Beginning of Class Writing: John Medina’s Brain Rules, “Introduction”

During the first ten minutes of class, write a summary of your reading from the “Introduction” to John Medina’s Brain Rules in your notebooks. Before we meet again on Monday, type and edit your summary. Then, copy-and-paste your summary into a comment posted to this blog post.

Also, I would like to remind you of the companion website for Brain Rules, which you should check out for references and explanatory videos:

17 thoughts on “Beginning of Class Writing: John Medina’s Brain Rules, “Introduction”

  1. Rolando Barredo

    John Medina starts off by telling us about amazing feats some people can do. For example, a guy can double a number 24 times in a few seconds. He says that despite maybe the common person not being able to do this, it doesn’t take away from the marvel our brain is. Every brain is a powerhouse of neurons and “wires”. We have so many neurons that a million of those neurons can fit in the period at the end of a sentence. Medina then starts talking about how throughout the millenniums we have developed the brain we have now in the modern era. Things such as the change from the ice age to hotter temperatures have made our brains adapt quickly to our surrounding situations. This is where survival of the fittest kicks in. If you have the mental strength to adapt and survive, you are fit enough to be on the planet. Medina discusses how intelligence has made us get farther, but strength and exercise make our brains more active. Medina then talks about how our brain makes up things in order to fill in gaps for a certain memory. In order to remember something fully, we need repetition, as it will be better recorded in our minds. Overall, Medina discusses how all this relates to the 12 rules he talks about in the book.

  2. Aaron Chen

    In the introduction of John Medina’s book, Brain Rules, he starts by telling us how amazing the brain is by simply giving us many examples. One of which being how someone can double a number 24 times in a matter of seconds and another being how another person can figure out the exact dimensions of a box while standing 20 feet away. He then continues to talk about how brainpower can be boosted and how exercise is one of his arguments. We are told that someone who exercises has better problem solving skills, long term memory, attention, and reasoning than couch potatoes. Medina then continues to give examples and backing them up with his so called “brain rules”. Overall, Medina introduces us to his many brain rules all while giving us examples.

  3. Taylor Marie Hernandez

    In the introduction of John Medina’s Brain Rules, we start off by getting told interesting facts about our brains like how a man can double any number 24 times in less then a minute and how girl can look at a object and correctly state the demons ions from about 20 feet away. The introduction was also talking about how the brain can not always multitask while doing certain things. For example, if a person tried to drive and be on the phone the brain would tell the person to pay attention at the road instead of your phone. Medina was saying how the brain doesn’t like boring and how it likes to be entertained. Something that I found interesting was when John Medina said how I brain adapt to environmental climate changes such as ice age temperatures to extremely hot temperatures. This is where survival of the fittest starts to take place. Medina continues to talk about the book and its facts about how the brain works.

  4. Darien Laurencin

    There are millions, and millions of species on earth. In most cases species often share the same traits then others, but what caused humans to be different from all other life forms? The answer is creativity. No other species on earth, have the creative capability, and mind like humans do. In John Medina introduction to Brian Rules, he explained how fascinating the brain works, and a brief, but knowledgeable understanding to what the different parts of the brain do. One part of the brain in particular that is very important is the amygdala. The amygdala is where a person feel emotions such as pleasure, fear, and rage. This special part of the brain shows how the human mind is able to feel on a deeper level, then any other animal. Without passion how can someone be creative, without fear how can someone know when there’s danger, without pleasure how can someone love? These emotions is why people have the creative mind to invent, cure, and change things. Another keynote that John Medina explained in his introduction is how the human mind adapted overtime. Most species evolved in physical conditions such as a cheetah ability to run 60 mph, or birds change in beak based on their diet, but John Medina claimed that human adapted in mental conditions such as increase in thinking, and creativity. Have you ever heard the saying, “Brains over Bronze?” Maybe people gotten that idea from evolution. The introduction gave me an insight to what will be presented in Brain Rules, and how it is important to know how the mind works, but to also expand your mind mental capability.

  5. alejandra

    The introduction to John Medina brain rule book was basically started with few examples on how the brain works in men and women. He also introduces some of the arguments that are going to be discuss on the book like Exercise, how sleeping help the brain development, the capacity of the same to adapt quick to any human environment, and how the human species has change through time. Medina also explain that throughout his book he gave us break by telling us bread stories, like he did in the intro he told a story about Gate, he was a hardworking, gentle, funny and calm but after he had an accident and damage the prefrontal cortex , he change he became impulsive, tactless and profane. The brain was damage on a specific region that controls our behavior in many ways, this part of the brain control many of our behaviors that separated the humans from animals. The brain has developed more and more through the years. it has become bigger and bigger but still having the composed of the brains that our ancestors had.

