Faculty and Research Interests
Brian D. Clark, PhD
Science Center 222
The University of Chicago,
Using different approaches, the work in this lab has focused on mechanisms of attention, using an animal model. First, multi-electrode extracellular recordings from the prefrontal cortex are used to characterize the behavior of neurons associated with performance of a signal detection task. Second, the actions of methylphenidate (Ritalin) on measures of task performance and on neuronal firing are compared. Finally, we are exploring the novel behavior of a small cohort of animal subjects that learn to exploit a slight predictability in the task, exchanging a difficult attentional strategy for a potentially easier working memory strategy. Collectively these studies will help to define the circuits critical for attention and help identify the mechanisms of action of drugs used to enhance cognition.
(Updated January 2017)
- Navarra RL, Clark BD, Gargiulo AT, Waterhouse BD. Methylphenidate Enhances Early-Stage Sensory Processing and Rodent Performance of a Visual Signal Detection Task. Neuropsychopharmacology, 1-12, January 2017.
- Zitnik GA, Clark BD, Waterhouse BD. Effects of intracerebroventricular corticotropin releasing factor on sensory-evoked responses in the rat visual thalamus. Brain Res, 1561: 35-47, May 2014.
- Jain NX, Barr-Gillespie AE, Clark BD, Kietrys DM, Wade CK, Litvin J, Popoff SN, Barbe MF. Bone loss from high repetitive high force loading is prevented by ibuprofen treatment. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact, 14(1): 78-94, March 2014.
- Navarra RL, Clark BD, Zitnik GA, Waterhouse BD. Methylphenidate and atomoxetine enhance sensory-evoked neuronal activity in the visual thalamus of male rats. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol, 21(5): 363-74, October 2013.
- Zitnik GA, Clark BD, Waterhouse BD. The impact of hemodynamic stress on sensory signal processing in the rodent lateral geniculate nucleus. Brain Res, 1518: 36-47, June 2013.
- Agster KL, Mejias-Aponte CA, Clark BD, Waterhouse BD. Evidence for a regional specificity in the density and distribution of noradrenergic varicosities in rat cortex. J Comp Neurol, 521(10): 2195-207, July 2013.