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Dr. Mark D'Esposito: How to Optimize Cognitive Function & Brain Health

Huberman Lab

Scicomm Media

Science, Life Sciences, Health & Fitness

4.9 • 23.3K Ratings

🗓️ 19 February 2024

⏱️ 153 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


In this episode, my guest is Dr. Mark D'Esposito, M.D., a neurologist and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. We discuss the brain mechanisms underlying cognition and the forms of memory required for focus, productivity, planning and achieving goals, and learning. We discuss neurochemicals such as dopamine and acetylcholine and how they can be leveraged to improve cognitive functioning. We also discuss concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI), Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease, and ways to restore or slow cognitive decline by using pharmacologic, lifestyle and behavioral protocols. This episode provides a modern understanding of cognition and memory and actionable tools to optimize brain health and function. For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Maui Nui: https://mauinuivenison.com/huberman Joovv: https://joovv.com/huberman Eight Sleep: https://www.eightsleep.com/huberman LMNT: https://drinklmnt.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Dr. Mark D’Esposito (00:02:08) Sponsors: Maui Nui, Joovv & Eight Sleep (00:06:23) Brain & Frontal Lobes, Prefrontal Cortex, Executive Function (00:10:31) Frontal Lobe Development, Children (00:14:12) Rules, Context & Impulse Control; Learning & Goals (00:21:45) Focus, Improving Executive Function (00:26:04) Connections & Top-Down Signals (00:29:02) Sponsor: AG1 (00:30:29) Frontal Lobe Injury; Emotional Regulation (00:37:26) Smartphones, Social Media (00:44:37) Working Memory, Dopamine (00:52:59) Sponsor: LMNT (00:54:22) Dopamine Levels & Working Memory, Cognitive Tasks, Genetics (01:00:03) Bromocriptine & Working Memory, Dopamine (01:06:21) Guanfacine, Neurotransmitter Levels, Pupil Dilation & Biomarker Tests (01:12:46) Bromocriptine, Olympics; Pharmacology & Cognitive Function, Adderall (01:19:27) Concussion, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) (01:25:22) Sleep, TBI, Concussion & Executive Function; BrainHQ (01:31:57) Aging & Frontal Executive System; Brain Health (01:39:26) Tools: Brain Health & Boosting Executive Function, Books (01:47:26) Alzheimer’s Disease, Genetics, Pharmacology (01:51:48) Parkinson’s Disease, L-Dopa; Coping with Alzheimer’s; Nicotine (01:58:37) Estrogen & Dopamine, Cognition; Tool: Physical Exercise (02:04:43) Tool: Mindfulness Meditation & Executive Function (02:10:31) Brain Networks; Modularity (02:17:08) Modularity, Brain Indices (02:22:53) Psilocybin; Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (02:30:16) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, YouTube Feedback, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

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Welcome to the Huberman Lab Podcast, where we discuss science and science-based tools for everyday life.


I'm Andrew Huberman and I'm a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine.


My guest today is Dr. Mark Desposito.


Dr. Mark Desposito is a neurologist and a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the


University of California Berkeley. He is a world expert in the brain mechanisms


controlling executive function and memory. Executive function is the way in which we are able to designate and


carry out specific cognitive strategies and it is fundamental to every aspect of our


daily lives and because so much of being effective in daily life


involves using specific context relevant batches of information in order to understand


what to do and when and what not to do and when and to come up with


strategies that are very adaptive for us to move forward in the context of


relationships, work, school and athletics and on and on, there's really no separation between executive function and memory.


And today, Dr. Desposito explains the neural circuits controlling executive function and memory


how they interact, the key role of dopamine in function and


teaches us ways to optimize in executive function


and something called working memory


and teaches us ways to optimize executive function


and memory, that is how to optimize cognitive function.


In addition to discussing how to optimize cognitive function in the healthy brain, today's


discussion also centers around how to restore cognitive function in disease or injury


conditions that deplete executive function in memory such as traumatic brain


injury, concussion, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and attention deficit disorders.


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