Brain Rules

Exercise to keep brain well; at least do aerobic exercise twice a week.

Walk at 1.8 miles/hour while doing work?

Exercise increases oxygen flow to the brain (in the blood) which removes brain-bound radicals.  It also affects how long, at the molecular level, neurons live, etc.

Our brains are so sensitive to external inputs that their physical wiring depends upon the culture in which they find themselves.

We pay attention to things like emotions, threats and sex.

We can’t multi-task.  When we’re online, we’re distracted, so we’re unproductive.

Lecture tips –

It’s critical to start with the gist/objective.  Meaning before details.

Throughout the lecture remind people where they are –

Every 10 minutes use a good narrative or fear, etc. to keep the audience engaged.

compelling introduction will recruit the most area in someone’s brain to learn from you, as such it is probably the most important part of the lecture.


Things are better recalled in the environment they are learned.

Repetition –

Things should be repeated after an interval of about 10 minutes to learn it.

Short term memory

– If you want to remember something, it helps to repeat more information about it. To remember Mary’s name at a party you can say: “Mary is wearing a blue dress and my favorite color is blue”

Long-Term Memory

repeat the same subject 3 times a day, 25 minutes first and 90 to 120 minutes later once again, etc.

review material every 3-4 days

Constant exposure is key

Forgetting allows us to prioritize


We don’t know how much sleep we need.

Midafternoon naps are good.  NASA showed hat 26 minutes nap improved a pilot’s performance by more than 34%.  Another study showed that a 45-minute nap produced a similar boost in cognitive performance.  Yet another showed that a 30-minute nap taken prior to staying up all night can prevent a significant loss of performance during that night.

When people become sleep-deprived, their ability to utilize the food they are consuming falls by about a third.

If healthy 30-years-old are sleep-deprived for six days (averaging, in this study, about four hours of sleep per night), parts of their body chemistry soon revert to that of a 60-year-old.  And if they are allowed to recover, it will take them almost a week to get back to their 30-year-old systems.