Brain Rules

The closing keynote at DevLearn 08 by John Medina, author of Brain Rules, knocked my socks off. Memory is not what you thought it was.

“Immediate memory” holds onto things for 30 seconds. “Working memory” can hold on for a couple of hours. But a “Longterm memory” takes 10 years to fully stash. And what comes out is the result of a mind-as-food-processor, not some logical derivative of the original at all.

Amazingly, the brain’s executive function improves or deteriorates with aerobic exercise. Simple and irrefutable. This is why Mike Wallace and Daniel Shore in their nineties are sharp as a tack, but Keith Richards is not even sure where he is anymore at 64. (Of course, heroin may play a role here, too.) Read John’s book, but in the meanwhile you might want to ponder this shaky video I shot from the front row. Also, see John’s book site.

John is a delightful guy. He not only presents compelling content, he radiates energy. And he’s funny, to boot. Talking about the book, he told me, “It’s not my day job.” You’ll hear background laughter throughout the video.

Jay with John Medina
Jay and John

If practical brain science excites you as much as it does me, you should join the Corporate Learning Trends and Innovations conference on Thursday at noon Pacific, when my friend Alvaro Fernandez talks about Brain Fitness.