Brain Rules

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 important to repeat new knowledge? 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
  • Sleep is powerfully linked with the ability to learn
  • Vision trumps all of the other senses
  • Stress changes the way we learn

Medina’s fascinating stories and infectious sense of humor breathe life into brain science. You’ll learn why Michael Jordan was so good at baseball. You’ll peer over a surgeon’s shoulder as he proves that most of us have a Jennifer Aniston neuron. You’ll meet a boy who has an amazing memory for music but can’t tie his own shoes.

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


The 12 Brain Rules, Illustrated

Use these video rundowns to reinforce the main points in each chapter:

EvolutionEXERCISE: Exercise boosts brain power.

Evolution SURVIVAL: The human brain evolved, too.

EvolutionSLEEP: Sleep well, think well.

EvolutionSTRESS: Stressed brains don't learn the same way.

EvolutionWIRING: Every brain is wired differently.

EvolutionATTENTION: We don't pay attention to boring things.

EvolutionMEMORY: Repeat to remember.

EvolutionSENSORY INTEGRATION: Stimulate more of the senses.

EvolutionVISION: Vision trumps all other senses.

EvolutionMUSIC: Study or listen to boost cognition.

EvolutionGENDER: Male and female brains are different.

EvolutionEXPLORATION: We are powerful and natural explorers.


It's one thing scientists know for sure about how our brains work.


Brain Rules


Brain Rules is more than a book. It’s a multimedia project.


Watch the Brain Rules video tutorials to reinforce the chapters (because vision trumps all other senses).