Ketika Garg

Ketika Garg

Postdoctoral Researcher


I am a postdoctoral researcher at CalTech in the Fear Lab. I received my PhD in Cognitive Sciences from UC Merced, in 2022. Before pursuing my PhD, I got a BS-MS degree in biological sciences from IISER, Mohali.

My research interests cut across disciplines and span the themes of behavioral ecology, collective behavior, cultural evolution and complex systems. At the core of my curiosities is the question of adaptive behavior at multiple scales of organization. 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.

During my PhD, my research 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.

When not coding up models and games, I can be usually found reading books on history, or cooking or planning my next meals.. sometimes both simultaneously.

"Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow... On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back.. 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
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