Episodes

Episode 58: Traumatic Brain Injury

Episode 58: Traumatic Brain Injury

What hazard could really be posed by daily activities like driving, biking, climbing, or walking?  They don’t, until they do. An awkward step, a sudden turn, an unanticipated slip or a fall can alter the direction in which one’s life is going. The Brain Injury Association of America reports that at least 2.5 million people encounter a traumatic brain injury each year. For some, the recovery may be quick and simple, while for others, it may be a life that has no semblance of normalcy.

Since one in every 60 people in the U.S. lives with a disability that is a result of traumatic brain injury, it is critical that we understand how to identify, diagnose, and manage them. On today’s podcast, Dr. Julie Haarbauer-Krupa from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), will discuss how traumatic brain injury impacts attention, memory, speech, communication, movement, coordination, decision-making, and executive function. This is an invitation to create communities that thrive by engaging in discussions to raise awareness on the long-standing impact of TBI on individuals, family members, caretakers, and society.

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Episode 57: Next to Normal

Episode 57: Next to Normal

Ability, inability, and disability rest on a continuum where the human story comes to life. Living with a disability; whether it is a physical, mental, or a learning disability is life-long work and having able partners can make the journey pleasant. But, the able partner is not just someone without a disability, but one who is willing to embrace the unique human experience with authenticity and inclusivity.

On today’s podcast, our guest Dan Habib, an award-winning documentary film maker, an activist/advocate, a past-member of the Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (appointed by President Obama) and a father who sought inclusive education for Samuel, his son with cerebral palsy with full well-knowledge that these encounters are mutually transformative. A key element of Executive Function is the capacity to think flexibly, shift perspectives and change one’s mind by broadening the world view. Today’s conversation, invites listeners to reconsider how we conceptualize, verbalize and process the idea of “normal”.

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Episode 56: A Blueprint for Learning Success

Episode 56: A Blueprint for Learning Success

Gerald Belcher once said, “The best education is not given to students; it is drawn out of them.” It captures the notion that learning and teaching are intertwined and this relationship deepens when educators keep inventing new ways to inspire kids, help make creative connections, and allow their passion to come through.

In these moments, there’s nothing higher than the human spirit as a child succeeds in learning.

On today’s podcast, our guest a neuroscientist, author, blogger, and a frequent contributor to Psychology Today, William Klemm, Ph.D. returns to speak on brining learning strategies into classroom teaching.

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Episode 55: Memory Matters

Episode 55: Memory Matters

Rajveer Meena from India successfully recalled 70,000 decimal places of pi (π) and broke the previous Guinness World Record of reciting 67,890 digits of pi held by Lu Chao of China since 2005. By reading about such a feat of accomplishment, you can easily see the giant rift between “memory athletes” and ordinary citizens. However, memory is more of a skill than a gift which means everyone is capable of such an “athletic” feat.

On today’s podcast, our guest, a neuroscientist, author, blogger, and a frequent contributor to Psychology Today, William Klemm, Ph.D., speaks on the topic of memory, memory structure, and the relationship between memory, learning, and Executive Function.

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Episode 54: Build a Better Brain – Now!

Episode 54: Build a Better Brain – Now!

The hopeful expectation of living into old age is often marred by the fear of the irreversible decline in one’s abilities and mental faculties. When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, the scientific community, professionals and society in general is dedicated to pursuing a three-pronged approach: find ways to irradiate the disease, delay the onset of the disease, and finally, figure out the most effective and comfort-centered approach to care-giving.

Since brain imaging studies reveal that the damage to the brain begins decades prior to the symptoms ever starting to interfere with daily functions, on today’s podcast our guest, Kenneth S. Kosik, M.A. M.D., returns to discuss ways to envision the vitality of the neural landscape to build a better brain and elevate well-being, a sure way to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Kosik is a Harriman Professor and Co-Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at UCSB, and is a highly celebrated award-winning research scientist who has coauthored a book called Outsmarting Alzheimer’s Disease: What You Can Do To Reduce Your Risk.

