Brain Rules – John Medina

Here are my comments on the book:

What are some “rules” of the brain? According to molecular biologist and research consultant John Medina, there are 12 “rules” (facts) of the brain which include things like vision trumps all other senses, male and female brains are different, and we learn better if we’re hitting more of the senses. These are all facts about the brain that you’ll wish you had learned before to perform and learn optimally. Points taken away:


1. We need more exercise than you think. Evolution happens at a rate of 1% every 10,000 years. This means that we’re essentially identical to our relatives from the caveman period.We are not used to sitting at a desk for eight hours a day. From an evolutionary perspective, our brains developed while working out, walking as many as 12 miles a day. The brain still craves that experience, especially in sedentary populations like our own. That’s why exercise boosts brain power in such populations. Exercisers outperform couch potatoes in long-term memory, reasoning, attention, and problem-solving tasks.


2. Having high quality air is essential. Consider the following statistics. The three requirements for human life are food, drink, and fresh air. But their effects on survival have very different timelines. You can live for 30 days or so without food, and you can go for a week or so without drinking water. Your brain, however, is so active that it cannot go without oxygen for more than 5 minutes without risking serious and permanent damage.



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3. There’s no such thing as multitasking. “Multitasking, when it comes to paying attention, is a myth. The brain naturally focuses on concepts sequentially, one at a time. At first that might sound confusing; at one level the brain does multitask. You can walk and talk at the same time. Your brain controls your heartbeat while you read a book. Pianists can play a piece with left hand and right hand simultaneously. Surely this is multitasking. But I am talking about the brain’s ability to pay attention. It is the resource you forcibly deploy while trying to listen to a boring lecture at school. It is the activity that collapses as your brain wanders during a tedious presentation at work. This attentional ability is not capable of multitasking.


4. Get enough sleep.Sleep has been shown to enhance tasks that involve visual texture discrimination, motor adaptations, and motor sequencing. The type of learning that appears to be most sensitive to sleep improvement is that which involves learning a procedure. Simply disrupt the night’s sleep at specific stages and retest in the morning, and you eliminate any overnight learning improvement. Clearly, for specific types of intellectual skill, sleep can be a great friend to learning.


5. We are naturally curious beings.Babies younger than a year old will systematically analyze an object with every sensory weapon at their disposal. They will feel it, kick it, try to tear it apart, stick it in their ear, stick it in their mouth, give it to you so you can stick it in your mouth. They appear to be intensely gathering information about the properties of the object. Babies methodically do experiments on the objects to see what else they will do.


By Ryan Lee


My rating:
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Check out the book here:
Amazon USA
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK


Thank you for reading. If you have any other brain “rules”, please leave a comment below on what they are as I’d love to hear you out! Please join my Facebook group here follow my Twitter here like the post, or share it.


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