Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Book Review: Brain Rules

During my latest road trip, I listened to a new audiobook: "Brain Rules" by John Medina. The full title is: Brain Rules, 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. It currently has 5 (of 5) stars from 14 Amazon reviewers. Dr. Medina is a developmental molecular biologist. He is an affiliate professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine and is the director of the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University.

I was interested in the book after reading Garr Reynolds' blog post about it. I enjoyed this book. It's read by the author and I think that helps, especially when the author is a college professor or other professional speaker. Medina's voice sounds a lot like Danny Bonaduce, who happens to have a radio talk show here in the Los Angeles area. He includes plenty of neuroscientific details about how the brain functions and how that function is influenced by our actions. A couple times the jargon was so thick that my eyes almost glazed over, and that's hard to do.

I recommend the book, or at the very least visit the book web site and watch a few of the videos.

Here are the 12 brain rules:

1) Exercise boosts brain power
2) The human brain evoloved, too.
3) Every brain is wired differently.
4) We don't pay attention to boring things.
5) Repear to remember.
6) Remember to repeat.
7) Sleep well, think well.
8) Stressed brains don't learn the same way.
9) Stimulate more of the senses.
10) Vision trumps all other senses.
11) Male and female brains are different.
12) We are powerful and natural explorers.

A companion website is offered via two URLs: www.brainrules.net and www.brainrulesbook.com. That site offers a selection of short videos that summarize the 12 rules from the book. He also has a blog here. Medina spoke at Google in April 2008.

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