Reading: John Medina’s Brain Rules, Exploration

Today, we wrap up John Medina’s Brain Rules with the chapter on Exploration. During the first ten minutes of class, write your summary of the chapter and write about the things that you enjoy exploring–the things that excite your curiosity. Post your writing here as a comment. This will conclude our beginning-of-class writing assignments for the semester. Well done!

10 thoughts on “Reading: John Medina’s Brain Rules, Exploration

  1. Shen

    I really enjoy reading Chapter “Gender” by John Medina. I learned that Men and women’s brain are different, they process certain emotions differently. Men and woman respond differently to acute stress, women activate the left hemisphere’s amygdala and remember the emotional details. Then we have men that use the opposite of the amygdala and get the gist. One thing I found interesting in the chapter is that women are genetically more complex than men, because the active X chromosomes in their cells are a mix of Mom’s and Dad’s.

  2. miguelsantos7

    The incessant curiosity that compels us to aggressively explore the world around us is described as drive. In other words, like babies experiment their surrounding, we also make a sensory observation about what is going on. According Medina, newborns can imitate, them as infants analyze how objects act. After that, they discover that the objects still exist if you can’t see them. Therefore, curiosity is learning. In general, the message is that curiosity itself is the most important thing as medina said “We are powerful and natural explorers.” I like to explore different food and tradition or cultures. For example, during high school something that drives my curiosity was not having classmates of different race, because my high school was just for hispanic immigrants. However, I assist to a Hindi program for a month and I also assist to a exchange program of students to Prague that makes my dream come true. Besides that, now I have the curiosity to explore the major of Hospitality Management and Fashion. One of my biggest curiosity is to explore nature as rivers, animals, and geography. Finally, I have the curiosity of driving a car because I have never tried and I think it is really cool to also explore the different sports. As one Can see, these are the things that I enjoy exploring, the things that excite my curiosity.

  3. O.Leitch-Edinboro

    John Medina’s Brain Rules with the chapter on Exploration is very intriguing, because Median caught my attention when he speaks of exploration starting from babies.
    Early in the chapter, Median speaks of how babies can get information by keenly testing their surroundings. For example, Median discusses how “42 minutes old Newborns can imitate.” Further, he talks about, the brain of babies, and that their brains allow them to stick out their tongues, once their brains can stimulate a series of nerves in a certain sequence. In addition, he talks about babies as they explore more as they mature. Like, they would use objects to their disposals. For example, they would feel an object, kick it, try to stick it in their ears, and into their mouths. Also, they try to stick their fingers into your eyes, nose, and mouth, because they might be curious of what they are. Additionally, they will try to pull your hair, earrings, and try to take off your glasses, once you are wearing one.

    Moreover, at the stage of toddlers, children tend to test their abilities to do challenging and dangerous things, which most parents might probably be fearful of them doing. However, as toddlers transition throughout their life, their curiosities also transition into becoming explorers.

    Nevertheless, if I were to explore this world, I would start by finding a way to understand how birds and planes fly. In addition, I would use that knowledge to figure out a way to make humans fly like them.

  4. Kel Em

    John Medina’s Exploration, he talks about how humans are curious from the start of life. Early in the chapter he talks about how babies, and exploration starts from that point. Curiosity is learning, babies are very curious they always touch everything, although unsanitary sometimes babies put items in their mouths, since they’re exploring the world. I like to try new things, like foods, and maybe try new routes to get to my house. Things that drive my curiosity are things that make that adrenaline in your body flow. Playing paintball, or going up against friends, it has to be something challenging and hardcore. Skydiving is dangerous but I’ve heard its fun and would love to try it one day.

  5. Shen

    John Medina’s Chapter “Exploration” talks about how we explore since when we were babies. Babies are powerful and natural explorers. They learn by active testing through observation, hypothesis, experiment, and conclusion. The more curious you are, the more possibilities you will open throughout your lifetime. One interesting i found while reading is that some parts of our adult brains stay as malleable as a baby’s, so we can create neurons and learn new things throughout our lives.

  6. Lorena Batista

    “Exploration” is John Medina’s last chapter from Brain Rules. Having finished this book is a great accomplishment, because it led me to understand what is happening in our heads and how the brain is the responsible for most of the processes we perform in our lives. John Medina starts this chapter by telling a story about an experience he lived with his son, which took him to this conclusion; “We are natural explorers, even if the habit sometimes stings us. The tendency is so strong. It is capable of turning us into lifelong learners.” Babies acquire information using surprisingly specific strategies, many of which are preserved into adulthood. Understanding how humans learn at this age means understanding how humans learn at any age. Scientists describe babies’ desire to understand the world around them and the incessant curiosity that compels them to explore it as drive. According to the author, “They use a series of increasingly self-corrected ideas to figure out how the world works. They actively test their environment, much as a scientist would: Make a sensory observation, form a hypothesis about what is going on, design an experiment capable of testing the hypothesis, and then draw the conclusions from the findings.” I consider that this is a good explanation of why our babies are always exploring everything, taking everything around them into their mouths and kicking them. This is because babies obviously do not born knowing everything, they spend their time exploring the world and understanding all the situations they experience. They may not have a whole lot of understanding about their world, but they know a whole lot about how to get it. Some parts of our adult brains stay as malleable as a baby’s, so we can create neurons and learn new things throughout our lives. Medina also explains that we can recognize and imitate behavior because of mirror neurons scattered across the brain. We as humans, explore everything, we instinctively analyze everything to understand its nature. I am practically new in this country, since I arrived here, I feel very curious to understand how everything work here. I am always exploring how things work, from the smallest things, as subways and directions, to the biggest ones, as laws, for instance. I am always exploring all these things because I want to get totally adapted to this new city for me.

