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?  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

  • 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. In Press.
  • Xu Z, Wu W, Winter SS, Mehlman ML, Butler WN, Simmons C, Harvey RE, Berkowitz LE, Chen Y, Taube JS, Wilber AA, Clark BJ. (2019). A comparison of neural decoding methods and population coding across thalamo-cortical head direction cells. Frontiers in Neural Circuits. 13(75).
  • 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.
  • Berkowitz LE, Harvey RE, Drake EN, Thompson SM, Clark BJ. (2018). Progressive impairment of directional and spatially precise trajectories by TgF344-Alzhiemer's disease rats in the Morris water task. Scientific Reports. 8:16153.
  • 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.

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


Undergraduate Students:

  • Judit Huerta (McNair Scholar), Project: Spatial memory, anxiety, and Alzheimer's disease.
  • Zachary Villasenor, Project: Spatial memory, ansiety, and Alzheimer's disease.

Graduate Students:

  • Laura Berkowitz, Project: Head direction cells and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Tia Donaldson, Project: Locus coeruleus, memory, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Ryan Harvey, Project: Hippocampal place cells and developmental alcohol exposure.
  • Lilliana Sanchez, Project:  Hippocampal-dependent memory and developmental alcohol exposure.

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