Posts classified under: C

David Clewett, Ph.D.

Research and Teaching Interests:

In everyday life, we encounter a continuous stream of information. Yet, because our mental resources are limited, we cannot process and remember everything we experience. This raises two critical questions: How do we prioritize and store important information in memory? How do unfolding experiences become organized into memories of meaningful events? My research examines the brain mechanisms that support these adaptive memory processes.

A key theoretical construct motivating my work is that physiological arousal plays a fundamental role in facilitating attention and memory. Decades of research show that people perceive and remember emotionally arousing events better than more mundane events. For example, experiencing a car crash or celebrating a birthday tend to be more memorable than a routine commute to work. Beyond simply enhancing processing of the emotional information, however, a surge in arousal can also spillover to enhance or impair processing of nearby neutral information. Spikes in arousal are also happening all the time and not just in response to emotional events. Consequently, even as everyday experiences unfold, arousal states may play a lead role in determining whether an event will be forgotten or etched into memory more permanently.

My research seeks to understand how arousal responses – particularly those elicited by emotional, stressful or motivating (rewarding/threatening) situations – influence: (1) what we remember: the information we selectively attend to and remember later on; (2) how we remember: the way in which memories become organized and updated over time; and (3) when we remember: certain neurochemical and brain states, such as elevated norepinephrine and dopamine release, that are induced before, during or after an event. To study these topics, my lab takes a multi-modal approach that includes functional and structural neuroimaging (fMRI/MRI/DTI), neurophysiology (eye tracking and hormone assays), pharmacology, and behavioral methods.


David Clewett will join UCLA as an Assistant Professor of Psychology in July 2020. He received his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Southern California in 2016, where he worked with Dr. Mara Mather to study emotion-cognition interactions. He then conducted a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Lila Davachi at NYU and Columbia University, where he studied how episodic memories are constructed from continuous experience. Before attending graduate school, he received a B.S. degree in Biopsychology with a minor in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


  • Clewett, D.* & Murty, V.* (in press). Echoes of emotions past: How neuromodulators determine what we recollect. ENeuro. *authors contributed equally
  • Clewett, D., Dubrow, S., & Davachi, L. (2019). Transcending time in the brain: How event memories emerge from experience. Hippocampus, 29(3), 162-183.
  • Clewett, D., Huang, R., Velasco, R., Lee, T.H., & Mather, M. (2018). Locus coeruleus activity strengthens prioritized memories under arousal. Journal of Neuroscience, 38(6), 1558-1574.
  • Clewett, D., & Davachi, L. (2017). The ebb and flow of experience determines the temporal structure of memory. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 17, 186-193.
  • Clewett, D., Sakaki, M., Huang, R., Nielsen, S., & Mather, M. (2017). Arousal amplifies biased competition between high and low priority memories more in women than in men: the role of elevated noradrenergic activity. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 80, 80-91.
  • Clewett, D., Sakaki, M., Nielsen, S., Petzinger, G., & Mather, M. (2017). Noradrenergic mechanisms of arousal’s bidirectional effects on episodic memory. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory137, 1-14.
  • Mather, M., Clewett, D., Sakaki, M., & Harley, C. (2015). Norepinephrine ignites local hot spots of neuronal excitation: How arousal amplifies selectivity in perception and memory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1-100.

Timothy Cloughesy, M.D.


A selected list of publications:

Bryant JA, Finn RS, Slamon DJ, Cloughesy TF, Charles AC   EGF activates intracellular and intercellular calcium signaling by distinct pathways in tumor cells Cancer biology & therapy. , 2004; 3(12): 1243-9.
Graham CA, Cloughesy TF   Brain tumor treatment: chemotherapy and other new developments Seminars in oncology nursing. , 2004; 20(4): 260-72.
Chang SM, Kuhn J, Wen P, Greenberg H, Schiff D, Conrad C, Fink K, Robins HI, Cloughesy T, De Angelis L, Razier J, Hess K, Dancey J, Prados MD   Phase I/pharmacokinetic study of CCI-779 in patients with recurrent malignant glioma on enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs Investigational new drugs. , 2004; 22(4): 427-35.
Puduvalli VK, Yung WK, Hess KR, Kuhn JG, Groves MD, Levin VA, Zwiebel J, Chang SM, Cloughesy TF, Junck L, Wen P, Lieberman F, Conrad CA, Gilbert MR, Meyers CA, Liu V, Mehta MP, Nicholas MK, Prados M   Phase II study of fenretinide (NSC 374551) in adults with recurrent malignant gliomas: A North American Brain Tumor Consortium study Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. , 2004; 22(21): 4282-9.
Mischel PS, Cloughesy TF, Nelson SF   DNA-microarray analysis of brain cancer: molecular classification for therapy Nature reviews. Neuroscience. , 2004; 5(10): 782-92.
Freije WA, Castro-Vargas FE, Fang Z, Horvath S, Cloughesy T, Liau LM, Mischel PS, Nelson SF   Gene expression profiling of gliomas strongly predicts survival Cancer research. , 2004; 64(18): 6503-10.
Kaleita TA, Wellisch DK, Cloughesy TF, Ford JM, Freeman D, Belin TR, Goldman J   Prediction of neurocognitive outcome in adult brain tumor patients Journal of neuro-oncology. , 2004; 67(1-2): 245-53.
Wang Y, Zhu S, Cloughesy TF, Liau LM, Mischel PS   p53 disruption profoundly alters the response of human glioblastoma cells to DNA topoisomerase I inhibition Oncogene. , 2004; 23(6): 1283-90.
Parker RJ, Fruehauf JP, Mehta R, Filka E, Cloughesy T   A prospective blinded study of the predictive value of an extreme drug resistance assay in patients receiving CPT-11 for recurrent glioma Journal of neuro-oncology. , 2004; 66(3): 365-75.
Prados MD, Yung WK, Jaeckle KA, Robins HI, Mehta MP, Fine HA, Wen PY, Cloughesy TF, Chang SM, Nicholas MK, Schiff D, Greenberg HS, Junck L, Fink KL, Hess KR, Kuhn J   Phase 1 trial of irinotecan (CPT-11) in patients with recurrent malignant glioma: a North American Brain Tumor Consortium study Neuro-oncology. , 2004; 6(1): 44-54.
Lu KV, Jong KA, Rajasekaran AK, Cloughesy TF, Mischel PS   Upregulation of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-2 promotes matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 activation and cell invasion in a human glioblastoma cell line Laboratory investigation; a journal of technical methods and pathology. , 2004; 84(1): 8-20.
Shai R, Shi T, Kremen TJ, Horvath S, Liau LM, Cloughesy TF, Mischel PS, Nelson SF   Gene expression profiling identifies molecular subtypes of gliomas Oncogene. , 2003; 22(31): 4918-23.
Mischel PS, Nelson SF, Cloughesy TF   Molecular analysis of glioblastoma: pathway profiling and its implications for patient therapy Cancer biology & therapy. , 2003; 2(3): 242-7.
Brown PD, Wald JT, McDermott MW, Baumann GS, Cloughesy TF   Oncodiagnosis panel: 2002. Metastatic NSCLC Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. , 2003; 23(6): 1591-611.
Brown PD, Wald JT, McDermott MW, Baumann GS, Cloughesy TF   Oncodiagnosis panel: 2002. Optic nerve glioma or optic nerve meningioma Radiographics, 2003; 23(6): 1591-611.
Brown PD, Wald JT, McDermott MW, Baumann GS, Cloughesy TF   Oncodiagnosis panel: 2002. Patient’s symptoms not related to the lesion seen in the MR images Radiographics, 2003; 23(6): 1591-611.
Brown PD, Wald JT, McDermott MW, Baumann GS, Cloughesy TF   Oncodiagnosis panel: 2002. Primary glial neoplasm or less likely an intracranial abscess Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. , 2003; 23(6): 1591-611.
Jaeckle KA, Hess KR, Yung WK, Greenberg H, Fine H, Schiff D, Pollack IF, Kuhn J, Fink K, Mehta M, Cloughesy T, Nicholas MK, Chang S, Prados M   Phase II evaluation of temozolomide and 13-cis-retinoic acid for the treatment of recurrent and progressive malignant glioma: a North American Brain Tumor Consortium study Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. , 2003; 21(12): 2305-11.
Mischel PS, Cloughesy TF   Targeted molecular therapy of GBM Brain Pathol, 2003; 13(1): 52-61.
Choe G, Horvath S, Cloughesy TF, Crosby K, Seligson D, Palotie A, Inge L, Smith BL, Sawyers CL, Mischel PS   Analysis of the phosphatidylinositol 3′-kinase signaling pathway in glioblastoma patients in vivo Cancer research. , 2003; 63(11): 2742-6.
Cloughesy TF, Filka E, Kuhn J, Nelson G, Kabbinavar F, Friedman H, Miller LL, Elfring GL   Two studies evaluating irinotecan treatment for recurrent malignant glioma using an every-3-week regimen Cancer. , 2003; 97(9 Suppl): 2381-6.
Mischel PS, Shai R, Shi T, Horvath S, Lu KV, Choe G, Seligson D, Kremen TJ, Palotie A, Liau LM, Cloughesy TF, Nelson SF   Identification of molecular subtypes of glioblastoma by gene expression profiling Oncogene. , 2003; 22(15): 2361-73.