Episodes

Episode 65: A Bridge to the Real World

Episode 65: A Bridge to the Real World

The charm of entering college camouflages the real invitation to become responsible for yourself by figuring out what you want while taking care of the mundane, yet obligatory tasks of daily student life. The dread of “adulting” is further muddled by having to navigate the world with the unseen layers of executive function challenges that compromise attention, new learning, slower thinking, and goal management, pushing away the dream of joining the workforce and transitioning into successfully adult life.

On today’s episode Mary R.T. Kennedy Ph.D., Professor and Chair at the Communication Sciences and Disorders at Chapman University, discusses the special challenges and the proposed road to recovery for college students after a traumatic brain injury.

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Episode 64: Attention, A Force Multiplier

Episode 64: Attention, A Force Multiplier

We have all done it; followed the GPS blindly and reached the international terminal instead of the domestic one or forgotten to turn off the car lights, leaving them on overnight. The only solution is to pay attention to attention and see how to get it under our conscious control.

On today’s episode, Courtney Stevens, PhD, a developmental cognitive neuroscientist and Associate Professor of Psychology at Willamette University in Portland discusses selective attention and the bearing it has on learning, thinking, and behavior throughout your lifespan. Attention is a gateway to information processing and it’s vital that a connection be made transparent between attention, thinking, and Executive Function.

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Episode 63: When is the right time!

Episode 63: When is the right time!

Well-built Executive Function lends itself to thoughtful decision making and on-point problem solving, advantageous to meeting personal goals. However, the shifting nature of cognitive resources warrants keen attention to making crafty adjustments to our daily schedules to actualize the best results. William James was onto something when he wrote, “The great thing, then, in all education, is to make automatic and habitual, as early as possible, as many useful actions as we can, and to guard against the growing into ways that are likely to be disadvantageous to us, as we should guard against the plague.”

On today’s podcast, we talk with Daniel Pink, the author of six provocative books including his latest book When that challenges the perception that all times of day are created equal. He offers the valuable science behind the world changing idea of “timing”, which if taken seriously can offer insights into an optimally functioning self.

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Big Picture 2: Executive Function in Education

Big Picture 2: Executive Function in Education

Goals may not change but circumstances do. Executive Function means to accomplish the goals by changing gears, repurposing solutions, and shifting perspectives by successfully adapting to the changed conditions And doing it without losing focus, waning interest or destabilizing emotions. Tune in to today’s Big Picture episode as I discuss the brain finest ability to orchestrate actions when put to good use yields outcomes that are emotionally desirable, appropriate, and future centered.

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Episode 62: Experts Are Made, Not Born

Episode 62: Experts Are Made, Not Born

In 2018, John Legend became the 13th and the youngest winner of “EGOT” which stands for the big-four possible outstanding awards in the entertainment industry: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. An awe worthy accomplishment certainly points out the talent in John Legend, but is it cultivated? There are those who do things, those who do it well, and those who do it exceptionally well. An expert performer produces superior or exceptional performance without an exception. The journey to gain expertise however, is far from simply being effortful.

On today’s podcast, Professor Anders Ericsson, and co-author of the book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, will discuss how particular skill-sets and particular mindsets shapes the mastery of skills, which are attainable to all. At the heart of superior Executive Function is goal-directed actions and tolerance for discomfort and annoyances that interfere while building skills. So through focused effort to strengthen Executive Function, one can easily forge the path towards developing expertise.

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Episode 61: Unequal Dreams

Episode 61: Unequal Dreams

What do Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor, academy award winning actor Leonardo de Caprio, designer Ralph Lauren, and entertainment mogul Jay Z have in common? They all grew up poor. Their success is enviable, but breaking the cycle of poverty is a mammoth task; one that requires educational opportunities that compensate for the disadvantages created by the socio-economic gap, appropriate structural support, and exposure to the larger world. Every young mind has the right to dream big, but not all dreams are destined to become a reality.

On today’s podcast, Dr. Elise Davis-McFarland, the Immediate Past President of American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA 2019) and an ASHA Fellow, discusses how poverty is a serious condition and a potential cause of deprivation and educating students from low income families warrants more than just tolerance, but strong cultural competence. Robust Executive Function and self-regulation are essential ingredients for raising independent children, but ongoing environmental stressors and economics adversity can prove to be an obstacle in bringing forth future-ready children.

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Episode 60: The Art and Science of Unlocking the Brain That Relearns

Episode 60: The Art and Science of Unlocking the Brain That Relearns

The name Shepherd Ivory Franz won’t ring a bell for many, but he is a notable individual in the arena that is now known as neuropsychiatry and neuropsychology. Close to 100 years ago, he was testing the ability to relearn after performing an ablative brain surgery on cats that he had initially “taught”. This type of work and eventual application to the veterans who survived brain trauma provided Franz with early insights into neuroplasticity, which is the foundation of the current approach to cognitive retraining.

On today’s podcast, Rick Parente, Emeritus Professor at Towson University in Baltimore and a celebrated expert in the field of cognitive retraining will discuss how targeted and specific interventions after a traumatic brain injury are more effective than comprehensive, but non-targeted ones. Because finding ways to help people to learn, remember, and think is as much an art as science, this discussion will lead us all to deploy careful scrutiny when assessing symptom presentation, functional needs, and perceived limitations of the brain.

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Big Picture 1: From a Bird’s-Eye View

Big Picture 1: From a Bird’s-Eye View

“Executive Function refers to your choreographed ability to make yourself DO and take actions using the capacity and vision for self to yield outcomes that are socially-emotionally desirable, future centered and appropriate for personal advancement.” – Sucheta Kamath

After a year and half interviewing the world’s leading authorities, researchers and educators Sucheta brings her own expertise in helping people master their own Executive Function as she launches her special series “The Big Picture”. In this episode, she breaks down the key ingredients of Self-Optimization. Tune in to find out why and how to rethink problems, question one’s own methods, evaluate outcomes every step of the way and finally, willingly and readily change one’s approach to reach one’s own best version.

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Episode 59: Bridge to a Life of Hope

Episode 59: Bridge to a Life of Hope

Over the last several decades, the public’s understanding of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional sequelae of the same has undergone radical transformation. There is ample evidence that supports the fact that rehabilitation is a critical part of the road to recovery and making treatment functional can be done successfully by a bridge into the community where the TBI survivor hopes to thrive. However, what’s still missing is the society’s lack of awareness of the needs of those who have sustained a TBI and are experiencing life-altering consequences.

On today’s podcast, the Senior Health Scientist on the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Team at the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa, PhD, returns to discuss the therapeutic consideration to successfully manage a TBI. This episode offers an expanded view on how to accentuate the lifestyle change in the form of skill building, use of compensatory strategies, and family support to build the person’s hope back.

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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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