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.

Episodes

May 13, 2021 50 min

America’s struggle with equity was unveiled in a  2011 Department of Education study which showed that 45% of high-poverty schools received less state and local funding than what was typical for other schools in their district. The  funding disparities were further brought to light through a 2019 Ed Build report that showed that majority-white districts received $23 billion more in school funding than majority non-white districts. ...

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Keeping up with the pace, load, and challenge of learning requires emotional and self-management skills – best described as Executive Function. However, when these skills are either delayed, under-developed, or absent it is easy to question the child’s motivations and intentions. The truth of the matter is that some kids simply need more support, scaffolding, and a greater appreciation for their differences. 

On this episode, counse...

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Even though studies after studies show that more than 75% of job success is determined by soft skills ,which in business refers to effective communication, professionalism and work ethics, critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership, the word soft often undermines its nuanced nature and diminishes it potency. In the neuroscience and science of effective communication however,  soft skills are nothing but a combination of Executive ...

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A difficult to teach child slows down the learning for others and accentuates the burden of teaching a group of diverse learners that often looms heavily on the teacher. What if  disruptive children are actually facing challenges that result from the lack of critical “to not be challenging” skills such as adaptive flexibility, frustration tolerance, and problem solving?

On this episode, renowned author, clinical psychologist,  docum...

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What do wigs, cookie jars, pizza dough, supermarket flyers, unpaid invoices, airplane menus, and a mummified human foot have in common? Those are some of the Andy Stuff found amongst 641 boxes left behind by the Pop Art legend Andy Warhol, which is now on display at the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburg. Truman Capote was once said to refer to Warhol as 'a sphinx without a riddle’; a callous jab at the artist whose quirks and idi...

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The true meaning of empowering children is to help them claim the rights to their own life so that they can lead with a sense of confidence, clarity, and courage. The key is to trust  children to make their own mistakes while trusting yourself to resist the temptation of wanting to do everything for them. 

On this episode, leading American educator, author of the book How to Raise Successful People, Vice Chair of Creative Commons, j...

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In the increasingly complex world, raising children to become adaptable, communicative, open, creative, and self-reliant thinkers is a tall order. As the raging pandemic is taking its toll on the American psyche, some groups are proving to be more vulnerable than others. The American Psychological Association’s 2021 survey reports that the parents of children under 18 years of age are the highest stressed groups of people in the Un...

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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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