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Customer Review

54 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rule #0 Read this Book, May 24, 2008
This review is from: Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (Book & DVD) (Hardcover)
The Summary
John Medina has written one of the best brain books I have read. He is a molecular biologist and director of Brain Center for Applied Learning at the Seattle Pacific University. He explains the latest research on the brain, and there have been a lot of advances recently on how the brain works. He boils them down to 12 rules that will help you in all walks of life. If you want an owner's manual for the brain then this is probably the one that should be handed out with every new-born.

The Audience
Everyone and I mean everyone should read this book! As long as they have a homo-sapien brain, if you have one of the older models; homo erectus, neanderthal you should probably wait for evolution! This is truly an owner's manual for the brain! If you are a student or knowledge worker you should run; yes running will actually help you digest the material in the book better (Rule #2 - Exercise - exercise boosts brain power); to buy it and read it! Medina outlines some of his own thoughts on how to leverage the rules in the home, school and work.

The Details
John Medina has written one of the best brain books I have read (Rule #5 Short Term Memory - repeat to remember, Rule #6 Long Term Memory - repeat to remember). There are many books out at the moment that talk about the latest research on brains but John's is undoubtedly the best. Neuroscience has taken some giant leaps in the understanding of how the brain works in the last 20 years. I was researching AI back in the early 90's and since then there has been a lot of new research in this area. For the last year I have been catching up and reading everything I can find on neuroscience and that was how I stumbled across Medina's book. I nearly put it aside since it seemed too basic but boy am I glad I didn't. This book is fun to read and I learned a lot. I love John's approach of only including research that follows certain criteria. For a study to appear in this book it has to pass the Medina Grump Factor (MGF) - (John refers to himself as a grumpy scientist)
1) Research must be published in a peer-reviewed journal
2) The research must be successfully replicated
Even though the material in this book is based on cutting edge research you should not feel intimidated. This book is well written and the material is presented following many of rules that are outlined. The book is actually a pleasure to read!
Following these rules has lead Medina to not only structure the book so it is easy to digest; adding stories, chunking information, providing summaries etc but he has also included a DVD with videos and an accompanying website with more information and references. This is truly a full sensory experience (Rule #4 - Attention - We don't pay attention to boring things!, Rule #9 - Sensory Information - Stimulate more of the senses, Rule #10 Vision - Vision trumps all other senses)

If you want to understand your brain and improve it; and everyone should want to understand their brain and improve it; you should read this book.

The Take-Aways
I can't say enough good things about this book. John Medina has written an excellent book leveraging all the latest research about the brain and turning it into a set of rules to remember. Your brain will never feel the same again! Read and then follow Medina's advice on how your brain remembers new information and how often you should review it (Rule #5 Short Term Memory - repeat to remember, Rule #6 Long Term Memory - repeat to remember).

Kes Sampanthar
Inventor of ThinkCube
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