Full PreFrontal

Full PreFrontal

Welcome to the podcast, Full PreFrontal: Exposing the Mysteries of Executive Function hosted by Sucheta Kamath. Executive Function is a core set of cognitive skills that allow humans to focus attention, block out distractions, plan ahead, stay engaged, temper emotions, and think flexibly while creatively solving problems to fulfill personal and social goals. The prefrontal cortex region of the brain, which governs Executive Function, is often compared to an air traffic control system at a busy airport. Much like an air traffic controller guides planes on different flight paths in the direction that each needs to go, the prefrontal cortex intercepts thoughts and impulses in order to direct them towards situationally appropriate and productive outcomes that serve the need of the future self. Significant research in the field suggests that developing strong Executive Function is critical for school-aged children and remains one of the most reliable predictors of overall success, shown to have profound life-long implications beyond the formal years of learning. On this podcast, host Sucheta Kamath will converse with neuroscientists, social psychologists, learning experts, and thought leaders who will illustrate how Executive Function is inextricably linked with mental health, physical health, school readiness, job success, marital relationships, and much more. On the path of self-development, we all experience a constant struggle between trying to optimize our talent and effort while still facing difficulty in mobilizing the inner tools and strategies that can lead us in the right direction. Tune in to Full PreFrontal to figure out how best to manage your thoughts, habits, and attitudes to enhance your self-awareness and future thinking and to achieve your best self. Sucheta Kamath is an award-winning speech-language pathologist, a TEDx speaker, a celebrated community leader, and the founder and CEO of ExQ®. As an EdTech entrepreneur, Sucheta has designed a personalized digital learning curriculum/tool (ExQ®) that empowers middle and high school students to develop self-awareness and strategic thinking skills through the mastery of Executive Function and social-emotional competence. Outside of her business, Sucheta previously served as President of the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association, where she started a free Social-Communication and Executive Function Training program for inner-city men afflicted with addiction and homelessness—a program she continues to oversee as a coach and a trainer today. She is also a long-time meditator and is currently working on her Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification. A firm believer in the “Pause, Reflect, and then Respond” philosophy, Sucheta hopes to spread the word on how every person can reach higher levels of self-awareness and achieve lasting growth of their Executive Function.... Show More

Episodes

March 4, 2021 52 min

What is limited, valuable, and scarce? Attention. As society as a whole tries to navigate the new terrain where attention is the commodity supporting a large part of the economy, it is imperative that humans understand that attention is the gateway to information processing and “knowing what to pay attention to” is probably far more important than simply paying attention.

Since the act of paying attention presents itself in more tha...

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Its no joke, adulting is hard. To adult is to do all the things that grown-ups regularly do because they have to including finding a job, keeping it, living independently, paying bills, keeping a thriving social circle and handle the unexpected curve balls that life throws. High school to college and then college to life are transitions marked by the need for a substantial upgrade to one’s own executive function proficiency; if del...

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The most basic human experience is to be able to communicate; express thoughts and ideas clearly and meaningfully while being fully understood. Most of us are unaware of the nature of these true gifts that allows humans to construct and build relationships from the ground up by launching nuanced skills such as reading faces, reading the room, and reading between the lines. Hence, the foundational skills of a self-regulated learner ...

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Yogi Berra once said, “If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.” High achievers often bring perfection in their work; however, perfectionism can impede ongoing high achievement. The diligence in being perfect is time-consuming and exhausting and since humans can’t give up on the ideas of perfection, it’s prudent to remember that if left unchecked, perfectionistic tendencies can create barriers to transcendence.  

On this episode, r...

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“The only thing that could impede me was me“ are the words spoken by Amada Gorman, the first ever Youth Poet Laureate.  Amanda for many years suffered from a speech impediment and an auditory processing disorder that made it difficult to communicate intelligibly what her beautiful mind was so eloquently able to construct. Amanda’s personal discovery that I am more than my garbled speech encapsulates the growth mindset which comes i...

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Randomly scattered stars light up the night sky, but it is human inventiveness and imagination that has connected these cosmic dots into the constellations we know so well. As the podcast Full PreFrontal: Exposing the Mysteries of Executive Function celebrates its 100th episode, we have the same pleasure of connecting the scattered ideas that experts have shared with us over the past two years into a meaningful constellations of Ex...

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This is a repeat of episode 101 brought back as one of my favorite episode.

Uncertainly, unceasing demands, and all around unrest can provoke the feelings of restlessness, a state of irritability, and intense worrying and general dissatisfaction. But clinically speaking, these feelings of being on the edge are the signs of anxiety and often when they exceed the threshold of bearability a sense of unending despair can follow.

