Brain Rules

Brain Rules is one of those books that really makes you feel smarter. Who wouldn't want to know how your brain is running?

I loved this book. John Medina did a great work in putting his tremendous knowledge into twelves small chapters. The book is packed up with many stories, each one illustrating one brain rule at a time. I learned a handful of tricks for dealing with school, work and home life.

Here are some of the notes that I put in my Moleskine:
  • Most of the events that predict whether something learned also will be remembered occur in the first few seconds of learning.
  • Many of the same mechanisms that cause you to run from a predator are also used when you're having sex.
  • Every brain is wired differently. Even though the current system is founded on expectations that certain learning goals should be achieved by a certain age. Students of the same age show a great deal of intellectual variability.
  • One NASA study showed that a 26-minute nap improved a pilot's performance by more than 34%. The afternoon nap is a biological need.
  • If information is presented orally, people remember about 10%, tested 72 hours after exposure. That figure goes up to 65% if you add a picture.
I first heard about this book in Scott Berkun's Confession of a Public Speaker and I'm sure he did benefit a lot from it too.