Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School” as Want to Read:
Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  15,106 ratings  ·  1,100 reviews
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 the need for physical activity to get your brain working its best.

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 importan
Hardcover, 301 pages
Published February 26th 2008 by Pear Press (first published 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Brain Rules, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Brain Rules

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I think I would give this book 3.5 stars if I could.

The book discusses "12 principles for surviving and thriving at work, home, and school." The real focus seems feels like how we can use this to improve schools.

The 12 rules are:
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.
Sarah Hanawald
Brain rules is really well organized. It's a very un-boring synthesis of current neuroscience research into very comprehensible terms. I only give it four stars because the author (openly) says that the educational implications of the findings are not clear.

Some major take-aways, along with my questions and ruminations:

Emotional arousal helps the brain learn. Number of minutes a person can pay attention to presentation style information (a lecture) is the same as their age, up to 10.
كتاب رائع، يبحث في العديد من أبحاث الدماغ ليخرج بـ 12 قانون، معرفتها تساعدك لكي تزيد كفائة الدماغ في العمل، المنزل، والمدرسة. يأتي بعدة فوائد وأمثلة وأبحاث تحت كل قانون.

القوانين هي (باختصار، الكتاب يفصل فيها طبعاً):
التمارين الرياضية تقوي القدرات العقلية.

-أدمغتنا تحب أن تتحرك أجسامنا
- الرياضة تزيد نسبة تدفق الأوكسيجين للدماغ، ذلك يزيد نشاط المخ
- الرياضة تؤثر على عمل خلايا المخ. فهي تزيد وتسارع تكوينها، تساعدها على البقاء أكثر، وتجعلها أكثر قدرة على مكافحة الضرر والقلق.

2- البقاء:
The content, when you can get to it, is interesting. But I find his writing style incredibly annoying -- full of anecdotes that don't really have a very tight connection to the content of the chapter. Then, midway thru the book, you learn that he finds that 10-minute chunks interspersed with anecdotes helps students pay attention in lecture. I totally accept that for an oral presentation. But in a written text, it's really annoying. I'm used to reading nonfiction that doesn't seem to be talking ...more
We participated in a research study led by this author last year, so I was curious to read this book. John Medina was an engaging and thought-provoking speaker, and this is an engaging and thought-provoking. It took a while to read because I had to stop and think after each section. It was relevant to teaching in many ways, but also to life in general.
This is a fabulous book I wish had been written before I started baby-making 30 years ago! It does confirm for me that I did a lot of things right as a parent, but I would have benefited as a mom from knowing things now clearly related by John Medina on when an infant is learning what much more precisely than I knew from observation and experience alone.

the information in this book is priceless for any parent and any person who intends to live life healthily, influence people positively and mak
Finally finished “Brain Rules” by John Medina. Fascinating how simple habits can boost our brain power. Seemingly passive and low impact activities like exercise and sleeping enhance our thinking ability (we’ve all heard this before, but the author provides compelling explanations as to why this is the case).

There’s also an interesting discussion on multitasking (apparently it’s true you can do two things at once, just not as well as if you weren’t trying to multitask).

A well written and engagin
The author, a lecturer, researcher, and molecular biologist, lists twelve major principles that help explain how the brain works: though processes are improved by physical exercise, we pay attention to evolutionarily important things like sex and danger, we need sleep to cogitate properly, repetition is crucial to long-term memory, we learn more through a variety of sensory inputs, gender influences how our brain process certain interactions, and so on. In most of the chapters, he goes on to adv ...more
As always, I need to declare my preference for fiction. That said, let me recommend this book. Author and molecular biologist, John Medina, does a great job capturing the reader with brain research, of all things. Clearly a subject that could lull the layperson into a comatose state, Medina follows his own advice in this text. Chapters are not overly long; each reading objective is clearly stated, and he reviews the salient items at the end of each chapter, with three or four bulleted items. To ...more
Mar 11, 2008 Nathan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Nathan by: Dale Dougherty
A solid attempt at making a practical (useful) book on how the brain works, aimed at everyday people. He focuses on memory and efficiency, and writes in an engaging style. As a long-time researcher in the field he has the science cred, and he explains it well. There's a website ( I think) that goes with the book, and when the book is released for real (I got a galley) it'll come with a DVD.

My only complaint is that he's insufficiently scientific in the book. I wanted more hard numb
John Medina explains 12 principles that involve the brain or thoughts that can help you in life. The copy I checked out from the library contained a dvd that gave an overview of the book that explained all of Medina's main points.
This book is worth reading and its ideas are worth incorporating into your life.
Watch this video to see if you might be interested in reading this book:
Brain Rules

From the book:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

“If you wanted to create an education environment that was directly opposed to what the b
“Dopo i primi dieci minuti di una lezione o di una presentazione, il cervello stacca la spina. È dunque importante sapere che ogni dieci minuti bisogna lanciare all’uditorio un ‘amo’, per esempio un aneddoto, che susciti emozioni come il riso, l'incredulità o la paura”.

