Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

by John Medina
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Pear Press
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Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

In Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist, shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might influence the way we teach our children and the way we work. In each chapter, he describes a brain rule—what scientists know for sure about how our brains work—and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives.

Medina’s fascinating stories and infectious sense of humor breathe life into brain science. You’ll learn why Michael Jordan was no good at baseball. You’ll peer over a surgeon’s shoulder as he proves that most of us have a Jennifer Aniston neuron. You’ll meet a boy who has an amazing memory for music but can’t tie his own shoes.

You will discover how:

• Every brain is wired differently
• Exercise improves cognition
• We are designed to never stop learning and exploring
• Memories are volatile
• Sleep is powerfully linked with the ability to learn
• Vision trumps all of the other senses
• Stress changes the way we learn

In the end, you’ll understand how your brain really works—and how to get the most out of it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780979777707
Publisher: Pear Press
Publication date: 03/18/2008
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 301
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

introduction 1

exercise 7

Rule #1 Exercise boosts brain power.

Our brains love motion

The incredible test-score booster

Will you age like Jim or like Frank?

How oxygen builds roads for the brain

survival 29

Rule #2 The human brain evolved, too.

What's uniquely human about us

A brilliant survival strategy

Meet your brain

How we conquered the world

wiring 49

Rule #3 Every brain is wired differently.

Neurons slide, slither, and split

Experience makes the difference

Furious brain development not once, but twice

The Jennifer Aniston neuron

attention 71

Rule #4 We don't pay attention to boring things.

Emotion matters

Why there is no such thing as multitasking

We pay great attention to threats, sex, and pattern matching

The brain needs a break!

short-term memory 95

Rule #5 Repeat to remember.

Memories are volatile

How details become splattered across the insides of our brains

How the brain pieces them back together again

Where memories go

long-term memory 121

Rule #6 Remember to repeat.

If you don't repeat this within 30 seconds, you'll forget it

Spaced repetition cycles are key to remembering

When floating in water could help your memory

sleep 149

Rule #7 Sleep well, think well.

The brain doesn't sleep to rest

Two armies at war in your head

How to improve your performance 34 percent in 26 minutes

Which bird are you?

Sleep on it!

stress 169

Rule #8 Stressed brains don't learn the same way.

Stress is good, stress is bad

A villain and a hero in the toxic-stress battle

Why the home matters to the workplace

Marriage intervention for happy couples

sensory integration 197

Rule #9 Stimulate more of thesenses.

Lessons from a nightclub

How and why all of our senses work together

Multisensory learning means better remembering

What's that smell?

vision 221

Rule #10 Vision trumps all other senses.

Playing tricks on wine tasters

You see what your brain wants to see, and it likes to make stuff up

Throw out your PowerPoint

gender 241

Rule #11 Male and female brains are different.

Sexing humans

The difference between little girl best friends and little boy best friends

Men favor gist when stressed; women favor details

A forgetting drug

exploration 261

Rule #12 We are powerful and natural explorers.

