April 26, 2012

Brain Rules ***

*** Brain Rules, John Medina, 2008

Stumbled across this book somewhere and used it as my workout read. It definitely passed the Elliptical Test. The book is divided into 12 rules, such as:

  • 1. Exercise boosts brain power. (How appropriate!)
  • 4. We don't pay attention to boring things.
  • 8. Stressed brains don't learn the same way.

The research is fascinating and the writing is engaging. And it has many applications. It will change the way I write.

One common bit of writing advice is to engage all the senses. Don't just describe how it looks, but also how it sounds or smells or feels. The research bears out this advice. Tests show that when you read a word involving smell, the same part of your brain activates as when you actually smell it. So by writing to all the senses, you stimulate more of the brain, which makes it a richer experience and therefore more memorable.

And that's just one cool idea I got from the book.

1 comment:

Mark Spyrison said...

Definitely a book I'll look out for. I remember coming across this advice about writing to the senses in a couple of writing books, too.