Book Review of Brain Rules


The human brain is a very interesting and complex organ which is in charge of many processes in a person’s organism. Every individual has a brain; however, no human brain is alike and people are unique because of the structure of their brain. In order to understand more about this organ, a lot of information is needed, and a book by John Medina titled “Brain Rules” gives a lot of information about the functioning and reactions of the brain. The book is very effective in transferring the knowledge and imagination of the author to the reader and must be given a proper attention in order to be understood to the fullest.

John Medina is a scientist who specializes in molecular biology; his more narrow interest is in genes and how the brain of a person develops. He has written several books on how the brain changes from development to an older age and has received numerous awards. For instance, he was given a title of “Outstanding Faculty of the Year at the College of Engineering; the Merrill Dow/Continuing Medical Education National Teacher of the Year; and…the Bioengineering Student Association Teacher of the Year”. John Medina is a family man, he has two sons and pays close attention to the way they are raised and how they develop. He wants to learn in which way information will influence the mind, how it will be stored and what will later happen to the understanding of a person. This shows that Medina is a very talented and hardworking scientist whose passion is strong and the quest for knowledge is extensive. Therefore, the book “Brain Rules” adds to the list by presenting the readers with the “12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School”. The book begins in an interesting and gripping way asking the readers whether they can multiply a large number by a digit of two. The author continues that some people have amazing brains and states that he wants to tell people about the “12 things we know about how the brain works”. This is a very good technique when starting a book because it shows that the author is focused and the readers will become interested to learn the information that is so amazing about the human mind.

The positive thing about the book is that the author presents scientific information together with his personal stories and references. For example, when talking about imagination, the author tells a story about his son and how, when playing in the yard, the child picked up a stick and did not call it a stick but a sword. This shows that the human mind, from the very early age, can imagine things and attribute meaning to things which are not what they seem. Next, the author tells the readers that the way the brain developed was stipulated by mating and people’s natural program which obliges them to search a mate and reproduce. It sounds very basic but it is possible to say that it is true and can be proven by the number of people that live on the planet. John Medina gives extra attention to genetics and the fact that the survival of humans was based on the passing of specific genes and adaptation as well as evolution. Medina talks how it is interesting that people learned to use tools and create many things with the instruments that were found in the environment. It is well known that primates use tools; people are special because they have evolved their tools, and this allowed them to build cities and control the surrounding nature.

One of the most interesting things that John Medina writes is that the brain consists of three parts where one part is like that of a lizard, the other is of a mammal, such as a cat, and the final part is “human brain”— cortex. Sadly, the author mentions First World War and that the injuries that soldiers received allowed seeing how the brain functions and which parts of the body or thinking become damaged when a specific section of the brain is wounded. In the whole book, the author lists 12 rules or facts which are necessary for a person to develop and improve his/her thinking and functioning in general. These rules are: exercising which helps the mind to evolve, sleep which is important for rest, and repair of the body, avoidance of stress, the uniqueness of the brain, enhancement of attention, memory, stimulation of the senses, vision and how it is understood by the brain, influence of music, the difference between genders and the need and want for exploration. Overall, the author does a great job by presenting facts and evidence of how the brain works. The separation into sections makes the book easy to read, and in case a reader needs to reference something, it will be easy to find it. Also, there are many interesting points that people can learn from this book about their individual mind, why they do some things and not others. It is a very useful book if a person wants to find out how other people function and how the society works.

In conclusion, the book by John Medina is very interesting and gives a lot of useful information. Every person must learn about their own brain which will let them understand others and themselves much better. Imagination and gathering of new information are very important in the development of the brain; therefore, people must focus on reading, listening and seeing as much as possible. The author made the book easy to read and understand for everyone.

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