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

153 Min
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Andrew Huberman, Ph.D.
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 the 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 Thank you to our sponsors AG1: Maui Nui: Joovv: Eight Sleep: LMNT: Momentous: 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