Babies are great scientists

Exploration is aggressive

Monkey see, monkey do

Curiosity is everything

acknowledgements 283

index 285

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Brain Rules 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 107 reviews.
timshady More than 1 year ago
I found this book extremely informative and easy to read; considering the complexity of the material. I am in NO way a scientist or have any understanding of neuroscience. In fact, I beat up brain surgeons in my spare time. The author breaks the information down in a way that any regular "Joe Plumber" can understand! If you are a hardcore scientist/doctor/quantum physicist, then take a pass because you might not like how it's written. But, for the rest of us that want some kind of understanding how the big, slimy thing in our head works - definitely pick up this book!
April_83 More than 1 year ago
I actually enjoyed this book. Even though the text was packed full medical terminology (as it should be considering the subject matter), Medina managed to make it easy to read and even entertaining for those us who did not particularly enjoy biology. I'm a true believer that if you want to make something more efficient, first you need to know how "it" works. I am a Civil Engineer and spend most of my waking hours in an office environment (with some reprieves to visit new jobsites or construction sites and occasionally I even go home to my loving and apparently very understanding husband). So I was looking for something to better manage my time at work, if not become more efficient and/or productive during normal work hours so that there would not be such an overlap between work and play. Don't get me wrong I usually enjoy my job, the engineering is challenging if not out-right fun, but working in the private sector there is always that client that wants something done yesterday, when in reality it will take 2-3 weeks to develop. Although this book is definitely not the cure-all; there are many aspects that I plan on working into my lifestyle. I'm sure other professionals will agree, we are always looking to better ourselves in the attempt to create more innovative designs that combine the most recent discoveries with the time-honored methodology already in existence. And we wish to do all this in a timely/economic manner. Maybe a few lifestyle changes would make all the difference both in our careers and at home; at least I think it's worth a try. In short, after all my ramblings, I highly recommend this book. Even if you don't take it to heart, you may find it truly enlightening. Thank you Madina.
JeffNewman More than 1 year ago
I read 'for baby' too and they we both incredible. I love the technical parts mixed with the simple analogies and it makes it a great read for anyone.
Ms_D More than 1 year ago
This was a fascinating book! I bought several copies of the book (after reading it myself) to give to others. Although the book is scientifically based(it is about the brain afterall), it is filled with little stories and anecedotes that keep the reader glued to the quest for knowledge. Brain Rules was well-written. A true test of the effectiveness of a knowledge based book is whether or not it stirs a desire to learn more. This book sent me on a quest to learn more about the brain, but non of the other authors have captured my attention as well as Dr. Medina.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This smart and easy to read book was a delight. It engaged me and filled in a lot of gaps and gave a ton of useful information that I will use to improve the development of my brain and those that matter most to me.
TMR More than 1 year ago
I am certainly not qualified to judge its accuracy, but the general explanations were extremely interesting. Good for parents and others who wish to better understand people and how they're "wired"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simple to understand, entertaining. Would recommend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Interestingly written and moves along smoothly. Full of facts and solid information but won't put you to sleep. The reader intuitively knows that the things he says are true (like how getting good sleep is important), but he articulates clearly and reinforces these truths.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Each item addressed in the book was tested to verify the claims.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My father lent this book to me (a physical book,) saying it was awesome; I didn't believe him. A month later, it was done and I loved it! The author included enough info to keep it educational, used examples that showed me just how powerful the brain is, and had enough humor so that it wasn't dry. I recommend this for 13+, and to read it 1 or 2 chapters at a time. Too much could give you a bit of a headache. Hope you like it!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love having actual books in my house to read - especially books like these. This is a very very insightful book that you have to read a couple times before things start to really sink in, and you realize it's a keeper. My friend recommended it to me through myList, and I had to check it out.
Maria Murray Dozlic More than 1 year ago
An easy read for a very compex subject! I really enjoyed learning how my brain works -- good job on the chapter summaries as well!
LibrisAnnelid More than 1 year ago
This was the book that taught me to use the bookmark and notes feature of my new Nook(B&W). The content and examples were well done and useful. I started to fatigue toward the end of the book( after several reading sessions over several days), perhaps reading faster than I should have. If anything, the formula Dr. Medina uses to make his points just became familiar. I'd do it again and the same way if I were to start ereading all over. Recommended.
The_Runner More than 1 year ago
I bought this book to help me improve my memory especially in regards to an organic chemistry class that I am taking. It wasn't helpful in that regard unless you have a lot of time to study a small amount of information. Unfortunately, I have a limited amount of study time and a lot of information to comment to memory. However, the book itself is very interesting and a fun read.
SHKAZ More than 1 year ago
Never too young or too old to change how we learn, to change how we keep our brain healthy, and to change the way we teach and the way we do business! Start with ourselves and continue with our children's education system!
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