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It seems that our great achievements mostly had to do with a nasty change in the weather. The weather change was enough to knock us out of our trees, but it wasn’t enough to kill us when we landed.Yet this change was not too powerful, or too subtle. (pg 36) The net effect of this evolution is that we did not become stronger; we became smarter.
BRAIN RULE #1 = EXERCISE Exercise boosts brain power Our fancy brains developed not while we were lounging, but while we were moving. It also stimulates the protein that keeps neurons connecting.
(pg 28) Aerobic exercise twice a week halves your risk of general dementia and cuts your risk of Alzheimer’s by 60% BRAIN RULE #2 = SURVIVAL The human brain evolved, too There is an unbroken intellectual line between symbolic reasoning and the ability to create culture.
Our brains only give us an approximate view of reality because they mix new knowledge with past memories and store them together as one. (pg 159) Sleep has been shown to enhance tasks that involve visual texture discrimination, motor adaptations and motor sequencing. Sleep loss cripples thinking in about all of the ways you can measure thinking. ) might look like if we took these sleep facts seriously! The hypothalamus in your brain (pea sized, right in the middle of your head) sends a signal to your adrenal glands (on top of kidneys).
The way to make long-term memory more reliable is to incorporate new information gradually and repeat it in timed intervals. It also impairs: It affects manual dexterity, fine motor control and gross motor movements. The adrenal glands dump buckets of adrenaline into your system. These days our stress is not measured in seconds by interactions with mountain lions, but by days, weeks and sometimes months of hectic work lives, screaming toddlers and money problems.
(pg 195) One of the greatest predictors of performance in school turns out to be the emotional stability of the home.
(pg 183) Kids of all ages who watch parents fight constantly have higher stress hormones in their urine.Summary from page 147: Most memories disappear within minutes, but the ones that survive get stronger over time.Long-term memories are formed in a 2-way conversation between the hippocampus and the cortex, until the hippocampus breaks the connection and the memory is fixed in the cortex = but this can take years! Some are more larkish, some more owlish, some more in between. The answer = we don’t know (pg 158) What we do know though is that there is a universal need to nap. Some scientists suggest that a long sleep at night and a short nap in the midday represents human sleep behavior at its most natural.Learning occurs best when new information is incorporated gradually into the memory store rather than when it is jammed in all at once.(pg 133) So why do many classrooms do the exact opposite??BRAIN RULE #7 = SLEEP Sleep well, think well If you ever get a chance to listen in on a brain while it’s owner is asleep, you will see that the brain is not asleep at all. This is commonly known as the “fight or flight” response. Released in small doses, it wipes out most unpleasant aspects of stress and returns us to normal. (pg 176) And when moderate amounts of hormones build up to large amounts, or when moderate amounts hang around too long, they become quite harmful.The brain displays more rhythmical activity during sleep than when it is wide-awake. The issue is that our stress response system was shaped to solve problems that lasted for SECONDS… Stress that is too severe or too prolonged harms learning.That if you want to create an educational environment that is directly OPPOSED to what the brain is good at doing, you would design something like a classroom.And if you wanted to change things, you might have to tear it down and start over. I list for you here Medina’s BRAIN RULES as well as passages from the book to assist in clarification and understanding! “Physical activity is cognitive candy.” (pg 22) Civilization has had a nasty side effect… Cutting off physical activity to do better on a test score is like trying to gain weight by starving yourself! Exercise gets blood to your brain, bringing it glucose for energy and oxygen to soak up the toxic electrons that are left over.BRAIN RULE #4 = ATTENTION We don’t pay attention to boring things Summary from page 94: Emotions get our attention **emotional arousal helps the brain learn We grasp meaning before details **we are better at seeing patterns and abstracting the meaning of an event than we are at recording detail The brain cannot multi-task BRAIN RULE #5 = SHORT TERM MEMORY Repeat to Remember Summary from page 119 The brain has many types of memory systems. These are memories of things you can “declare.” Example: “They sky is blue.” This system has four stages of processing: encoding, storing, retrieving and forgetting.Information coming into your brain is split into fragments that are sent to different regions of the cortex for storage.