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John  Medina

John Medina

Brain Scientist


Wherever the very latest neuroscience intersects with real-world challenges facing the workplace, education, healthcare, and our everyday lives, you’ll find energizing insights from brain scientist John Medina. His client-customized presentations, based on his own research, share a common takeaway: How to optimize the performance of the human brain by improving, practices, interactions and environments. Whether you’re looking to maximize productivity, enhance creativity and innovation, improve learning and engagement, make better hiring choices or market more effectively, Dr. Medina unlocks solutions and explains the fascinating inner-workings of the human brain with his trademark humor and enthusiasm. Read More >

Acknowledged as one of the most engaging and crowd-pleasing speakers in the world of neuroscience, Dr. Medina is a developmental molecular biologist, researcher, professor and the author of ten books. His New York Times bestseller, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving at Work, Home and School has been celebrated as the standard handbook on understanding the brain and optimizing its performance. Brain Rules has been translated into more than 20 languages and selected as a textbook at numerous universities. Dr. Medina’s focus is on the genes behind brain development and psychiatric conditions. He has spent most of his professional life as an analytical research consultant, working primarily in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries on research related to mental health. He also consults with hospitals and healthcare facilities on designing brain-healthy environments that reduce staff stress and improve patient outcomes. Dr. Medina is an Affiliate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is also the Founding Director of the Talaris Research Institute studying how infants encode and process information at the cognitive, cellular and molecular level. Dr. Medina’s extensive study of the developing brain resulted in his most recent book, Brain Rules for Baby. His upcoming books, The Teenaged Brain and Your Aging Brain further explore the brain’s life stages.

Dr. Medina and his team work collaboratively with clients to understand his audiences and tailor his presentations to fit specific interests and challenges. His high-energy keynotes consistently receive high ratings and resounding applause. As one corporate event committee chair praised, “He was the talk of the conference—a rare combination of brilliance and engaging presentation style.” Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Brain Rules

Brain Rule #1 - Exercise

Education & Parenting

How Making Friends, Nostalgia, and Loneliness Affects the Brain

The Brain and Learning

Introduction to Brain Rules for Aging Well

Introduction to the Brain Rules Books

How Exercise Boosts Brain Power

Speech Topics

The Brains Behind Business Success

Is there an essential factor behind productive teams? Does exercise really power brain function and productivity? Can brain science improve your sales and enliven your customer journey? Yes. Yes. Yes. Dr. Medina takes you from the primal beginnings that formed the human brain to how our brains constantly re-wire themselves in an ever-shifting digital world. Focuses within his highly customizable presentations include: The Collective Brain (building effective teams), The Productive Brain, The Innovating Brain, The Marketing Brain, The Presenting Brain, and The Exercising Brain. All with leave you with actionable ways to positively impact your organization by optimizing brain performance and audience/customer engagement.

The Leadership Brain

Business schools routinely identify the traits that can transform a competent executive into a trailblazing boss. Now, cutting edge research finds that these qualities have a clear neurological basis. Dr. Medina guides you through what really makes a leader’s brain different, sharing invaluable takeaways for both organizations and individuals. You’ll learn how to maximize your own leadership potential, groom and mentor leaders, improve and foster leadership skills throughout your organization and screen for key traits in new hires. An enthralling combination of business wisdom and hard-wired brain science that will have you looking at leadership in a compelling new way.

The Learning Brain: Essential Neuroscience for Educators

Our understanding of how the brain process information grows every week—data increasingly relevant to both classroom practices and the future of education. Dr. Medina examines the latest neuroscience and provides research-based recommendations for optimizing learning and engagement. From the case for integrating more exercise into the school day to the challenge of capturing the attention of young minds born into a digital age, Dr. Medina’s highly customizable presentations show you how to leverage brain science to overcome any challenge and optimize teaching and learning.

The Brains Behind Unconscious Bias

From racial issues in the social sphere to sexism in the work place, unconscious biases have been getting a lot of press lately. Is there brain science behind these behaviors? Recent findings suggest the answer is yes. In this illuminating talk, Dr. Medina explores the behaviors behind unconscious biases and their underlying neurobiology. He also unlocks the secrets to reducing biases—revealing habit-breaking evidence-based interventions that have been proven over the long term.

Optimizing Healthy Brain Development & Understanding Mental Illness

From Brain Rules for Babies to his upcoming book, Your Aging Brain, Dr. Medina has researched every stage of human brain development. He has also focused much of his career studying the genes behind mental illness and psychiatric conditions. These highly customizable presentations help you understand specific stages of development (the infant, teenage, and aging, brain) or the brain science behind conditions ranging from PTSD and depression to Alzheimer’s. Filled with practical tips and illuminating insights, each presentation leaves you with actionable recommendations to become a more effective parent, educator, social service provider or caregiver. You’ll also receive essential operating instructions on how to increase your own brain health at every stage.

The Elder Brain: Interactions that Increase Health & Cognition

In a noted Harvard study called the “Counterclockwise Experiment”, elderly subjects spent a week in an environment that immersed them in the year 1959. After just one week, virtually every cognitive and sensory function tested, such as eyesight, had improved. A growing body of research shows that reminiscing experiences stimulate the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that decreases as we age and is associated with happiness, motivation and movement. In this data-driven presentation tailored for caregivers and health professionals, Dr. Medina shows how “living in the past” and future designs for assisted living, hospitals and other healthcare facilities will help increase emotional health, happiness, cognitive ability and motor function in the elder population.

Improving Patient Outcomes: The Brains Behind Healthcare Environments of the Future

Research proves that “healing environments” can do more than just enhance the patient experience. They can actually improve patient outcomes, reduce hospital stays, and even lower the need for pain medications. Data shows that something as simple as boosting natural light, implementing water therapy, offering virtual reality stimulation and other innovative care environments will notably reduce stress for patients and staff. It has also proven to lower staff fatigue and error, increase patient quality and lessen the chances of depression and anxiety. Dr. Medina shares fascinating neurocognitive research on how these changes can decrease average length of stay and lower re-admission rates. From a doctor’s office to a large facility, Dr. Medina will provide actionable, effective suggestions to improve any environment.

Brain Rules for Aging Well: 10 Principles for Staying Vital, Happy & Sharp

How come I can never find my keys? Why don't I sleep as well as I used to? Why do my friends keep repeating the same stories? What can I do to keep my brain sharp? With so many discoveries in recent years, science is literally changing our minds about the optimal care and feeding of the brain. Drawing from his latest book, Brain Rules for Aging Well, developmental molecular biologist Dr. John Medina gives you the facts while simplifying the science. With his dynamic presence and humorously engaging style, Dr. Medina provides a prescription for aging well that anyone—at any age—can turn into an action plan. He focuses on four aspects of brain health: the social brain, the thinking brain, the body, and the ways one can change the future. You’ll learn how emotions change with age, how memory is affected by the passing of time, and steps you can take to slow down the symptoms of aging. You’ll walk away with tangible brain rules that will literally change the way you age and put you on the path to optimal brain health.