Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School
John Medina
Self-Improvement, Health
Call Number
612.82 MED -[HEA]

See how the brain works while using it in the process of reading this book! 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 – like that physical activity boosts your brain power.

How do we learn? What exactly do sleep and stress do to our brains? Why is multi-tasking a myth? Why is it so easy to forget – and so important to repeat new information? Is it true that men and women have different brains?

In Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist, shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might influence the way we teach our children and the way we work. In each chapter, he describes a brain rule – what scientists know for sure about how our brains work – and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives. You will discover how:

  • Every brain is wired differently
  • Exercise improves cognition
  • We are designed to never stop learning and exploring
  • Memories are volatile and susceptible to corruption
  • Sleep is powerfully linked with the ability to learn
  • Vision trumps all of the other senses
  • Stress changes the way we learn

In the end, you’ll understand how your brain really works and how to get the most out of it.


John Medina has written an unusual book on how to be smarter or rather, how to optimise our brain functions. Like the slew of books published in recent years, he has presented scientific findings at an accessible level. But unlike many others, he has chosen research from reliable publications and only presented findings that have been successfully replicated in other research.

The good news is that he writes in a delightfully engaging and readable manner that is incongruous to what many would expect from a molecular biologist (no offence to molecular biologists!). The bad news (if this can be considered so) is that he only presents 12 brain rules. Apparently, science has yet to discover an encyclopedic range of reliable methods to improve our cognitive abilities – despite what the wide range of brain ‘enhancers’ on the market may have us believe.

Readers strapped for time will be grateful for the helpful summaries at the end of each chapter where he gives the essence of each brain rule. But should one find the time to read the book from cover to cover, it would likely prove to be fruitful as Medina describes the research behind the rules and provides helpful tips on applying them in our lives.

Those who cannot get enough of such material can also go to his website at for video clips, illustrations and the citations to the research he uses in this book.

Brain Rules is available at the National Library, find out if Brain Rules is available at the public library nearest to you.

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