerful Pairing. Learning and Memory, 95, 118-124.

Clark, RE, Reinage, P, Broadbent, NJ, Flister, ED, Squire, LR (2011). Intact performance on feature ambiguous discriminations in rats with lesions of the perirhinal cortex. Neuron, 70(1):132-40.