Dr. Choi is an interventional and forensic neuropsychiatrist on the Stanford faculty. He received his MD/PhD at UC-San Diego as part of NIH's Medical Scientist Training Program. He received his PhD degree in Neuroscience for work done at the Salk Institute on neural development.

Dr Choi is the founder of Stanford's Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program. 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? And when are advanced research-level neuroimaging technologies “ready” for use in the courtroom? 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 is an active educator, providing seminars to students, attorneys, judges, neuroscientists and clinicians on the importance and relevance of neuroscience and the law. He is co-instructor of the popular Stanford undergraduate course “The Brain and the Law," and host of the KZSU radio program "Ask Dr. Choi," focusing on issues around student wellness, such as toxic perfectionism.

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.

Clinical Focus

  • Psychiatry
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Interventional Psychiatry

Academic Appointments

  • Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Administrative Appointments

  • Founding Director, Stanford Neuro Forensics Accelerator (2023 - Present)
  • Founding Director, Stanford Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship (2019 - 2023)
  • Affiliate Faculty, Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute (2019 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Medical Scientist Training Program, NIH (federally-funded MD/PhD award) (1994 - 2004)
  • Summer Research Scholar, Mind and Life Institute (2006)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Fellow, American Psychiatric Association (2019 - Present)
  • Associate Editor, Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (2018 - Present)
  • Former Chair, Forensic Neuropsychiatry Committee, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (2015 - 2018)

Professional Education

  • 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)

Research Interests

  • Adolescence
  • Brain and Learning Sciences
  • Child Development
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Early Childhood
  • Legal Issues
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Philosophy
  • Poverty and Inequality
  • Science Education
  • Technology and Education

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Dr. Choi is the founding director of the Stanford Neuro Forensics Accelerator, whose core mission is to accelerate the transformation of basic neuroscience research into actionable insights for reliable legal decision making.

We aim to accomplish this mission by creating robust, reliable online tools and making them freely available to the community.

2023-24 Courses

All Publications

  • The Fellowship Application Process Must Be Reformed. The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Choi, O. 2021; 49 (3): 300-310

    View details for DOI 10.29158/JAAPL.210088-21

    View details for PubMedID 34417252

  • Belonging, Therapeutic Landscapes, and Networks: Implications for Mental Health Practice Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Tacker, K., Choi, O. 2019; 47 (3): 388-390
  • What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Answer. The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Choi, O. S. 2017; 45 (3): 278-285

    View details for PubMedID 28939723

  • Neuroimaging and lie detection: ready for court? Psychiatric Expert Testimony Choi, O. Oxford University Press. 2015; 1: 84–96
  • Adjudicating Dangerous and Incompetent Defendants: Civil or Criminal? Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Choi, O., Weiss, K. 2012; 40 (2): 279-281