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Octavio Choi, MD, PhD

Octavio Choi, MD, PhD

Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Medical Education: University of California San Diego School of Medicine (2004) CA
Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, Forensic Psychiatry, Neurolaw (2012)
Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Forensic Psychiatry (2013)
Psychiatry residency, UCLA-Neuropsychiatric Institute, Psychiatry (2008)
Fellowship: University of Pennsylvania Health System (2012) PA
PhD, University of California, San Diego, Neuroscience (2004)
Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Psychiatry (2010)
MD, University of California, San Diego (2004)
Residency: UCLA Medical Center (2008)
BS, Stanford University, Symbolic Systems (Computational Neuroscience) (1992)
Dr. Choi is a forensic psychiatrist and clinical associate professor of psychiatry. He holds an MD in psychiatry and a PhD in neuroscience. He is the founding director of Stanford's Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program, the first neurolaw-focused forensic fellowship in the world, and Director of Training in Stanford's Program in Psychiatry and the Law. Dr. Choi is an active educator, providing seminars to students, attorneys, judges, neuroscientists and clinicians on the importance and relevance of neuroscience and the law.

As a forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Choi specializes in neurolaw, an emerging interdisciplinary field that studies the use and misuse of neuroscience-based evidence in the courtroom. His research interests include the use of functional brain imaging to discern mental states (e.g. lie detection, pain assessment), and the neural basis for moral decision making (e.g. defects in moral reasoning brain centers giving rise to psychopathy). A central question he considers is: how do advances in our knowledge of the neural basis of behavior change perceptions of how offenders should be punished? He has testified as a court-appointed expert, as well as for the prosecution and defense, in many high-profile and complex cases involving psychiatric, neurologic, medical, and medication-related legal claims.

Dr. Choi’s clinical interests include neuromodulatory approaches to treat psychiatric illness, such as the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to treat major depression. He is part of the interventional psychiatry group of Stanford Medicine, conducting clinical work and research to advance the power, precision, and scope of neuromodulation.

Dr. Choi is an experienced public speaker, and has given a number of talks to lay and professional audiences on neurolaw, the neuroscience of psychopathy, and the neuroscience of moral decision-making. He is a featured TEDx speaker on the topic "Can Neuroscience Eradicate Psychopathy?"