Robert E. Clark, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychiatry
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0603
Phone #: 858.534.7396
FAX #: 858.534.1569

Dr. Robert E. Clark is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, in Residence, 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 1964 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.

Research Focus

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 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. We also investigate the cognitive factors that are related to successful eyeblink classical conditioning in healthy human volunteers and neurological patients.

Selected Publications 

  • 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., 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.
  • Clark, R.E. (2004). The Classical Origins of Pavlov’s Conditioning. Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science, 39(4): 279-294.
  • Clark, R.E. and Martin, S.J. (2005). Interrogating rodents regarding their object and spatial memory. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 15(5): 593-8.
  • Martin SJ, Clark R.E. (2007). The rodent hippocampus and spatial memory: from
    synapses to systems. Cell Mol Life Sci. 64(4): 4

(last updated on May 24, 2007)


University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, 9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0603 La Jolla, CA 92037-0603
Telephone: (858) 534-3684, Fax: (858) 534-7653, Electronic Mail: