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Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School Paperback – March 10, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Pear Press; Reprint edition (March 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979777747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979777745
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (518 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

Review

"Oliver Sacks meets Getting Things Done." --- Cory Doctorow, co-editor of Boing Boing --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

John Medina, author of the New York Times bestseller "Brain Rules" and the national bestseller "Brain Rules for Baby," is a developmental molecular biologist and research consultant. He is an affiliate professor of bioegineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Customer Reviews

This book is very easy to read.
John Chancellor
Dr. John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist, has written a fun and engaging book about the brain that is based on his research.
Elisa Robyn
Brain Rules is a well researched, informative book about how brain science can help people better understand their brain.
Luke D. Thompson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

480 of 498 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I believe personal productivity and performance as a leader are directly correlated. Just like we have to lead a team, we have to lead ourselves to a higher level of a productivity and effectiveness. In all of the leadership classes I teach, emphasis is placed on knowing yourself. When you know yourself it provides you the ability to adapt to weaknesses and leverage your strengths (increase your personal productivity and effectiveness).

Knowing how your brain functions is part of knowing yourself.

This book is so insightful and valuable that I sent copies to my clients. The value of the book hinges on the understanding of the brain and how it works which allows me to leverage that knowledge for increased personal productivity and in my interactions and relationships with others.

Myth Busters for the brain!

The book is a fairly easy read because the author uses stories to illustrate the functionality of the brain. This book is not a "leadership-lite" book filled with cute and truthful antidotes, but a book with hard science communicated in an interesting way. Dr. John J. Medina is a developmental molecular biologist. He also shares what scientists don't know about how the brain works!

This book gave me many, many take-aways and here are just six ...

I. Some parts of the brain are just like a baby's and can grow new connections and strengthen existing connections. We have the ability to learn new things our entire life. Medina states this was "not the prevailing notion until 5 or 6 years ago." So much for the "you can't teach and old dog new tricks excuse." The old dog line is exposed for what it really is...an excuse.

II. Humans can only pay attention for about ten minutes and then need some kind of reset.
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Format: Hardcover
When an author and industry expert you hold in high regard says a book is the best one s/he's read in 2008, it's probably a good idea to take notice. So when Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen fame recommended Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina, I decided that should be something I get sooner rather than later. After reading, I can see why he recommends the book so highly. Medina's 12 "brain rules" are based on solid science, but they're presented in such a way that you can actually apply your new-found knowledge.

Contents:
Exercise - Rule #1: Exercise boosts brain power.
Survival - Rule #2: The human brain evolved, too.
Wiring - Rule #3: Every brain is wired differently.
Attention - Rule #4: We don't pay attention to boring things.
Short-Term Memory - Rule #5: Repeat to remember.
Long-Term Memory - Rule #6: Remember to repeat.
Sleep - Rule #7: Sleep well, think well.
Stress - Rule #8: Stressed brains don't learn the same way.
Sensory Integration - Rule #9: Stimulate more of the senses.
Vision - Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses.
Gender - Rule #11: Male and female brains are different.
Exploration - Rule #12: We are powerful and natural explorers.
Acknowledgements
Index

When Reynolds reviewed the book on his site, he focused on how these rules pertain to the art of making presentations. Attention, as explained by Medina, means that the brain does not multitask (much to your bosses dismay), we notice patterns and abstract meanings better than recording detail, and you have basically 10 minutes before the audience checks out without a new stimulus.
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108 of 114 people found the following review helpful By David M. Brenner on April 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The genius of this book is that it uses the most recent scientific research, discussed in a very entertaining way, to identify 12 rules for optimizing your most important tool - your BRAIN. Read the chapter on "Attention" and you will never give a presentation in the same way again. Read the chapter on "Sleep" and you will understand why an afternoon nap can be the most productive 20 minutes of your work day. Read the chapter on "Exercise" and you'll finally get why great ideas (ok, and maybe some clunkers but at least you're thinking!)come to you in the middle of your workout. Like the author, you may toss the guest chair and put a treadmill in your office with a bracket for your laptop - this gives new meaning to the concept of management by walking around. The bottom line is that brain science is beginning to produce really useful information about how our brains are wired; this book is a user's manual on how to work with the way we're wired instead of fighting against it. I highly recommend it.
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Dave Kinnear on March 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
John Medina has pulled together all the verified scientific data (repeatable experimentation, trials, etc.) on how our brains "work" to process our sensory inputs and remember what we've experienced. He readily admits that this is an on-going study that will be augmented as we discover new ways the brain works and evolves.

Medina has organized the pertinent findings into what he calls "12 Brain Rules." The hard cover version of the book (available in Kindle and paperback as well) comes with a DVD comprising videos of the meat of the brain rules. There is also a very robust website that provides support data.
Briefly, Medina's rules (or Principles) are:

1. Exercise: Our brains were made for walking - 12 miles a day, so move. Aerobic exercise just twice a wekk halves your risk of general dementia and cuts your risk of Alzheimer's by 60 percent.

2. Survival: The human brain evolved, too. We don't have one brain; we have three - "lizard brain," the "mammalian brain" and the "Human brain" or cortex. Going from 4 legs to 2freed up energy to develop a complex brain.

3. Wiring: Every brain is wired differently. What you do and learn in life physically changes what your brain looks like - it literally "re-wires" itself. No two people's brains store the same information in the same way in the same place. We have a great number of ways of being intelligent - many of which do not show up on IQ tests.

4. Attention: People don't pay attention to boring things. The brain's attentional "spotlight" can focus on only one thing at a time: NO MULTITASKING! We are better at seeing patterns and abstracting the meaning of an event than we are at recording detail. Emotional arousal helps the brain learn.
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