Benjamin Clark

Associate Professor

Photo: Benjamin Clark
Logan Hall Rm 134
Ph.D., Dartmouth College
Lab Website

Research Area/s:

Cognition, Brain and Behavior

Research Interests:

  • Neurobiology of spatial navigation and memory
  • Developmental alcohol exposure and spatial memory
  • Alzheimer's disease and spatial memory


Accepting students?  Dr. Clark is accepting students for Fall 2023.  Email Dr. Clark if you are interested in pursuing graduate studies in his lab.

Research in the Clark laboratory is aimed at understanding the circuit level mechanisms underlying spatial orientation and memory, with specific emphasis on thalamo-cortical and thalamo-hippocampal systems. A second aim of our work is to understand the mechanisms of structural and functional loss in neurodevelopment disorders such Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, both of which are marked by spatial disorientation and memory decline.

Selected Publications

    • Pentkowski NS, Rogge-Obando KK, Donaldson TN, Bouquin SJ, Clark BJ. (2021). Anxiety and Alzheimer’s disease: behavioral analysis and neural basis in rodent models of Alzheimer’s-related neuropathology. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 127:647-658.
    • Harvey RE, Berkowitz LE, Savage DD, Hamilton DA, Clark BJ. (2020). Altered hippocampal place cell representation and theta rhythmicity following moderate prenatal alcohol exposure. Current Biology. 30(18):3556-3569.
    • Sanchez LM, Goss J, Wagner J, Davies S, Savage DD, Hamilton DA, Clark BJ. (2019). Moderate prenatal alcohol exposure impairs performance in an object-place paired-associate task. Behavioural Brain Research. 360:228-234.
    • Clark BJ, Simmons CM, Berkowitz LE, Wilber AA. (2018). The retrosplenial-parietal network and reference frame coordination for spatial navigation. Behavioral Neuroscience. 132:416-429.
    • Clark BJ, Harvey RE. (2016). Do the anterior and lateral thalamic nuclei make distinct contributions to spatial representation and memory? Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. 133:69-78.

Courses Taught

  • Psychology 240: Brain and Behavior
  • Psychology 344: Human Neuropsychology
  • Psychology 345: Neuroscience of Aging and Dementia
  • Psychology 450: Philosophy of Neuroscience
  • Psychology 450: Neurobiology of Memory
  • Psychology 450: Consciousness


Undergraduate Students:

  • Judit Huerta (McNair Scholar), Project: Spatial memory, anxiety, and Alzheimer's disease.
  • Ariyana Lacour, Project: Alzheimer’s disease and spatial memory.
  • Kenda Pina (New Mexico AMP Scholar), Project: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and spatial memory.
  • Jessica Walker, Project: Alzheimer’s disease and sex differences in anxiety and depression.

Graduate Students:

  • Lilliana Sanchez (NIAAA T32 Fellow), Project:  Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and brain dynamica during paired-associate learning and memory.
  • Gabriela Acosta, Project: Fetal Alcohol spectrum disorders and memory.
  • Tia Donaldson, Project: Alzheimer’s disease and locus coeruleus.

Please contact me via email If you are interested in obtaining undergraduate research experience or pursuing graduate studies in my laboratory in my laboratory.