"Brain Rules" by Dr. John Medina

The brain is an amazing thing. 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.

How do we learn? What exactly do sleep and stress do to our brains? Why is multi-tasking a myth? What can science tell us about raising smart, happy children?

Brain Rules are things we know for sure, and John Medina explains what we might do with that knowledge.

Exercise EXERCISE | Rule #1: Exercise boosts brain power.

Will you age like Jim or like Frank? ~ Our brains love motion ~ The incredible test-score booster ~ How oxygen builds roads for the brain

Evolution SURVIVAL | Rule #2: The human brain evolved, too.


Tour the amazing brain! ~ What’s uniquely human about us? ~ Goldilocks and the Swedish sauna ~ A brilliant survival strategy ~ How we conquered the world

wiring WIRING | Rule #3: Every brain is wired differently.


Neurons slide, slither, and split ~ Experience makes the difference ~ Furious brain development not once, but twice ~ The Jennifer Aniston neuron

attention ATTENTION | Rule #4: We don't pay attention to boring things.


Emotion matters ~ Why there is no such thing as multitasking ~ We pay great attention to threats, sex, and pattern matching ~ The brain needs a break!

shortterm SHORT-TERM MEMORY | Rule #5: Repeat to remember.


Memories are volatile ~ How details become splattered across the insides of our brains ~ How the brain pieces them back together again ~ Where memories go

longterm LONG-TERM MEMORY | Rule #6: Remember to repeat.


If you don’t repeat this within 30 seconds, you’ll forget it ~ Spaced repetition cycles are key to remembering ~ When being underwater could help you remember something

sleep SLEEP | Rule #7: Sleep well, think well.


The brain doesn’t sleep to rest ~ Two armies at war in your head ~ How to improve your performance 34 percent in 26 minutes ~ Which bird are you? ~ Sleep on it!

stress STRESS | Rule #8: Stressed brains don't learn the same way as non-stressed brains.


Stress is good, and stress is bad ~ A villain and a hero in the toxic-stress battle ~ Why the home matters to the workplace ~ Marriage intervention for happy couples

multisensory SENSORY INTEGRATION | Rule #9: Stimulate more of the senses.


Lessons from a nightclub ~ How and why our senses work together ~ Multisensory learning means better remembering ~ What’s that smell?

vision VISION | Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses.


Playing tricks on wine tasters ~ You see what your brain wants to see, and it likes to make stuff up ~ Throw out your PowerPoint ~ Pictures are simpler

gender GENDER | Rule #11: Male and female brains are different.


Sexing humans ~ The difference between little girl best friends and little boy best friends ~ Men favor gist when stressed; women favor details ~ A forgetting drug

exploration EXPLORATION | Rule #12: We are powerful and natural explorers.


Babies are great scientists ~ Exploration is aggressive ~ Monkey see, monkey do ~ Curiosity is everything