On today...

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If you come across a Wall Street trader, an ER physician, a trial lawyer, a sky-diving instructor, a trapeze artist, or a stand-up comedian, more than likely there is a race-car brain that has been well channelled in spite of its high propensity for intense stimulation and a desire to live on the edge. Experts say that a perennially super-charged and “always on the go” ADHD mode may or may not always translate into the most product...

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Our body is a screen onto which our inner experiences are frequently projected. Authors, through their writings, vividly illustrate the imprint of the mind onto the body; for example, Caroline Hanson says “Nervousness made her feel nauseous, almost like she had two hearts frantically beating in her chest, instead of one.” The human interoception system processes the internal sensations and let’s us feel what is happening in our bod...

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Nobel prize winner behavioral economist, Daniel Kahneman's remarkable work brought the concepts of System 1 and System 2 into the mainstream. Contrary to the conventional wisdom which associates human capacity with rational thought and logical thinking (features of system 2), our system 1 (the autopilot) has a much stronger hold on our psyche. It is only the slower and deliberate System 2, or Executive Function, when engaged in...

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In her book Mirror: The History, author Sabine Melchoir-Bonnet tracks the curious journey of a tiny reflective glass once thought to be the most fascinating invention which over time eventually has gotten demoted to the status of an ordinary gimmick. The mirror that captures the presentation of self in everyday life comes through with its promise of unveiling fascinating yet terrifying personal information. However, there is nothin...

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The most vital skills of making and keeping friends, figuring out COVID-19 social etiquette, and navigating the social world with adaptive flexibility is far from being innate or natural. While we have barricaded ourselves in our homes and in spite of 24/7 access to the internet that gives us the illusion of hyper-connectivity, many are struggling to artfully connect with others and find meaning in isolation. Figuring out ways to f...

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Japanese author Haruki Murakami said it well, “A person's life may be a lonely thing by nature, but it is not isolated. To that life other lives are linked.” A key ingredient in transforming lonely human nature into a well-linked life is the faculty of mature social skills which make it possible to show interest in others, know how to make friends, read social situations, reciprocate in person or via text, put oneself in others...

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October 22, 2020 50 min

Legend has it that after forgetting the lyrics to one of her well rehearsed songs during a concert at New York’s Central Park, celebrated singer and actress, Barbra Streisand, lost her confidence. Petrified by the embarrassment and riddled with anxiety, Streisand withdrew from public performances for almost 36 years. Clearly, a bad experience can leave psychological scars including ongoing discomfort of subtle apprehension to debil...

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Imagine being more than 2,500 feet above the ground; with no harness, no ropes and no safety equipment. Alex Hannold scaled Yosemite’s El Capitan solo, seemingly effortlessly and with great command over the rock. The most remarkable aspect of the near impossible feat of accomplishment is Alex’s grit, a strength-based psychological skill that propels most humans to carve out a path to reach goals that are once thought to be unattain...

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Every Halloween, when the late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel invites parents to video tape lying to their children having eaten all of their Halloween candy, it never fails to produce funny, hilarious, and some heart-wrenching videos of kids having officially lost their mind over the prank. However, it’s truly astonishing to find a kid or two who mange to stay calm and collected in the face of candy-distress. It is reasonable t...

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“The builder said he was very sorry” writes Louis Sachar in the introduction to his children’s book, where instead of building a school one-story high with thirty classrooms, he ends up building a thirty stories high Wayside School with one classroom per floor. Readers discover that, none the less, the stories from such a strange and silly place are simply delightful.

Similarly, however challenging it is to raise complex kids wired ...

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Napoleon Hill once said, “strength and growth comes from continuous struggle and effort,” but what about those who struggle to know how best to direct their effort during the ongoing struggle? Children and adults with ADHD suffer from this exact problem which makes it hard for them to find their voice, fit in, and fully flourish with all the gifts they have. A true loss for everyone is when the world castigates children and adults ...

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Solving BIG problems requires big thinking. John Wooden once said, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” Even though preparing children to take charge of their learning and their future happens in the classrooms, in actuality, it is set in motion through the mission and vision of personal and institutional leadership; without which, classrooms will simply be ships without sails. With skills to master, pers...

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How to nurture a healthy relationship with life experiences, particularly undesirable, uncomfortable or unfavorable ones, is best captured in Pema Chodron’s quote “Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” However, setbacks may lead to more setbacks for those with under-developed executive function including a lack of self-awareness, rigidity and a failure to problem solve. 

On this episode, the former Head o...

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