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He is also the coauthor, with Catherine Johnson, of the book Shadow Syndromes: The Mild Forms of Major Mental Disorders That Sabotage Us, 1997, ISBN 978-0553379594.
In 2001 he published the book A User's Guide to the Brain, in which he describes the human brain as a flexible muscle, which works on a "use it or lose it" basis.
He is the author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (2008), which describes the positive benefits that exercise can have for learning and for people with anxiety, depression and ADHD.
In 2014 he coauthored the book Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind from the Afflictions of Civilization with Richard Manning which discusses new evidence & case studies about the benefits of living according to the needs of our core DNA in the areas of: food, exercise, sleep, mindfulness, being outside, being with others, and our central nerve well-being.
- Run (or walk). Harvard Gazette. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- The message of the book: "Get familiar with your brain and deal with it. Use the good qualities and acknowledge your deficits. This is not playing the excuse card at all - it's a call to responsibility. And to awareness." A Conversation With John Ratey. Psychology Today. May 1, 1997
- Official website
- Dr. John Ratey: Exercise and the Brain
- Interview with John Ratey
- Sattelmair, Jacob; Ratey, John J.: Physically Active Play and Cognition: An Academic Matter?. American Journal of Play, Vol. 1 No. 3, Pages 365-374 Win 2009
- Ratey, John J.; Loehr, James E.: The positive impact of physical activity on cognition during adulthood. Reviews in the Neurosciences, Vol. 22, Issue 2, Pages 171–185 2011