Books such as ”Brain Rules” are basically meant to be a bridge to understanding some very basic things. A layperson like me does not know much about the brain. I have completely forgotten whatever I have learnt in high school about the anatomy of brain . So, why read this book ? In fact why should anyone read this book? Most of our survival in modern day world depends on our brains. So, a little knowledge about it might help us in performing better and probably living better too. The author states in his preface that the rules that he talks about in the book are a collection of ideas that he wants others to explore in the field of education, business, entertainment, marketing and in general , every aspect of our lives.

My intention to read this book was mainly to understand some very basic aspects like

  • After an early morning workout, why am I more alert while reading something ? Why am I able to grasp better?
  • How do I remember stuff that I read ? I mean there is so much stuff that’s happening around? How do I read / understand / recall them in a better way ?
  • I am pathetic in remembering stuff. Is there something called short term memory and long term memory ? If so, how does one go about improving long term memory ?
  • Why are pictures based learning emphasized heavily instead of word based learning everywhere? Yes, We remember pictures better, but Why ?
  • Once we hear an song, even a 5 sec beat of the some part of a song, we instantly recollect the lyrics/the song and probably different memories associated with the song ? Why doesn’t the same happen with passwords ? I can’t get to remember passwords on websites. If by mistake, I delete the browser form history + cache+ cookies, then in all probability I have to use `forgot my password’ link to retrieve all the passwords ? Is there some different kind of memory that is associated with remembering passwords, as compared to sounds / visuals etc. .?
  • Why do I code better after playing an instrument ?

Obviously I don’t have the time nor the inclination to become an expert in understanding above aspects. However I felt I needed a little bit of understanding. Had read a reference to this book somewhere a few years ago, i think it was related to some behavioral economics article where the article was talking about "Blind Spots".Recently I came upon quite a few references to this book. So, I guessed the book might have something to say and hence picked up this book with a firm resolution that I won`t be spending more than an hour or so.However I ended up spending more than that, thanks to the easy flow of words and ideas in the book. The book is cleverly written, cleverly because, books such as these can be terribly boring. But Dr. John Medina does a wonderful job of using analogies, simple language to show the workings of the brain. I got some kind of answers to my questions. In fact the book explores lot more aspects.

I guess this book will be useful to anyone who wants to understand a little bit about how brain functions, and what can one do in one’s daily life , so that one learns and remembers stuff better.