Dr. Benjamin Clark is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico. Before coming to New Mexico, Dr. Clark received a BSc in Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge, and a PhD in Psychological and Brain Sciences from Dartmouth College. Dr. Clark maintains an active laboratory at the University of New Mexico including several undergraduate research assistants and graduate students. Much of the research in Dr. Clark’s laboratory is aimed at better understanding the neurobiological mechanisms underlying our internal sense of spatial orientation, with particular emphasis on a class of limbic system and hippocampal neurons that behave much like a neural map and compass, called ‘place cells, grid cells, and ‘head direction’ cells. A broad aim of this research program is to further understand the structural and functional loss in dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and after alcohol exposure, all of which are marked by spatial disorientation and memory decline. Dr. Clark’s laboratory uses a combination of techniques to map the functional connectivity of neural systems involved in spatial orientation including electrophysiology recordings in behaving rodents, neuroanatomical tracing, and immediate early gene markers of neural activity and plasticity within circuits during behaviorally relevant events.
* Courses taught
- Psychology 240: Brain and Behavior
- Psychology 344: Human Neuropsychology (Online)
- Psychology 345: Neuroscience of Aging and Dementia
- Psychology 450: Philosophy of Neuroscience