Questo è solo un esempio delle tante cose interessanti citate in questo libro che tratta del cervello e del suo funzionamento.
Si sanno ancora poche cose del cervello, ma negli ultimi anni sono state fatte molte scoperte interessan
A very straightforward read on the latest advance in the understanding of how the brain works. A lot of the chapters draw from some of the accessible trade books on cognitive development. Stories from Deborah Tannen, Oliver Sachs, Howard Gardner, Steven Jay Gould, etc. add stories and examples to Medina's main structure of the book. The book is organized around 12 principles that Medina feels are necessary to a healthy brain (due to what Medina sees as evolutionary factors).
The first principle
Jordan Price
There were parts of this book I loved and parts I hated, so it was really difficult for me to figure out how to rate it. I loved the first chapter so much -- about how exercise makes your thinking sharper -- that I devoted a podcast episode to it. Other chapters were fascinating too, in particular the sleep chapter.

However, there was a description of the making of foie gras on page 88 that was a dealbreaker for me. And because it came during the chapter on "Attention," I presume it was a techniq
Jessica Snell
This one was fascinating. I finally found out why it's possible to faint from shock! Your brain is so glucose-hungry that you can only use a very small percentage of it at a time, for the simple reason that you don't have enough glucose (or enough oxygen to break the glucose down, or the ability to get rid of the by-products of oxygen break-down fast enough) to fuel more than a small percentage. So if you see/learn something shocking, your brain tries to process too much at once, using too large ...more
Lars Guthrie
My sister and I both work with kids and have our own little book club where we read works that are related to learning, the brain, and child development. While she liked 'Brain Rules,' she critiqued for being 'pop.' I get that, but I really liked the book.

We read it after seeing Medina give an enthusiastic and inspiring presentation at the Learning and the Brain Conference several months ago in San Francisco. He's definitely a salesman type with his own shtick, but for me, it works.

I was readi
Ted Witt
We expect that findings from scientific research will be quickly translated into everyday practice when it comes to medicine, technology, engineering and marketing. However, when it comes to schools and education, research finds it difficult to cut through the bonds of tradition.

In his bestselling book Brain Rules, molecular biologist John Medina suggests that the typical five-period day in high school might be radically restructured if we were to consider how the brain actually works.

Medina wri
Good Book. Helped to understand how human brain functions and how it get affected by the activities we do in our daily lives., such as sufficient amount of sleep and exercise helps healthy brain functioning, where as excessive stress affects the brain functionality in a negative way. I felt interested while getting to know about brain's memory system which has four stages of processing, viz., Encoding, Storing, Retrieving and Forgetting. To make something to be in long-term memory, we need to me ...more
I'll be honest, this book was a challenge for me to get through. My biggest takeaway was what Dr. Medina had to say about teaching and learning. The brain can really only hold an attention span of about 10 minutes before it starts to wander, so as a teacher you must be aware of this and structure your lessons to keep students engaged. An example would be switching from lecturing for 10 minutes to telling a story or anecdote that relates to the lesson, then going back to the lesson. There is a lo ...more
Mostafa Nageeb
One of the greatest books I ever read. It explains how the brain works and then tell you twelve rules you must know about human brains. While you are reading it, you will keep saying mmm .. at the end of the book you will say "that explains everything". After I finished this book I knew the reasons of many things that happened in my life. Things that I did, and others that people around me did.
The book is full of examples of real cases that happened in the world. and at the end of each chapter i
Koby Bryan
This book is heavy on the science, which I love... but it is not difficult to read. The author speaks from personal experiences, but does not typically speak from personal opinion (unless he explicitly says so). This means that all of the points that are made are backed up with real data. His sense of humor is noteworthy as well, you can tell he practices what he has learned as a storyteller and writer about attention spans, learning, and the brain.

The first two sections - Exercise and Sleep - w
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I read this for a cognitive learning group at work, kind of a self-help meets neuroscience attempt. Some of it was interesting, some of it was stuff most people 'know' but the scientific explanations solidified it, and some seemed a little bit of a stretch.
I really enjoyed this book. Some of this research is pretty popular now but consider that this book is a few years old and it is even more impressive! The author is witty and approachable in his approach to explaining brain science. And he gives concrete examples and suggestions on how we can live our lives according to the way our brains work, rather than against it.

