Brain Rules
Book

Brain Rules

12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

Pear Press, 2008 more...

Editorial Rating

9

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Applicable

Recommendation

This book is partly an academic-style introduction to brain research and partly a jauntily written practical “how-to” about getting the most from your brain. John Medina has a warm, upbeat persona, and skillfully incorporates stories from his experiences to illustrate points he makes in the book. From time to time he forgets to connect the dots for readers who are new to the material, and so doesn’t always articulate the full point or parallel he is making. However, he successfully gives a broad overview of brain research and makes a conscious effort to practice the rules he preaches. He repeats information, as research says he should, and uses lively, varied examples to engage the reader. To reinforce the book’s lessons with visual and aural sensory input, the publisher provides a supplemental DVD. Medina summarizes his key points, and touches briefly on the real-world implications and applications of the findings he covers. getAbstract recommends this book to parents, educators, human-resources professionals, executives and all those who want to help themselves, their children or their employees reach their full intellectual potential.

Summary

Your Brain Is Complex and Amazing

Researchers are using brain scans and other techniques to learn more and more about how the human brain works. Although more is left to discover, 12 basic “rules” capture much of what science knows about the amazing computing device in your head.

1. “Exercise” – Your Brain Slows Down When You Sit Still

Physical activity is vital to keep your body and mind working well. Retired television exercise guru Jack La Lanne is a great example. For his 70th birthday, he swam across California's Long Beach Harbor pulling 70 boats with passengers onboard. His history of exercising and eating well contributed to his perennially quick wit and agile humor.

Anthropologists note that the first humans covered dozens of miles a day seeking food, so their brains evolved to handle regular physical activity. Because our brains “were forged in the furnace of physical activity,” if you want to use your entire IQ you must exercise. Couch potatoes lose mental facilities and physical capabilities. To regain your mental abilities, get aerobic exercise, even if you have neglected yourself. Just walking half an hour a few times a week will boost your...

About the Author

John J. Medina directs the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University and teaches in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine.


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