Neuroscience of ADHD

Published 2019-01-20
ADHD might seem like a convenient excuse to be able to medicate your overactive child. But it turns out that ADHD is a real diagnosis with a different combination of symptoms for each person. There are still a lot of questions surrounding it. What causes it? How is it treated? And what does ADHD look like in the brain? Well, we dive into exactly those topics. In addition, two of our close friends, Cindy and Steve, both have ADHD and they share their experiences and how life as an adult is with ADHD.

Huge, huge thank you to Cindy and Steve for their openness and insight. There was a lot of footage from the interview that we didn't use, but it was all incredible. We feel lucky to have such kind, smart, giving friends. This video would not have been nearly as interesting without their help.


Snapchat: neuroyoutube

This episode is supported by our wonderful Patreon Producers:
Ryan M. Shaver
Carrie McKenzie

You three are the best! You’re like fitting the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle.

And thanks to our other supportive Patrons, including:
Rick Harold
Mary Smith
Jareth Arnold
Linda L Schubert
Ayan Doss
Raymond Chin
City Beautiful
Up and Atom
Memming Park
Alex Dainis
Susan Jones
Eric Earley
Dr. Ali Mattu
Linh Vandermar
Stephen Smith
Noah McCann
Marcel Ward
Ilsa Jerome

Neuro Transmissions is a channel on a mission to bring neuroscience to everyone. It's not rocket surgery, it's brain science! Subscribe for new brain videos every other Sunday!

Got a question for us to answer? Let us know in the comments - we’d love to explore more of your questions! Share, like, and subscribe for more videos to come! Over and out.


Footage from “Up”, "Finding Nemo", "The Sound of Music", "Parks and Recreation", ”Winnie The Pooh", "Seinfield", "Mrs. Doubtfire", and "Back to the Future" was used for nonprofit educational purposes and was intended to benefit the public by teaching scientific concepts through relatable content. Therefore, they fall under fair use.

The following images were used for educational purposes:

The following images fall under Creative Commons:
Creative Commons:………

All other content is original and/or owned by Neuro Transmissions.

#neuroscience #adhd #brain

All Comments (21)
  • Alisa Olesik
    You don't outgrow ADHD you always have it, some people can cope/manage it better than others.
  • Cat Turner
    As someone who was diagnosed at 17 years old, I'm tired of people thinking ADHD is only for kids. Thank you so much for bringing visibility to neurodivergence in adulthood!
  • Tübermensch
    "ADHD is not an impairment of knowing what to do - but rather doing what you know." - Russell Barkley PhD

    No explanation describes my life experience coping with ADHD better than that quote.
  • Abdul Muhammad
    As someone who is diagnosed with ADHD, I swear I found myself losing focus of the video multiple times and having to rewind to listen to what i missed. This is something that happens daily to me and boy is it frustrating sometimes.
    Thank you for showing adults with adhd who are successful in there fields!
  • Puperino Harley
    I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 7. My family chose to ignore it and me, thought I would grow out of it and held me over the flames about everything I did growing up. Whether it was never turning in my homework, fidgeting, rocking back and forth, talking alot, drumming on my desk at school, playing video games for hours on end, getting angry easily and throwing tantrums. In elementary school I was the kid who wanted constant attention because I was left to myself at home most of the time and was bullied for it, My grandfather would threaten to beat me if I didn't stop moving or shut up. I'm 21 now, it's affected my entire life up until this point I'm broke, dropped out of highschool, neurotic, I overthink everything, I impulse buy occasionally, I'm anxious and i self loathe constantly feeling like I'm inadequate to other people. I'm currently trying to seek therapy after getting health insurance first
  • Julio Rivera
    Great video. I was diagnosed with ADHD in my early forties after struggling with depression and sever anxiety from the age of 8. I was a good student and athlete but hated myself for being lazy because I didn't want to work harder. Even the things I was good at made me anxious. Going to school or work was excruciating. I was suicidal when I finally began medication. Everything changed instantly after that. My brain finally stopped long enough for me to catch my breath. Most people have no idea how ADHD can affect adults. It can be debilitating.
  • Grace Bergeon
    i have two sisters and all three of us have been diagnosed with ADHD. we think our dad has it too but he would never go to the doctor for that let alone consider he has any kind of psychological disorder. crazy how genetic ADHD actually is
  • Corporis
    I really like the incorporation of interviews in this one. Added a nice touch of human element and told the story of the science nicely. Well done Ali and Micah!
  • I was diagnosed between the age of 7-10. I don't remember exactly but my parents opted out of the medication. So I had to adapt. When other children were memorizing their times tables, my dad was teaching me the patterns because I couldn't remember them. I can relate to Steven when he speaks about forgetting people's names and so I would usually ask people the meanings behind their names and what was going on around the time they were born to make associations to their names which helped a lot. I had a combination of both because not only did I struggle with memory, but I required speech therapy because that developed slowly. All of my report cards from 7-13 years old would have a teacher's comment along the lines of "chatter-box. is disruptive to the class. performs well but would perform better if she applied herself." I eventually used extramural activities to balance out the hyperactivity so I did everything under the sun from athletics, netball, tennis, hockey, public speaking, eisteddfod, and drama. I also had my fair share of detention. The journey has been long and bumpy especially coming from an African country where mental health and mental illnesses aren't taken seriously so I've had my fair share of "we'll beat the adhd out of her" moments.
  • ualgun
    I'm a second year medical student with ADHD-PI. Among my peers and my family, a lack of understanding for our condition is very palpable. Most people simply do not grasp that the lack of motivation and attention stems from a neurochemical deficit.

    On a personal note, a lot of things from the interview with the lovely couple (forgot their names already, hah!) resonated with me, especially about not feeling like you've deserved it, or having trouble with believing that you are actually good at something.

    I find comfort in the fact that I am not the only one with this condition (and a fellow med student as well, wow!), and that we are all trying our best to overcome it.

    To all my peers out there, remember that the path is a long and tortuous one, just keep your chin up, and keep at it, success will follow.
  • As someone with high functioning ADHD myself, I can tell the two being interviewed have it without them telling me. It was the avoiding of direct eye contact for a prolonged period of time, and the fidgeting of the hands. Even though I can hold down jobs and drive cars, ADHD still really affects me in my daily life
  • Madinotmaddie
    When I got my diagnosis and started getting treatment for ADHD it was like I put glasses on for the first time. Before I was diagnosed with ADHD, I was diagnosed and treated for depression and anxiety. Now that I’m managing my ADHD, I’m finally able to focus, finish tasks, stay motivated, and I notice changes in other areas as well such as emotional regulation.

    It’s definitely a very unique and fascinating mental illness but I think what was said towards the end is exactly how we should approach mental illnesses in society. We shouldn’t expect every person to conform to the same societal norms and expectations in work, school, etc.

    Hollywood and media also needs to do a better job of how they portray mental illnesses. It’s overdramatized way too often…
  • As someone who has also been recently diagnosed with ADHD (Without the hyperactive part too, I'm a pretty passive guy haha), thank you for this video. It was a brilliant interview and it's pretty motivational to see how successful they've become despite their ADHD.

    Personally, I learned a lot from my own condition and I'll share it with those around me that don't take my condition seriously... The first time I took my medication was truly a life changing so it is truly sad when people judge you for taking them.
  • joy's world
    As a person diagnosed at 2 year old and since with adhd everybody like doctors and teachers and just people in general will tell you that you suck at school or that you're going to fail in school or that you cant make it to collage... and seeing Someone with adhd have a big Career is amazing to me and so inspiring <3
  • Tenju96
    It's soooo difficult to talk about it!! I mentioned it to a friend who told me that if I can live with it then it's not a disorder, my friend doctor just said that I don't look like her regular ADHD patients but has agreed to look further into it after I threw at her the 50 ADHD symptoms I have that don't include "jumping-around-8-year-old-boy", the handicap director at work started speaking about Asperger for 30 minutes then finally started listening, the work doctor had to google ADHD then told me to try harder, thank you that's so helpful, my mom said I don't think you have ADHD, it seems like more than that, like your anger is so violent, I angrily told her to learn more about it, and recently the regular doctor told me it was insomnia and looked at me with a condescending smile when I mentioned ADHD, basically saying it was a trend and every kid now goes to a psychiatrist. So I'm not close to getting any help, even after diagnosing myself, which was not supposed to be my job, but all of the people my mom took me to when younger and the people I still go and see once in a while even if I don't trust them anymore..
  • Mariana Anaya
    This helped me understand my boyfriend way better. He's been diagnosed with the hyperactive-impulsive subtype since he was a kid and he never ever ever shuts up. Thanks so much!
  • Nona Bonchetti
    I think adhd has one of the most misleading names - we don't a deficit of attention, we just can't control *what* we pay attention to. Adhd isn't the average "oh I'm not particularly interested in this class, I'd rather pass notes to my friend," it's more like " I know there's an important test coming up in this class, I know I don't understand the material, I need to pay attention, I *want* to pay attention, but I can't"
  • I know I have ADHD, but hearing and knowing that others have the same.

    It gets me in an emotional way.
  • Phrenotopia
    This is a great way to introduce the condition! Everyone can get bored and lose focus, but when it's affecting your life significantly you need the diagnosis.

    As someone who got an ADD diagnosis very late in life, at an age of 45, I can't fathom how I was able to manage for so long, but it was in spurts and fueled by energetic music.

    I know the term ADD has been subsumed by ADHD in North America in any case, but I'm not fond of that, since I don't have and don't identify with the hyperactive aspect.