I was a huge fan of Brain Rules for Baby so I wanted to go back and read this. I still like For Baby better but I'm such a fan of
Much of Medina's work here is obvious but he does a good job of explaining the basic science of how the brain works. It's a good read for parents as it'll make them want to create the best possible environment for their children as well as for educators at any level as Medina explains the best possible learning situations you can create for your students.

For instance, chronic stress is just about the most horrible thing you can do to your brain.
A constant diet of adrenaline and cortisol can lea
Si Barron
If we know the way that the mind has evolved to process thoughts, ideas and feelings then we can utilise these principles for higher attainment in learning and operating in schools and the workplace. That at least is the authors hope and claim: understand the way the brain wants to process things and stop fighting against it.

There are a few interesting points and practical tips in here but they are few and far between. There is far too much digression and too many stories. The author actually ma
Marcel de Leeuwe
Als ontwerpers van leerervaringen (binnen onderwijs, bedrijfsopleidingen etc.) is het eigenlijk een schande dat we niet meer wetenschappelijke inzichten gebruiken als basis voor onze ontwerpen. John Medina, moleculair bioloog heeft in 2008 al het boek Brain rules geschreven. Niet alleen het boek zou iedere (e-)Learning professional moeten lezen (én toepassen) maar de bijbehorende website behoort ook tot de beste in zijn soort.

Wat zijn Brain rules?

Medina geeft aan dat de principes niet voor niets
May 09, 2009 Guy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: socsci
A blend of anecdotes, brain science, and prescriptions for how to live and learn more effectively, this is a book that everyone should read, even though it is far from perfect. For me it was, for the most part, pitched at the right level -- neither too detailed nor too superficial -- providing overviews of the science that underpins many things we sort of know we should (or shouldn't) do, but don't really know why, and thus (in part) fail to do (or not do).

For example, we know that stress is ba
Book Calendar
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Holly Chesser
Feb 04, 2013 Holly Chesser rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Educators
When American classrooms were designed over a hundred years ago, we knew little about how our brains work or the optimal conditions for our brains to learn. The goal then was efficiency: straight rows with the teacher at the front seemed the best manner to deliver information. Today, however, experimental psychologists, cognitive neuroscientists, and evolutionary biologists can teach us quite a bit more about how brain science affects student achievement and improves learning. What we now know i ...more
Medina explains the biology behind various discoveries in brain research using examples and analogies that make it easy for the casual reader to grasp and remember. As he presents each of the 12 principles, he offers practical applications that can be implemented personally in the home, workplace, or school. I found myself most intrigued with his recommendations in the areas of exercise, attention, memory, sleep and exploration. I tired of his sometimes lengthy evolutionary explanations for how ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bryn Mawr School ...: Brain Rules 1 2 Jun 25, 2015 02:40PM  
FULL Creative Lib...: Brain Rules 1 3 Mar 05, 2014 10:02AM  
Medina's Fantasy School 2 39 Jul 04, 2012 05:02PM  
  • Making Sense of Behavior: The Meaning of Control
  • Re-Create Your Life
  • The 1% Windfall: How Successful Companies Use Price to Profit and Grow
  • Driven: How Human Nature Shapes our Choices
  • Results Without Authority: Controlling a Project When the Team Doesn't Report to You - A Project Manager's Guide
  • Numbers Guide: The Essentials of Business Numeracy
  • Indispensable: How to Become the Company That Your Customers Can't Live Without
  • The Partnership Charter: How To Start Out Right With Your New Business Partnership (or Fix The One You're In)
  • Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload
  • Self-Directed Behavior: Self-Modification for Personal Adjustment
  • Bankable Business Plans
  • Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content
  • Marketing Metrics: 50+ Metrics Every Executive Should Master
  • Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management
  • The Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life
  • Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions
  • Learning from the Future: Competitive Foresight Scenarios
  • Getting Started in Consulting
DR. JOHN J. MEDINA, a developmental molecular biologist, has a lifelong fascination with how the mind reacts to and organizes information. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller "Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School" -- a provocative book that takes on the way our schools and work environments are designed. His latest book is a must-read for pa ...more
More about John Medina...
Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five Your Best Brain: The Science of Brain Improvement Depression: How It Happens, How It Heals The Genetic Inferno: Inside the Seven Deadly Sins The Outer Limits of Life

Share This Book

“If you wanted to create an education environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a classroom. If you wanted to create a business environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a cubicle. And if you wanted to change things, you might have to tear down both and start over.” 17 likes
“The problem in today’s economy is that people are typically starting a family at the very time they are also supposed to be doing their best work. They are trying to be productive at some of the most stressful times of their lives. What if companies took this unhappy collision of life events seriously? They could offer Gottman’s intervention as a benefit for every newly married, or newly pregnant, employee.” 8 likes
More quotes…