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

September 25, 2020 48 min

“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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None of us are fans of being bored; a state often marked by restlessness and mild forms of agitation. That’s why we all try and avoid the angst that seems to be associated with boredom. But surprisingly, scientists who study the brain, suggest that boredom isn’t too bad for us, but rather the brain’s nudge to get out of that state, take action, and bring about change.

On this episode, neuroscientist, trained Clinical Neuropsycholog...

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Emotions are the heartbeat of human existence and the human drama that is full of anxiety, sadness, anger, fury, joy, or love feels like we are either riding a roller-coaster or floating gently in a boat that’s in a calm and placid lake. Emotions that disrupt our relationship with the world require regulation, but conventional wisdom approaches might get us off track as we might train ourselves to either not feel the feelings or no...

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The parents’ job is to protect their children, offer safety and security, and above all, love them unconditionally. But there are visible and invisible barriers and everyone struggles. In order to raise children with strong executive function, parents need to help cultivate a strong foundation where the brain knows not to go into overdrive or over-react. By activating their own strong executive function, parents can build a nurturi...

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Popularized by the business community, the term "soft skills" might imply that these skills are neither nuanced nor hard to obtain. But scientists and researchers who study these skills refer to them as pragmatics, the way one uses language and communication to achieve social and interpersonal goals and believe that soft skills are critical to conveying intent, working harmoniously in situations of conflict and help us movi...

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We are often astonished to read or hear in the news about a kid who grabs a classmate’s hair, or snatches food from their tray, or even kicks their teacher. The average person might focus on the obvious disrespectful and unacceptable in-school behaviors. However, we will be missing point if we think that kids should come to school already fully knowing how to behave “properly”. Instead, we need to receive them with open arms, find ...

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There is no generation like Gen Z whose stressors have been quadrupled by the times they have grown up in - the economic dotcom burst, highly skilled stressed out parents always in-between jobs, anxiety of a flattening world, and a technology/social-media enabled personal life. Naturally, the question emerges as to how do we help this generation of kids master their executive function and help them strive for personal self-sufficie...

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Nothing is more invigorating than watching a young mind at work. Fascinated by curiosity and deeply enthralled in untangling its pieces, learning brings joy and satisfaction to both the teacher and the learner. But how does one make sure that the learner falls in love with learning? How much of that is the responsibility of an educator versus a parent versus a student himself? And what are the ways to lay out a blueprint for increa...

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Do emotions mess up clear headed thinking? For centuries, culture and science has dismissed the value of emotions when it came to thinking about intelligence, learning, and critical thinking. This may have led to classrooms with a certain level of sterility and emotional reciprocity. Instead however, by focusing on how students feel, what emotional connections they make during their learning experiences, and how they translate that...

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When talking about independence and self-sufficiency in their students, educators often use the term “Personal Responsibility” which refers to the set of mental skills that neuroscience describes to be Executive Function. Teachers recognize that in order to develop a level of independence and agency, educators must have a plan to transfer the “process tools” from the teacher to the students just as a relay-race runner passes his ba...

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Having difficulties can be discouraging and counterproductive. Children with ADHD experience far more defeats and discouragements compared to their counterparts. It’s no surprise that promote thriving in struggling learners depends on the right support, the right tools, but above all, the right environment that conveys a message of acceptance and hope.

On this episode, our guest, Sharon Saline, Psy.D., an author and a clinical psych...

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What do cooking, fishing, putting together a bookshelf, and a fixing a wall mount in the garage for your bike have in common? They are far easier to do by yourself than to teach it to someone. Those who teach recognize the challenge in going beyond learner engagement and external rewards or punishment; instead setting learners’ intrinsic motivation on fire by making them curious and engaged children.

On this episode cognitive psycho...

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Vincent van Gogh once wrote, “If I cease searching, then, woe is me, I am lost. That is how I look at it – keep going, keep going come what may.” Of course, this kind of striving and searching van Gogh is referring to is likely to guarantee one thing and that one thing is – encountering unsurmountable challenges. Sometimes we don’t even go looking, but still face unsurmountable challenges like right now, during this pandemic. Every...

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Children are an enigma! Full of surprises and full of promise. However, one can be easily baffled when their boisterous high energy turns into an unmanageable rambunctiousness disrupting the household and relationships. Until recently, it was unconceivable for kids to have a mental disorder which made it hard to navigate the impact of various conditions on overall behaviors; particularly, maladaptive dysregulation.

On this episode, ...

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The struggles of kids with ADHD are unmistakably unique and undoubtedly complex, but their lack of mental readiness to accept help is equally confusing. Nothing is more discouraging or draining for educators and parents than kids who resist direction instead of leaning into the help they receive. Since disrupted executive function in ADHD kids often interferes with their ability to accomplish tasks and manage personal success, thei...

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The brain’s prefrontal cortex is often described as the “work in progress” intimating that there exists a continuum of neural development shaped by an interplay between biology and behavior; each influencing the other. Naturally, Executive Function, a set of skills controlled by the prefrontal cortex, emerges slowly allowing humans to form future goals and gain independence in order to become more and more self-possessed. Based on ...

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Nothing about the COVID-19 pandemic is business as usual. In fact, the social and economic stressors are taking a toll on every single person’s sense of well-being. Those taking care of children and those in frail health have the added burden of creating a safe home environment while providing critical support with patience, compassion, and positivity; in spite of feeling the opposite. The good news is that decades of research has ...

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