What are the rules your brain works by?

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Erik Barker shares his notes from reading John Medina’s Brain Rules, which explains that exercise boosts brain power, people can’t multitask, and sleep is very, very important:

Take an A student used to scoring in the top 10 percent of virtually anything she does. One study showed that if she gets just under seven hours of sleep on weekdays, and about 40 minutes more on weekends, she will begin to score in the bottom 9 percent of non-sleep-deprived individuals.

That seems… extreme.


  1. Aretae says:

    That’s extreme.

    If you’re both in the 1% that function well on low sleep, and the 0.01% IQ range… this finding seems odd.

  2. Bruce Charlton says:

    Specifically, I think that sleep loss reduces creativity and memory elaboration.

    This may not be very noticeable on testing, since memory is tested on discrete items, and creativity is not required in most of everyday life. But the effect is there, nonetheless.

    Furthermore (and this is speculative), I suspect that insufficient sleep leads people to be somewhat disorientated in space and time, perhaps increasing alienation and disaffection. Somehow or another, at a mostly unconscious level, what goes on in our dreams is embedding us in the perceived world.

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