Gautam Agarwal

Reveal Contact Info

Research Scientist

Sommer Lab

Current Research

I am interested in interpreting large-scale activity in neural populations. I approach this by studying local field potentials (LFPs) recorded using multi-electrode arrays. In work with Fritz Sommer and Gyorgy Buzsaki, we applied signal processing and sparse coding approaches to discover that rhythms in the hippocampus carry a surprising amount of information about the underlying neural activity and behavioral state. Now we would like to extend our approach to different behavioral contexts. For example, if a rat explores a more open environment, its hippocampal LFPs appear to become more diverse and turbulent. How might we unpack such complexity?


I first joined the Redwood in 2011, with the goal of developing an intuition for signals in high dimensions, which appear to be unavoidable in brains. More generally, I’d like to learn from the intricate, multi-layered, and highly evolved structure of brains, which I believe may inspire how we as a species implement our own complex systems. In 2014, I moved to Lisbon, where I worked with Dr. Zachary Mainen at the Champalimaud Center for the Unknown. While there, I developed a video game, which will be released as a mobile app, in order to study the structure of insight-driven problem solving and its diversity across human populations. In 2019 I came back to the Redwood, to resume my oscillatory studies.