Exercise boosts brain power.

Watch John Medina explain how exercise boosts brain power. 

Learn more in Brain Rules and listen to a free preview of the Brain Rules for Aging Well audiobook on Libro.fm.


Brain-based parenting tips

Put the research from John Medina's Brain Rules for Baby into practice.
Tracy Cutchlow, author of the international bestseller Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science, was the editor of Brain Rules for Baby. She put the research into practice with her own spirited daughter and saw great results. Now, as a licensed coach, she helps parents find calm and confidence with their children. If Brain Rules for Baby is the why, Zero to Five is the how. (Infant uncertainty, toddler tantrums, preschooler power struggles: you've got this!)

Below, Tracy shares some tips to get you started off on the right foot. You can sign up on the Zero to Five website for more parenting tips that work.

3 best ways to boost your baby’s language development

Baby refusing to eat? 8 things to consider

12 ways to include your toddler when cooking and cleaning


Gratitude: Being Thankful Will Help Make You Happy!

Gratitude (Brain Rules for Aging Well by John Medina)

Optimistic people live almost eight years longer than the glass half- empties do. Observing the megawatt power of gratitude as a practicing psychotherapist, Martin Seligman developed—and then scientifically tested— exercises centering on the ideas of thankfulness and appreciation. Watch John Medina to learn how to practice gratitude, as featured in Brain Rules for Aging Well

Learn more about the new book, Brain Rules for Aging Well.


Why Older People Are More Gullible

Why Older People Are More Gullible (Brain Rules for Aging Well by John Medina)

There's an obvious reason the elderly become a target: solo seniors sometimes have obese bank accounts. The less obvious reason has to do with the dark side of focusing on the positive all the time. As you age, you also become more trusting, or better to say, more gullible.

We even think we know why. Watch John Medina explain.

Learn more about the new book, Brain Rules for Aging Well.


3 Things You Need to Know About Sleep

Why Older People Are More Gullible (Brain Rules for Aging Well by John Medina)

Watch John Medina share three surprises in sleep research, as discussed in the new book, Brain Rules for Aging Well.

Here’s the bottom line: you need to get between six and eight hours of sleep every night, no more and no less. If you get less than six hours, mortality risk rises 21 percent in women, 26 percent in men. If you get more than eight hours, mortality risk rises 17 percent in women, 24 percent for men. You have to have the “just right” amount of sleep to optimize both quality and quantity of life.

Learn more about the new book, Brain Rules for Aging Well.


The 10 warning signs of Alzheimer's disease

Excellent checklists have been developed over the years to help loved ones determine whether a person has Alzheimer’s or is simply guilty of being a senior. One of the best is the Alzheimer’s Association’s “10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease,” which I'll summarize here in this videoThe ten signs can be organized by topic: memory, executive function, emotions, and general processing.

Learn more about the new book, Brain Rules for Aging Well.


Introduction to Brain Rules for Aging Well

Watch John Medina introduce his new book, Brain Rules for Aging Well, in this video.


Announcing Brain Rules for Aging Well, in stores October 3rd

With so many discoveries over the years, science is literally changing our minds about the optimal care and feeding of the brain. All of it is captivating. A great deal of it is unexpected. You may already be experiencing the sometimes-unpleasant effects of the aging process. Or you may be deeply concerned about your loved ones who are. Either way, Brain Rules for Aging Well is for you.

Pre-order the hardcover today from your favorite bookstore and you'll get it by October 3rd.

Listen to a preview of the audiobook.


Is it true that musicians are better at detecting emotion?

There is evidence that musicians are better at detecting emotion. One of the most striking experiments involved a group of English speaking musicians and English speaking non-musicians. They were exposed to a language they could not speak - the researchers chose the Philippine language Tagalog - with speakers talking in emotionally competent ways. Watch the video.

Learn more about Brain Rules or listen to the digital audiobook on Libro.fm.


How the brain pays attention

Listen to a preview of the Attention chapter on YouTube. Get the Brain Rules digital audiobook on Libro.fm.

What’s going on in our heads when we turn our attention to something? Thirty years ago, a scientist by the name of Michael Posner derived a theory that remains popular today. Posner started his research career in physics, joining the Boeing Aircraft Company soon out of college. His first major research contribution was to figure out how to make jet-engine noise less annoying to passengers riding in commercial airplanes. You can thank your relatively quiet airborne ride, even if the screaming turbine is only a few feet from your eardrums, in part on Posner’s first research efforts. His work on planes eventually led him to wonder how the brain processes information of any kind. This led him to a doctorate in research and to a powerful idea that’s sometimes jokingly referred to as the Trinity Model. Posner hypothesized that we pay attention to things using three separable but fully integrated networks of neural circuitry in the brain. I’ll use a simple story to illustrate his model.

One pleasant Saturday morning, my wife and I were sitting on our outdoor deck, watching a robin drink from our birdbath, when all of a sudden we heard a loud “swoosh” above our heads. Looking up, we caught the shadow of a red-tailed hawk, dropping like a thunderbolt from its perch in a nearby tree, grabbing the helpless robin by the throat. As the raptor swooped by us, not three feet away, blood from the robin splattered on our table. What started as a leisurely repast ended as a violent reminder of the savagery of the real world. We were stunned into silence.

In Posner’s model, the brain’s first system functions much like the two-part job of a museum security officer: surveillance and alert. He called it the Alerting or Arousal Network. It monitors the sensory environment for any unusual activities. This is the general level of attention our brains are paying to our world, a condition termed “intrinsic alertness.” My wife and I were using this network as we sipped our coffee, watching the robin. If the system detects something unusual, such as the hawk’s swoosh, it can sound an alarm heard brain-wide. That’s when intrinsic alertness transforms into specific attention, called phasic alertness.

After the alarm sounds, we orient ourselves to the attending stimulus, activating the second network: the Orienting Network. We may turn our heads toward the stimulus, perk up our ears, perhaps move toward (or away) from something. It’s why both my wife and I immediately lifted our heads away from the robin, attending to the growing shadow of the hawk. The purpose is to gain more information about the stimulus, allowing the brain to decide what to do. The third system, the Executive Network, controls what action we take next. Actions may include setting priorities, planning on the fly, controlling impulses, weighing the consequences of our actions, or shifting attention. For my wife and me, it was stunned silence, until one of us moved to clean off the blood.

So we have the ability to detect a new stimulus, the ability to turn toward it, and the ability to decide what to do based on its nature. Posner’s model offered testable predictions about brain function and attention, leading to neurological discoveries that would fill volumes.