Brain Rules by John Medina 


There are 12 brain rules to help people in their daily functions. The book is presented 1 rule at a time, with corresponding research, anecdotal evidence and possible suggestions of how to implement the new information. 1) Survival, the brain evolved just as we did as a species. It is quite large and continues to grow. 2) Exercise, getting cardio helps our capillaries in our brain to open up, allowing more blood flow. The basic recommendations help brain function of nearly every type. 3) Sleep is very important for key mental functioning. There is a system working to keep us awake and another to get us to sleep. They are constantly in flux, and some people tend to be night owls and others morning. 4) Stress was critical as we evolved but today it lingers longer, leaving cortisol to have negative effects on us. Gaining control of our lives is the best thing to do. 5) Wiring our brains literally rewrite itself. People’s brains grow, develop, and store information differently. 6) Attention can only be one thing. We shift attention but don’t multitask. 7) Memory is strengthened by encoding more information at the time of learning. When we recall information it is a mix of new knowledge and past memories. The best way to have a good memory is to repeat it in timed intervals. 8) Sensory information is how we acquire information and transfers it into electrical signals to the brain. Working the senses together is much more effective. 9) Vision is by far the most important sense using half the brains resources. 10) Music is still being researched a lot but formal training improves intellectual skills in cognitive domains. They are generally able to detect emotion in speech. 11) Gender is dependent on the male. Females are genetically more complex due to 1,500 genes per X chromosome they have. Women use left hemisphere of the amygdala and remember emotional details of stress, men use the right side and recall the gist. 12) Babies show that we learn from experimenting to see how things are with all of our senses. We can learn things throughout our lives.

Influence on me:

It was very informative and there are certain skills that can be applied immediately. Things like using a hook to get interested during a presentation. Looking to utilize emotion to help the material stick better by those in the audience. The book is full of a great amount of information. The potential issue is that it is difficult to retain all that is presented with it. I feel that each chapter needs more time and focus to be fully applied to life in order to maximize the information presented. It would be a good book to refer back to occasionally or perhaps pick one rule to understand and implement during a period of time. It can be a good source of reference for individuals that show a great interest in knowing more about how the brain works. As I learn and present information going forward, I can refer back to the book to add to my understanding.

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