Brain Rules

12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School
by Dr. John Medina | 304 pages

Dr. John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist focused on the genes involved in human brain development and the genetics of psychiatric disorders. He’s also a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in its Department of Bioengineering. And, perhaps most importantly for our purposes, he’s a great writer and storyteller. This is a fascinating look at his 12 “brain rules.” I loved it—especially the first five rules which are a nice confirmation of why our fundamentals are so important! Big Ideas we explore include: a quick glance at our 12 brain rules, the importance of: moving (remember our Olympian ancient ancestors!), sleep (sleep loss = brain drain), attention (multitasking is a MYTH), memory (how we learn), and exploration (we're all scientists running experiments!).


“Because we don’t fully understand how our brains work, we do dumb things. We try to talk on our cell phones and drive at the same time, even though it is literally impossible for our brains to multitask when it comes to paying attention. We have created high-stress office environments, even though a stressed brain is significantly less productive than a non-stressed brain. Our schools are designed so that most real learning has to occur at home. Taken together, what do the studies in this book show? Mostly this: If you wanted to create an education environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a classroom. If you wanted to create a business environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a cubicle. And if you wanted to change things, you might have to tear down both and start over.

Blame it on the fact that brain scientists rarely have a conversation with teachers and business professionals, education majors and accountants, superintendents and CEOs. Unless you have the Journal of Neuroscience sitting on your coffee table, you’re out of the loop.

This book is meant to get you in the loop.”

~ John Medina from Brain Rules

I got this book after reading Make Time in which they raved about it.

Dr. John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist focused on the genes involved in human brain development and the genetics of psychiatric disorders.

He’s also a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in its Department of Bioengineering.

And, perhaps most importantly for our purposes, he’s a great writer and storyteller.

This is a fascinating look at his 12 “brain rules.” I loved it—especially the first five rules which are a nice confirmation of why our fundamentals are so important! (Get a copy here.)

Of course, the book is packed with Big Ideas and, as always, I’m excited to share some of my favorites we can apply to our lives Today so let’s jump straight in!

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About the author

Authors

Dr. John Medina

Developmental molecular biologist and research consultant.