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025 – Alik Widge
Neurotech, Neurotech Podcast

Dr. Alik Widge is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota, where he is a practicing psychiatrist and conducts research in applying neurotechnology to psychiatric disorders. Alik holds a B.A. in computer science and cognitive science from Dartmouth College, a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, and an M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Top 3 Takeaways

  1. Alik’s work pursues the idea of nudging brain networks underlying psychiatric disorders.
  2. Nudges are about reinstating normal emotional dynamics, rather than moving emotion to a particular regime.
  3. Cross-training scientists and clinicians can lead to novel perspectives on psychiatric treatments.

Show Notes

  • [1:22] Alik’s background & overview of his current work.
  • [2:55] Synthesizing fields impacts Alik’s approach.
  • [3:28] Networks and nudges.
  • [5:03] Regions vs. networks in neurotechnology.
  • [6:00] History of depression interventions.
  • [9:00] Biology vs. historical neurology.
  • [10:00] Networks of different scales.
  • [12:15] What does a “nudge” look like?
  • [15:55] Behavioral therapy & neuromodulation nudges.
  • [19:00] Neuroscience vs. psychiatry.
  • [21:00] New language in psychiatry.
  • [23:35] Needed changes in industry.
  • [26:00] Specialized chips in neural implants.
  • [27:20] Alik’s recent paper.

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