Brain Rules: Oliver Sacks meets GETTING THINGS DONE, paperback ships, DVD goes free

Avi sez, "John Medina, author of Brain Rules, an excellent summary of 13 neuroscience hacks applicable in daily life, has put the cool companion DVD online for free as an introduction to the paperback release of the book."

Here's what I wrote about Brain Rules when the hardcover came out:

John Medina's Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School pulls off a terrific trick: combining popular science with touching personal memoir and a bunch of practical conclusions for improving work, education and personal life.

Brain Rules takes the brain's mysteries apart into twelve pieces: Exercise, survival, wiring, attention, short-term memory, long-term memory, sleep, stress, multisensory perception, vision, gender, and exploration. He discusses the best, most current science describing what drives each one, delving into psychology, neurology, evolutionary biology, and practical disciplines like behavioural economics, organizational science, and pedagogy.

Woven into the science are a series of vivid anaecdotes from Medina's life and from case histories gathered across the scientific literature, and emerging naturally from that are a series of eminently practical recommendations for reforming the workplace and the education system, and for improving the way that we interact with ourselves and others.

Medina's approach to the subject combines the best aspects of Oliver Sacks and Getting Things Done, making the book into something that's part manifesto and part education. The site features a ton of audio and video about the book's subject (Medina's descriptions of the value of multisensory learning are very compelling) and other supplementary material, and the book comes bundled with a DVD containing much of this material as well.

Brain Rules in paperback

Brain Rules DVD online


  1. Brain rules is a wonderful notion. Please let us be free of people that tell us how it works.

  2. Also I pray, please do not spend a penny on this. Mental masturbation is rampant. This a profaned insult to any human with a brain. Forget it.

  3. Interesting stuff. The 10 minute thing is fascinating because to my knowledge short-term memory last 10 minutes. So if you’re frustrated with something, take a 10-15 minute break and unless it’s a real problem you will have mentally moved on.

    Also the nap rule is arbitrary since it depends on when the workday starts. And in different industries “3:00pm” might actually mean 5:00pm or 6:00pm.

    Generally I’d benchmark that nap time as 8 hours after you wake. I work odd schedules and have discovered no matter when/where I wake up 8 hours later my body starts to wind down for naptime.

  4. it seems to me “dual representation” is synonymous with what koestler called bisociation….mmmmmmm i feel like a real pedant now. delicious.

  5. “Male and Females brains are different.”

    I read not long ago that some psychologists believe that social order is genetically inherent in women, but it’s learned behavior in men. That’s a pretty big difference!

  6. I interviewed Dr. Medina on the Brain Science Podcast last year after reading his book. What impressed me was his passion for trying to change the educational system so that it takes into account how our brains really work.

    Brain Rules is full of practical down to earth advice. The book actually stands up well on its own, without any of the free audiovisual materials that are on the DVD and website.

    Ginger Campbell, MD
    Brain Science Podcast

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