Robert Clark

ProfClarkOur 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.

Robert Clark is at UC San Diego Health Sciences |Profile