  7. Bishwash

    On the last chapter of Brain Rules John Medina talks about exploration. In this chapter John Medina explains how humans are born explorers, how we are keen towards knowing almost everything. And all of that starts with babies. Babies are the model of how we learn not by passive reaction to the environment but by active testing through observation, hypothesis, experiment, and conclusion. Medina demonstrates that babies as young as 42 minutes can learn and imitate facial expression of adults. In 1979, Andy Meltzoff rocked the world psychology by sticking out his tongue at a newborn. What happened was amazing. The baby stuck her tongue back at him. This shows that the human brain is wired at birth to learn, and is not a blank slate. Specific parts of the brain allow this scientific approach. The right prefrontal cortex looks for error in our hypothesis and an adjoining region tells us to change behavior. Humans are lifelong learners even though as we age we can lose up to 30,000 neurons a day. We can still create thousands of new synaptic connection a day through learning and reinforcing learned knowledge. We can remain lifetime learners so some part of our brain stays as malleable as a baby’s so that we can create neurons and learn new things throughout our lives.

  8. Bryan jimenez

    This last chapter from Brain Rules by John Medina was pretty awesome, I learned some points medina talked about. Babies are the model of how we learn, I was really surprise by what medina mentioned about the experiment they did on a 42 minutes old baby. The project consisted on sticking someone’s tongue out to the newborn and to see what the new born would do, surprisingly the baby sticked his tongue back at the experimenter. This example shows us that even though babies don’t know about the world they see something, process it and then realize they can do the same thing and that’s what happened on this experiment. Something else medina taught me is that we can recognize and imitate behavior because of mirror neurons. This goes back to the experiment they did on the 42 minutes old baby, that baby didn’t know he had the ability to stick his tongue out, but he saw the experimenter doing it and his mirror neurons put in action. Medina also mention that some parts of our Bain never gets old as we get older, this is actually an advantage because elders sometimes want to do something they didn’t do while they were young but to have part of the brain that is still young is pretty amazing for humanity. I got to be honest I went through a roller coster of emotions with this book, sometimes I liked it, sometimes I hated it, but at the end it had taught me a lot about why we behave the way we behave, what’s going on in our brain while we do certain acts among other factors of our daily living. Thank you professor Ellis for making me read brain rules.

  9. Victor Ambuludi

    Brain Rules
    In this chapter, Medina expounds the concept of exploration and the relationship that human beings have for exploring their surrounding since they were inborn. Also, the author explains how children are driving by the curiosity to test object and imitate other people. In addition, Medina reiterates how babies reveal more secrets about the brain, and how people can be more curious by following their own passion. First, babies learn by imitation, and this was showed in many experiments in particular the one that was performed by Andy Meltzoff in which he stick out his tongue to a 42 minutes old baby. The baby replied by sticking out her tongue to Meltzoff. This was an astonishing discovery by him since in the past; it was believed that babies in general were born in blank state or as Medina defined “tabula rasa” that according to its definition it is a hypothetical in which the mind is completely empty before receiving outside impressions. In the same way, Medina replicated this experiment with his son Noah and having the same results. In addition, infants learn by testing objects that surround them. Babies kick or chew objects in order to examine them or recognizing their functions. For example, some researchers took a group of babies and gave them a rake in order to use to get a toy. They learned how to use the rake after few failures. Moreover, researchers such as Leonardo Fogassi have been studied what is called “mirror neurons”, these neurons fired up when the observer perceives another person doing a particular activity such as picking up an object and in that moment the brain recreates that process as if the observer were doing that activity. Finally, passion drives curiosity, and by this I mean that there will be a reason to learn more every day and understand the world that we are living. For instance, Medina was driven by many subjects when he was a child such as dinosaurs and cosmology. At the point, he got his entire room fulfilled with images related to these topics. This means that he has a lot of passion for what he studied and tried to understand.

  10. tatinyc

    It is the last chapter of the book and, to be honest I am as a reader, who has a requirement to read this book, glad that it is over. Last five or six chapters were very hard to read, and it took me couple times to reread some of the paragraphs.
    In the last chapter, I love the beginning of the story with the personal example of the author, how he was sticking the tongue at his son when his son was a newborn, and how they continued to do so when his kid grow up. His son was awaiting every time he saw his dad to stick out the tongue, so h could mirror him.

    Answering the question: “What delivers curiosity?”
    Probably, expectations. Waiting of something new, not predictability of the moment or emotions I can get from it. Even with a saying “curiosity kills a cat”, I think curiosity drives minds to get outside the comfort zone and get some extra portion of adrenaline.

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