  6. Carlos Villalva

    Every Individual can do something amazing with their brain such as calculated any number in their head as a calculator, knowing the exact time every time and determine the exact dimension of any object. Such feature are amazing for us, and we would assume them having high I.Q., but in truth most these individual that can do this, have relativity below the average I.Q. How did we come from being barbarian into kings of this planet. The answer is simple, really, we evolve not from muscle wise but intelligent wise. An evidence of this is us making tool like an ax to be use adapt to our environment. We couldn’t just stay and wait for things to happen, we left our natural roots so we can make things happen for us. This is what separate us from most species because unlike the rest we where able to solve problems, survive and adapt to an unstable outdoor environment, while doing this all at a constant motion. That’s how our brain function. If you don’t believe me, well think of a species that has a population of nearly of 200 specie alive, but with them using their brain to survive was able to reproduce to make a population of about 7 billion specie now living. Well that human kind story in short. We were able to beat the other predator by uniting together. This was the first step for us to start communicating and understanding each other needs and wants. After this human build a connection to one another, not by word but having sense of feeling to help us able to reproduce. Evolution is one thing, but surviving by using our brain to out beats all the other animal in this world, is remarkable feature that is overlook.

  7. p nardeo

    In the introduction of John Media’s Brain Rules, Median gives an overall review of the topics we were about to learn. One thing that I notices while reading his introduction is that he didn’t go on and on like a summary, he made it more interesting by giving example and asking the audience questions. He starts off by telling us about people that have incredible ability with their brain. Then he goes into more detail by giving one or two example on how the twelve rules are going to work. Some of these are like for example Brain Rule #2, where he explains that by getting proper exercise your brain will function better. He also shortly mentions something called the grump factor. This is when you write multiple papers on the same topic and get peer-review on it. This will help refine your final work, something that I’m doing on the report I’m write up right now.
    Some of the other thing he mention in his intro are how complicated the brain are. He said that although people are trying to study the brain, it would be a major breakthrough if there could figure out why a person picks up a glass of water and put it up to their mouth. The brain is designed in four major ways, to solve problem, to relate to surviving, to unstable outdoor environment and to do so in a nearly constant motion. The brain is something that keeping evolving, that’s why we are the creature we are today.

  8. Ryan Karran

    The introduction to John Medina’s “Brain Rules” gives us a brief overview about what we will be dicscussing in later chapters of the book along with a look into John Medina’s background as a molecular biologist. One main point that the introduction really focuses on is that we aren’t meant to sit around all day. By exercising and staying active, we boost our brainpower in both long term memory and problem solving skills. Another main point that the introduction focuses on is that sleep is a vital part of our brain’s overall performance. According to NASA’s research, a simple 26 minutes of sleep during your midday nap can increase your brain’s performance by 34%. The introduction also goes onto state that the brain doesn’t like boring things therefore if you are giving a presentation, you should always try and keep your audience’s attention within a 10 minute interval. The brain was originally designed to “solve problems relating to surviving in an unstable outdoor environment and to do so while in constant motion.”

  9. Alex Feng

    In the introduction of John Medina’s “Brain Rules”, he starts off with a challenge and a question that leads to his explanation of how each person’s brain is different from another brain and how one brain may be capable of achieving one task at a shorter amount of time compared to another brain. Afterwards throughout the introduction section, the way he writes it as if he is actually being completely sincere and honest and making it so that what he has written to his audience is actually entertaining, captivating and different from most books that the audience may have read that was all information and explain in a boring fashion. He states that despite his experience and time in his career, it’s still unclear to him and several other fellow colleagues to say with certainty how one specific behavior is caused by a specific gene. Then he explains the original functions our brain was designed for such as solving problems to survive in an unstable outdoor environment in nearly constant motion. Also that our brain keeps evolving due to it adapting to our environments.

  10. Jean Betances

    The introduction to John Medina’s “Brain Rules” talks about how humans in the past had to get stronger in order to survive. So through the process of natural selection people with better genes lived long enough to procreate and continue the species and those with bad genes didn’t. John Medina states that through this evolution we were able to develop things like dual representation. This meant that we became able to do things like fantasize and imagine that are not there. This also allowed us to create things like letters and give meaning to words formed by them. He also mentioned how the evolution of our brain allowed us to cooperate in order to survive. We began to understand each others motives, goals and punishment systems. This meant we had to begin to try and figure something out that wasn’t physically obvious.

