Webinar Review: ADHD and How Anyone Can Improve Their Focus

Over the course of the semester, our trainees are reviewing webinars in their given fields and preparing abstracts to help colleagues outside their discipline make an informed choice about watching them. As our program bridges diverse disciplines, these abstracts are beneficial for our own group in helping one another gain key knowledge in each other’s fields. We are happy to share these here for anyone else who may find them helpful.

ADHD & How Anyone Can Improve Their Focus

Andrew Huberman, Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University

September 13, 2021

Huberman Lab Podcast (EP #37)

ADHD & How Anyone Can Improve Their Focus

Jennifer WaltersAnalysis by Jennifer Walters:

This fascinating episode from the podcast of neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman at Stanford delves into the ins and out of ADHD – the definition of what it is, the biology, psychology, and underlying mechanism of the brain’s neural networks that manifest in someone with ADHD compared to a neurotypical individual. Since this episode is formatted as a podcast and not as a fully developed presentation, I thought it may lack in richness of creativity sans imagery and special effects. However, I personally feel that in this case, less was more – which deems fitting, considering the theme of the podcast. The fact that only Huberman’s strong oration, articulate explanations and colorful storytelling of seemingly dry and technical topics really bring them to life in a way that even a layman can understand. The fact that there is simply his narration to hone your attention on allows what he says to really sink in, as opposed to attempting to divide your attention between lecture, slides, special effects, and so on.

Though this episode spans well over two hours, I think it is essential viewing for my field – ADHD and non-ADHD individuals alike. For the neuroscience enthusiasts, Huberman dives into the mechanics of the neural circuitry underlying focus (specifically at the 26:00 minute mark). He seamlessly ties together the delicate balance of one’s dopaminergic system and how it ultimately influences the default network and task-directed modes of the brain. This process governs a person’s ability to pay attention and he defines the common ways people have self-medicated over the years, and outlines significantly better ways to approach living with ADHD to achieve a higher quality of life. This information and knowledge are valuable to any viewer who has ever had trouble with maintaining focus or controlling impulsivity in general. This is a great intro podcast for anyone who wants to verse themselves on the neural networks that govern attention or reward, learn a bit of psychology and even self-improvement in the process.