Psychiatry as a field will be unrecognizable in the next 10 to 20 years, given our new understanding of the role of brain circuits in the generation of emotions and behavior.

This week on Theory and Practice, we talked with "Projections" author Professor Karl Deisseroth, D.H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. We dove deep into his work on optogenetics and the insights it provides into the workings of the human brain.

"I am a great admirer of the human brain and its incredible richness," Professor Deisseroth explains. "But there's a mystery that we have not come close to understanding."

Professor Karl Deisseroth Professor Karl Deisseroth | Photo: Jim Gensheimer

I've always known Karl as a visionary scientist who pioneered the field of optogenetics, but hearing his perspective as a clinician and humanist and how that drives his scientific work gives me a new appreciation for the abundance of his mind.

Karl explains what might be in store in the future for psychiatry: deep brain stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and the use of smartphones and digital data, which can be termed our "digital exhaust." Will these approaches become a regular part of psychiatric practice in the future? Tune in to find out on the latest episode.

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