Ketika Garg

Ketika Garg

Postdoctoral Researcher


Who am I? I am a postdoctoral researcher at CalTech in the Fear Lab. I have a PhD in Cognitive Sciences from UC Merced. Before that, I studied biology at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, India. I am from India but have lived in the US for over half a decade now.

What am I interested in? My research interests cut across disciplines and span the themes of decision science, behavioral ecology, collective behavior and complex systems. At the core of my curiosities is the question of adaptive behavior across scales: from individuals to groups to societies. How do individuals and groups behave adaptively? What kind of strategies and decisions help them respond to the challenges of their environment? How does adaptive behavior in individuals and groups interact and evolve? I often employ foraging paradigms to answer these questions.

What is my past work about? My PhD thesis addressed fundamental questions about search processes in humans and other animals, and what they can tell us about adaptive behavior. I investigated the different strategies that an individual or a group of individuals can adopt to efficiently search for resources like food or information and how they may adapt their strategies for various environmental (physical and social) and task constraints. Here is a recent talk at a CSSSA webinar where I talked a part of my thesis: Link

What am I working on now? I am currently developing methods to explore how individual behavior is influenced by social environments, ranging from traditional foraging paradigms to the evolving landscapes of social media.


"Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains... On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes.. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery." - Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Popular Writing

Grief and Hindu Rituals
>>>>>>> bf93f21650ae8f7159add5497763657d7c53a6a9