Brain Rules Paper

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Book Assignment
How I’ve come to find myself “stupid”
For this assignment I read a book that you too have also read; Brain Rules. This explains my creative title, and gives those who haven’t read this book an insight as to what it contains. Because this book literally goes chapter by chapter, every chapter being a Brain rule, I have found that writing this assessment would be the simplest yet most effective way of summarizing the points, in this case “rules”, of the book. This also gives me a chance to reflect upon what I’ve learned, something that a simple sculpture or drawing wouldn’t do for me. There are twelve rules all related to the science behind our brains; exercise, survival, wiring, attention, short-term memory, long-term memory, sleep, stress, sensory integration, vision, gender, and exploration.

Brain rule number 1; exercise boosts brain power. In this first chapter, the author John Medina emphasizes the positive effects that exercise has on the human brain’s function and on the body in general. Before cars and advanced technology in general, Humans walked miles and miles a day (around 12) to carry out the necessities in order to survive. John uses this information to back up the idea that our brains were made for walking, so we were meant to move. So theoretically, to improve thinking skills, one must be active. From a biological standpoint, exercise gets blood to the brain, bringing it glucose for energy and oxygen, which the brain needs in order to soak up toxic electrons that our brain produces. It also stimulates the protein that keeps neurons in the brain connecting, which is the foundation for brain activity. So exercise literally makes getting fuel (blood) to the brain more efficient. John described an interview with a man in his 90’s who was known for his physical wonders, like being able to swim attached to a line of tug boats (when he was younger of course). Compared to the likes of many others of his age, he seemed far more alert and mentally stable. He reacted to everything John said almost instantly, without hesitation. Typically, other people his age would find themselves in a state of mental decay, and have lost much of these abilities over time. He implied that because this one man had been physically fit his entire life, he was more mentally active then his sedentary friends. In relation to disease, aerobic exercise just twice a week cuts ones risk of general dementia in half. It also cuts the risk of Alzheimer’s by 60 percent. Theoretically, long term exercise makes one more mentally and physically healthier.

Brain rule number 2; the human brain evolved too. This chapter describes the evolution of the brain, how our brains ended up where they are today, and the biology that the human brain has. The human brain has three parts; essentially all 3 parts are a separate brain. Humans started out with a lizard-like brain to keep us breathing (which is now the center of the human brain), then atop eventually developed a cat-like brain, and then the atop of that developed the most distinctive outer part of the brain known as the cortex, the human-like brain. Humans took over the earth by adapting to change itself. As John puts it, “We were forced from the trees to the savannah when climate swings disrupted our food supply”. He then goes on to talk about the extraordinary affect that the evolution of upright movement (walking on two legs as apposed two all four) had on our ability to conjure up a complex brain. When we switched from “on all fours” to an upright posture, we used a fraction of the energy it took to walk on all fours. This freed up the energy to develop a complex brain. In this complex brain, developed some uniquely Human talents, like symbolic reasoning. John goes on to describe how this talent, symbolic reasoning, may have arisen from our need to understand one another’s intentions and motivations, allowing humans to coordinate within a group.

Brain rule number 3; every...
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