Ritwik K. Niyogi

I am a Sir Henry Wellcome Post-doctoral Fellow, hosted by the University of Oxford. I am based at the Department of Experimental Psychology, my Research Sponsor is Dr. Mark Walton and Sponsor is Professor Matthew Rushworth. My mentor is Professor Nathaniel Daw at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute.

I am currently at the UCL-Max Planck Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research. My Research Sponsor is Dr.Robb Rutledge.

I previously did the first two parts of my Sir Henry Wellcome fellowship investigating the neural circuits of vigour-anergia, reward learning and real-time cost-benefit decision-making at the (1) Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience and Brain Science Institute, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 855 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD, USA (my Research Sponsor was Dr.Jeremiah Cohen ) and (2) Department of Psychiatry, UNC Neuroscience Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 115 Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC, USA, with Research Sponsor Prof. Garret Stuber;

I did my PhD in Theoretical Neuroscience and Machine Learning at the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, University College London (UCL), supervised by Professor Peter Dayan

About Me

Coming soon, Stay Tuned.


University of Oxford

Department of Experimental Psychology

Tinsley Building

Mansfield Road

Oxford, OX1 3TA

United Kingdom

E-mail: ritwik7@gmail.com / ritwik.niyogi@gatsby.ucl.ac.uk

Curriculum Vitae



  • I have started the final phase of my Sir Henry Wellcome fellowship at the UCL-Max Planck Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research. My Research Sponsor is Dr. Robb Rutledge. I aim to apply machine learning and AI to longitudinally track inviduals (healthy and clinical populations) playing games on smartphone apps, assess their vigour-anergia, and identify when at-risk individuals in the healthy population may become likely to develop clinical depression. The mission: better diagnostics for clinical depression.


  • I have started the next phase of my Sir Henry Wellcome fellowship at the Department of Psychiatry, UNC Neuroscience Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I aim to learn 2photon imaging in order to longitudinally track indvidual cells within precise neural circuits in novel animal models of psychiatric and neuroegenerative disorders. I will also gain experience with single cell transcriptomics. I am combining theory, analytics and machine learning, behaviour, and neural circuit work. The mission: novel, effective treatments for clinical depression.

  • I have developed a novel assay of vigour-anergia in head-fixed animals. I plan to develop this as a model of anergia that can be targeted with novel drugs and therapeutics. The mission: turbo charging treatments for clinical depression and Parkinson's.

  • I am studying how animals learn structure from scratch. What makes brains smarter than the best of machines ? What are the algorithms, architectures and represenations that enable animals to learn quickly, efficiently and flexibly from very little data? The mission: Reverse engineer the brain to improve AI, use novel classes of AI to help solve psychiatric and neurological disorders.


  • I have combined electrophysiology, optogenetics, behaviour and theory to record my first optogenetically photo identified dopamine neurons during awake behavioural tasks. They do not signal what you would predict! What does Mean Dopamine even mean?


  • I have performed my first set of animal behavioural experiments: an exciting feeling for a theorist.


  • New paper published: Niyogi, R.K., Shizgal, P., & Dayan, P. Some work and some play: microscopic and macroscopic approaches to labor and leisure PLoS Computational Biology 10(12): e1003894 (2014) Pubmed

  • I started my post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Jeremiah Cohen, Department of Neuroscience & Brain Science Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Exciting!

  • I have successfully defended my PhD thesis in June: What to do, when to do it, how long to do it for: a normative microscopic approach to the labour leisure tradeoff . Committee: Dr. David Silver and Professor Matthew Botvinick.

  • I spoke at the Emotion Club, FIL, UCL in May.


  • I am organising the Uncertainty Club. Speakers so far: Tim Behrens (Sep 2013), Peter Dayan (Nov 2013), Bahador Bahrami (Nov 2013).

Research Interests

In Preparation


Conference Abstracts

Also presented at Symposium on the Biology of Decision Making (SBDM) Paris, 2013.

Also presented at Federation of European Neurosciences (FENS), 2012, Barcelona, Spain.



I have had the privilege of working with and being mentored by



Copyright Notice

The publication documents distributed here have been provided as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a noncommercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder (notice adapted from Peter Dayan).