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Huberman Lab

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Sep 13, 2021

In this episode, I discuss ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder): what it is, the common myths, and the biology and psychology of ADHD.

I discuss both behavioral and pharmacologic treatments for ADHD, and brain-machine interface tools. I also discuss behavioral training protocols that can improve focus in people with ADHD and those without ADHD, and for people of different ages. I discuss the role of dopamine in coordinating 'default-mode' and 'task-related' neural networks, attentional "blinks" (lapses of attention) and how to overcome them, and the role of actual blinks in time perception and attention. Finally, I review some of the prescription and over-the-counter compounds for increasing focus such as Adderall, Ritalin, Modafinil and Armodafinil, the racetams, Alpha-GPC and phosphatidylserine and the role of diet for managing ADHD (and the controversies of diet for ADHD).

The role of cell phones/technology in ADHD and ADHD-like challenges with focus are also discussed. Throughout, both basic science and clinical scenarios, as well as applicable tools and resources are covered.

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  • 00:00:00 Introduction & Note About Diagnosis
  • 00:03:27 Sponsors 
  • 00:07:56 ADHD vs. ADD: Genetics, IQ, Rates in Kids & Adults
  • 00:13:00 Attention & Focus, Impulse Control
  • 00:14:57 Hyper-focus 
  • 00:16:45 Time Perception
  • 00:18:25 The Pile System
  • 00:20:00 Working Memory
  • 00:24:10 Hyper-Focus & Dopamine 
  • 00:26:40 Neural Circuits In ADHD: Default Mode Network & Task-Related Networks 
  • 00:32:57 Low Dopamine in ADHD & Stimulant Use & Abuse
  • 00:37:10 Sugar, Ritalin, Adderall, Modafinil & Armodafinil 
  • 00:47:00 Non-Prescribed Adderall, Caffeine, Nicotine
  • 00:49:18 How Stimulants “Teach” the Brains of ADHD Children to Focus
  • 00:52:00 When To Medicate: A Highly Informed (Anecdotal) Case Study
  • 00:56:35 Elimination Diets & Allergies In ADHD
  • 01:04:46 Omega-3 Fatty Acids: EPAs & DHAs 
  • 01:07:00 Modulation vs Mediation of Biological Processes
  • 01:10:50 Attentional Blinks 
  • 01:16:56 Open Monitoring & 17minute Focus Enhancement 
  • 01:22:50 Blinking, Dopamine & Time Perception; & Focus Training 
  • 01:30:10 Reverberatory Neural & Physical Activity
  • 01:33:40 Adderall, Ritalin & Blink Frequency
  • 01:35:00 Cannabis 
  • 01:37:30 Interoceptive Awareness 
  • 01:41:15 Ritalin, Adderall, Modafinil, Armodafinil; Smart Drugs & Caffeine: Dangers
  • 01:48:05 DHA Fatty Acids, Phosphatidylserine
  • 0:1:50:54 Ginko Biloba 
  • 01:51:45 Modafinil & Armodafanil: Dopamine Action & Orexin
  • 01:56:19 Acetylcholine: Circuits Underlying Focus; Alpha-GPC
  • 01:59:04 L-Tyrosine, (PEA) Phenylethylamine 
  • 02:01:23 Racetams, Noopept 
  • 02:05:15 Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation; Combining Technology & Pharmacology 
  • 02:09:14 Smart Phones & ADHD & Sub-Clinical Focus Issues In Adults & Kids
  • 02:14:30 Synthesis/Summary
  • 02:16:10 Support for Podcast & Research, Supplement Resources


Please note that The Huberman Lab Podcast is distinct from Dr. Huberman's teaching and research roles at Stanford University School of Medicine. The information provided in this show is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. The Huberman Lab Podcast, its employees, guests and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.


Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac -