ADHD & How Anyone Can Improve Their Focus | Huberman Lab Podcast #37

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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Review of Compounds for ADHD, Smart Drugs & Focus –
Review of Atypical Compounds for ADHD –
Study of Focus Protocol In ADHD & Non-ADHD Children –

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 & 17 minute 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
01:50:54 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

The Huberman Lab Podcast is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast or materials linked from this podcast is at the user’s own risk. The content of this podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions.

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac –