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Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving At Work, Home, and School [Paperback]

John J. Medina
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Brain Rules (Updated and Expanded): 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School Brain Rules (Updated and Expanded): 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School 5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

April 2 2009
Most of us have no idea what’s really going on inside our heads. Yet brain scientists have uncovered details every business leader, parent, and teacher should know—like the need for physical activity to get your brain working its best.

How do we learn? What exactly do sleep and stress do to our brains? Why is multi-tasking a myth? Why is it so easy to forget—and so important to repeat new knowledge? Is it true that men and women have different brains?

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.

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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots to Think About Nov. 13 2009
By Ralph
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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