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Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving At Work, Home, and School Hardcover – Mar 18 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Pear Press; Har/DVD edition (March 18 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979777704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979777707
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.3 x 24.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #170,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Multitasking is the great buzz word in business today, but as developmental molecular biologist Medina tells readers in a chapter on attention, the brain can really only focus on one thing at a time. This alone is the best argument for not talking on your cellphone while driving. Medina (The Genetic Inferno) presents readers with a basket containing an even dozen good principles on how the brain works and how we can use them to our benefit at home and work. The author says our visual sense trumps all other senses, so pump up those PowerPoint presentations with graphics. The author says that we don't sleep to give our brain a rest—studies show our neurons firing furiously away while the rest of the body is catching a few z's. While our brain indeed loses cells as we age, it compensates so that we continue to be able to learn well into our golden years. Many of these findings and minutiae will be familiar to science buffs, but the author employs an appealing style, with suggestions on how to apply his principles, which should engage all readers. DVD not seen by PW.(Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist. He teaches in the department of bioengineering at the University of Washington and is the director of the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two sons. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In the Introduction, John Medina expresses his concern that most people are "out of the loop" in that they are unaware of recent and important revelations in modern neuroscience concerning "how the mind works." His purpose is to explain 12 "brain rules" and devotes a separate chapter to each. "Easily the most sophisticated information-transfer system on Earth, your brain is fully capable of taking little black squiggles on this piece of bleached wood [i.e. ink on paper] and deriving meaning from them. To accomplish this miracle, your brain sends jolts of electricity crackling through hundreds of miles of wires composed of brain cells so small that thousands of them could fit into the period at the end of this sentence. You accomplish all this in less time than it takes you to blink. Indeed, you have just done it. What's equally incredible, given your intimate association with it, is this: Most of us have no idea how our brain works."

At this point, I need to reassure those who are now processing the "little black squiggles" that comprise this review that the key ideas in Medina's book are readily accessible to a layperson such as I who - until reading his book - had little (if any) understanding of "how our brain works." It is amazing but nonetheless true, Medina asserts, that there is a young man who can multiply the number 8,388,628 x 2 in his head in a few seconds "and he gets it right every time," that there is a girl who can correctly determine the exact dimensions of an object 20 feet away, and that there is a child who at age 6 drew "such lifelike and powerful pictures" that she got her own show on Madison Avenue.

Briefly, here are five of 12 principles for surviving and thriving at work, home, and school. Medina's analysis of each responds to two questions "How?
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Format: Hardcover
It seems that not much is known about the way the mind works, which isn't really a big surprise. However, there are a few things that are coming to light and this book provides an engaging read on what they are. Each of the 12 brain rules listed covers how each affects our ability to think, learn and work and some thoughts as to why we developed the way we did.

Note, if you get the hardcover version, you'll also get a DVD with some video content about each rule and there is a companion website ([...]) with different videos and animations available (tapping into rule #5 on Short Term Memory (Remember to Repeat).

In short, the rules cover: Exercise, Survival, Wiring, Attention, Short-Term Memory, Long-Term Memory, Sleep, Stress, Sensory Integration, Vision, Gender and Exploration.

Cool points:
1. too much sleep is as harmful to learning as too little.
2. gender... well, the whole chapter is cool and no doubt going to get me in trouble if I'm ever having a pint or two and get into a "differences between genders" conversation!
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Format: Audio CD
This audio book is full of a great deal of information that is immediately applicable. I find myself re-listening to chapters to take it all in.
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By A Customer on May 10 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
explains a lot of the principles of psychology which help you to understand yourself and others. helps you see why you think the way you do.

helps you to understand how to learn and retain information. a great read for expecting parents.
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