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Episode 53: The Aging Brain’s Destiny

Episode 53: The Aging Brain’s Destiny

Even while leading a healthy mental and physical life, no one can be certain about the aging brain’s destiny. The stage of life marked by walkers, hearing aids, and memory lapses is averted by a few, but dreaded by all. Since Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the three leading causes of death in the elderly population, how to keep performing at the top of one’s game, even in old age, is of interest to many.

On today’s podcast, our guest, a Harriman Professor and Co-Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at UCSB, and highly celebrated, award-winning research scientist, Kenneth S. Kosik, M.A. M.D., will speak on the topic of Alzheimer’s, aging, and age-related changes. Since age-related cognitive decline goes beyond just remembering and forgetting, it’s important to understand how it all relates to Executive Function and self-sufficiency.

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Episode 52: Off the Scale and Onto a Treadmill

Episode 52: Off the Scale and Onto a Treadmill

There’s no guarantee you will step on a treadmill right after stepping off a scale with disappointing number. Goals clash with fears and anxieties resulting in procrastination, which is a common place phenomenon. But by connecting to values and committing to actions, we can treat daily tasks like a workout rather than a race to finish.

On today’s podcast, our guest a professor of psychology, award winning teacher, successful author and a prolific podcaster, Tim Pychyl, Ph.D., returns to explore strategies for overcoming procrastination and manage emotional reluctance to take on important tasks that have become undesirable. Essentially, by learning ways to overcome procrastination, we can master executive dysfunction and avert frequent encounters with existential crises.

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Episode 51: No More Procrastination

Episode 51: No More Procrastination

No one has been spared from the strong impulse to put things off for later. You might find yourself cleaning out the refrigerator when you should really be working on your taxes.  Dilly-dallying and lollygagging are a few ways one’s aversion for impending tasks manifests itself. In the Netflix series, The Kominsky Method, Alan Arkin’s character loses his wife of nearly 50 years to cancer and at the funeral, his daughter who never visits her ailing mother during her illness shows up. The upset father asks why and to which she replies, “Because I was busy”.  When pressed further, the daughter blurts out, “Because I didn’t think she’ll die.” In this case, the daughter’s procrastination went too far.

On today’s podcast, our guest, Tim Pychyl, Ph.D., professor of psychology, award-winning teacher, successful author, and prolific podcaster, will talk about why we procrastinate. Since the hallmark of executive dysfunction is inefficiency, poor task management, and lack of goal achievement, this conversation will add a critical perspective to methods of supporting individuals with Executive Function.

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Episode 50: Goodness of Fit

Episode 50: Goodness of Fit

When talking about his sad mess of a childhood, author Augustine Boroughs’ fantasy of normalcy resembled to that of “fabric-softener, tuna-salad-on-white, PTA-meeting normal”. In his autobiography, Running with Scissors, Boroughs writes about his guardian conjuring a mental health excuse by giving him the directive to pop pills, drink liquor and fake his own suicide so that he could get out of going school. As a reader you can’t help but think in what ways these childhood experiences shaped Boroughs’ life views. Being prepared to respond to life’s events as you know best and to bounce back from personal, social, and societal adversity is the hallmark of resilience.

Today’s guest, Dr. Robert Brooks, returns with his brilliant insights to help us make the connections between resiliency, self-discipline, and parenting and how the we must place great importance on the idea of goodness of fit!

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Episode 49: Calling For A Charismatic Adult

Episode 49: Calling For A Charismatic Adult

Roberto Benigni’s critically acclaimed role in the movie Life is Beautiful, which earned him an Oscar, poignantly illustrates what a caring, charismatic adult does to shield a young boy from the horrors of captivity in a concentration camp as they were thrown into the atrocities of war. With his resilient ways, Guido Orefice, the father in this movie, interacts reassuringly with his son and helps him gain a sense of control over his life in the midst of chaos. The question then arises: Are all adults inherently equipped to cast a positive influence on a child? When polled, American adults always indicate their genuine concern for the budding American youth; however, children of misfortune are often stamped from the beginning with heavy odds weighing against their wholesome development. Researchers agree that the consistent factor that tips the scale in a child’s favor is a caring and influential adult.

On today’s podcast, psychologist and prolific author, Dr. Robert Brooks, whose expertise includes resiliency, motivation, and parenting, talks about the role of a charismatic adult in developing well-adjusted children.

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