  11. Edinsson.P

    Medina talks about a title that captures my attention “back to the jungle”. This because interesting everyday we encounter a new environments and we need to learned how to adapt in new surroundings.This new environments do not necessarily need to be jungles or any other wild environments that threatened our lives.Regardless which it is they impact us. Medina actually mentions four terms that help us think about the brain and how it evolved throughout time. This terms that described early brain development were problem solving , relate to surviving, in an unstable outdoor environment, and to do so in nearly constant motion. The fact the the human brain is able to react and problem in different situations is truly amazing. However, the of thought of stress hindering the human brain is bad news. I know that some of us college students have different ways of dealing with stress, so we can perform in academic work. However, I wonder if the human brain will ever learn how work under stress. If we all are different ,than probably we react different to stress too.

  12. William Santiago

    In the introduction to John Medina’s “Brain Rules”, Medina lays down the foundation of which his book will follow. Throughout the introduction he emphasizes just how amazing the human brain really is, however, us humans don’t know how our brain really functions. One of Medina’s main purposes with this book is to go in depth with the brain and its various functions, as well as some rules or tips as I like to see them in order to utilize the brain to its max capacity. The rules that are stated by John Medina in this book is based upon research that has been done by Medina himself, among other scientist. These rules however, aren’t set and stone. The rules are as he states “a hypothesis” of his, and if we follow the rules given, we”l see for ourselves if the rule or tips provided within the book do us any benefit. It would be as if we’re doing our own research on our own brains in order to figure out whether or not the tips will work for us.

  13. Arjoon H

    To me the most important part of the introduction of John Medina’s Brain Rules was the composition of brains in the human body. Medina states that our brains are actually three different brains all compiled into one. Each of these brains govern and represent a different part of the evolution of not only the brain but humans themselves. To begin with, the first brain or Lizard Brain, is one that is in constant motion due to the fact that it governs the most basic bodily functions needed for sustaining life. These include such things as breathing and blinking. The second brain or Mammalian Brain is said to govern what some scientists refer to as the “Four F’s”. These are fighting, feeding, fleeing and reproductive practices. These base instincts help us to survive and also lay the ground work for the final part of the brain. The last and most recent part of the brain is what’s known as the Cortex. This part of the brain governs all of the most recent adaptations of the human species and what makes us different from the rest of animals. Some of these adaptations include speech, reason and actions of that nature. The explanation of these brains has firmly grasped my attention and has peaked my interest to read further into Medinas work.

  14. shamach campbell

    In the introduction of John Medina’s “brain rules”, he first introduces us to a few kids who can do a bunch of amazing things on an advanced level despite their IQ. He talks about the way our brain sends messages through a complex series of brain cells and neurons. At the sometime while he starts to introduce the upcoming chapters, he also talks how our brains were originally meant for basic out door survival and how we eventually adapted to our modern day life. He also goes into details about our basic functions and how they eventually changed into what they are today like our speech, our reasoning, and other important actions.

  15. Kevin Rojas

    In John Medina’s ,”Brain Rules,” his intro chapter, appropriately called, Introduction, nicely sets up a road map for the reader on how Medina will guide us through the brain. He tells us that there are twelve rules that we should follow in order to effectively help our brains work efficiently. He believes however that these twelve rules he’s identified and made will not give everyone the same results because every brain is different and unique. Hence, he advises us to only exercise these rules in theory and figure out the best way to mold them to fit the way we work. The twelve rules are as follows, the human brain evolved, exercise boosts brain power, sleeping helps, stressed brains don’t learn the same way, every brain is wired differently, we don’t pay attention to boring things, in order to remember we must repeat, stimulation of the senses help, vision however helps the brain more and is the most dominant sense, music helps boost cognition, male and female brains are different, and that our brains have an urge and desire for exploration.

  16. Reynaldo

    The Book “Brain rules” by john medina gives examples about the rules in the book. he also gave examples on how every brain works differently. How most can solve mathematical equations in matter of seconds. How a little girl’s brain can calculate the dimensions of an object 10Ft away. The brain can give symbolic meaning to objects that aren’t what remotely close to it, it’s an ability we have called Dual Representation. He also talked about how he is fascinated on how the brain works.

  17. Terris Greene

    After reading the introduction of John Medina’s “Brain Rules”, I’ve learned that the brain is more complex than many people could imagine. One of the most interesting parts of the reading to me was finding out that we basically have three brains in one. Each part was developed over generations, and each helped us gain the functions of everyday life. Another part that caught my attention was the concept of the dual representation ability, which shows that the uses for items are unlimited based on how your brain wants to portray it. The fact that our ability to make things up and learn to survive off of it is something that I find to be completely amazing, since most animals used physical ability to do this.

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