This is the twenty-fifth in a series of brief posts during October — global ADHD Awareness Month. Each features a quote that relates to ADHD and neurodiversity. ​​​​​​​

Multitasking, when it comes to paying attention, is a myth. The brain naturally focuses on concepts sequentially, one at a time. At first that might sound confusing; at one level the brain does multitask. You can walk and talk at the same time. Your brain controls your heartbeat while you read a book. Pianists can play a piece with left hand and right hand simultaneously. Surely this is multitasking. But I am talking about the brain’s ability to pay attention. It is the resource you forcibly deploy while trying to listen to a boring lecture at school. It is the activity that collapses as your brain wanders during a tedious presentation at work. This attentional ability is, to put it bluntly, not capable of multitasking.

– John Medina, brain rules: 12 Principles of Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

John Medina’s Brain Rules is a fascinating book that is always interesting and often entertaining. It’s probably written for adults, but I know some middle school and older students who have enjoyed it and the YouTube videos spun off from it.

Just in case you want a quick overview taken right from the book, here is a summary of the rules:

Survival – The human brain evolved, too.
Exercise – Exercise boosts brain power.
Sleep – Sleep well, think well.
Stress – Stressed brains don’t learn the same way.
Wiring – Every brain is wired differently.
Attention – We don’t pay attention to boring things.
Memory – Repeat to remember.
Sensory integration – Stimulate more of the senses.
Vision – Vision trumps all other senses.
Music – Study or listen to boost cognition
Gender – Male and female brains are different.
Exploration – We are powerful and natural explorers.
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